Christians live by faith, but when it comes to finances, that faith can be sorely tested. Financial fear can often rob us of the joy in peace the Lord wants us to experience. So today on MoneyWise, we’ll talk about replacing fear with faith. We live in especially uncertain times, and many are nervous about what the future holds. When fear grips us, we may be tempted to take impulsive, fear-driven action, rather than trusting God. Jeremiah 17:7-8 reads,Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit. Even Jesus’ disciples had financial fear. He tells them in Matthew 6:25,Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? THE DANGERS OF FEAR Fear can lead to financial bondage. It begins when we think things and do things that indicate a lack of trust in God. He’s promised to meet not only our needs, but to give us the desires of our hearts as long as they match up with His will for us. Fear may lead to poor communication and conflicting values between spouses, which will damage a marriage. It may lead to hoarding and a lack of generosity. It may cause you to unnecessarily scrimp and sacrifice, to covet money. But let’s be clear, the Bible tells us that it’s wise to save for the future, for the day when age or illness prevent us from earning a living. The key is finding the right balance. We must do our part and trust God to do his part. GOD IS WITH YOU You can be sure that God is with you, even when you may feel overwhelmed by fear. His Word tells us repeatedly that He’s always with us. Joshua 1:9 reads, Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Faith is the opposite of fear. In Hebrews, faith is described as things that we hope for and things that we do not presently have. If we didn’t have needs, we wouldn’t need faith. But it’s God’s plan to teach us and strengthen us in faith, so He allows us to have needs so that we can learn to trust Him. Everything you experience is part of God’s plan for you. In Hebrews 11:6 we’re told that God is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Every Christian must decide, do I really believe that? Do I really trust God or am I just saying I do? Believers must reject the tendency to put our trust in our bank accounts instead of God. HOW TO FIGHT FEAR Now, how do you fight the fear that leads to financial bondage? First, stay in God’s word, ask Him for help, hope and direction. The goal should always be to know and live according to His plan for your life. Seek God in all things and let Him know you’re willing to trust Him when He makes His will clear. This isn’t a one time thing. It’s a process that requires constant study of His Word. Next, make a conscious decision to act when God’s will becomes clear. This will be different for each of us. It may mean giving away something you need, or making a job change you hadn’t planned on, or putting off buying a bigger home. Then, develop a long range perspective. God rarely works on the same timetable as we do, so it’s important that we learn what patience is waiting on the Lord. Joseph lying in an Egyptian jail understood God’s long-range plan even though he didn’t understand the timing and circumstances of it all. He had faith. In Matthew 6:34, Jesus tells us,... do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Finally, it’s been said that prayer is God’s secret weapon. Exercise the most powerful tool that God’s given us to unlock His blessings and power. It’s the most neglected part of Christian life. Faith isn’t possible outside of prayer but with prayer all things are possible. 1 Thessalonians 5 teaches, Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. LISTENER QUESTIONS On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●How do you determine the best options to find handicap-accessible housing? ●Can you buy a house without a credit history? ●How do you figure out the best refinancing option for your home?