“It is [God] who gives you the ability to produce wealth.”                                      Dt 8:18 NIV

The story of Elijah being fed by the ravens teaches us that God can take care of us in a bad economy (See 1Ki 17:1-7). The story of Joseph teaches us that when we follow God’s plan, we will have all that we need to get us through hard times (See Ge 41:37-57). One of the dangers of living in a materialistic society is that you feel “entitled” to things, even when you can’t afford them. To overcome financial anxiety you must practice fiscal discipline. God doesn’t bless recklessness. You can’t go into debt, then pray that God will get you out of it. Sometimes He does. But if you don’t learn from your mistakes you’ll just keep repeating them. A popular radio show in Atlanta is hosted by a guy called Clark Howard. He begins every program by saying, “Spend less, save more, and don’t get ripped off.” He talks about banks that charge extortionate rates for credit cards, and tells people to live within their means. “But I’m used to a certain lifestyle,” you say. Get unused to it! If you want peace of mind, learn the art of contentment. Does contentment mean you can’t have ambition? No, it means delaying gratification and enjoying where you are, on your way to where you’re going. It means learning to live by these words: “I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Php 4:12-13 NLT).