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Tips to Handle Your Financial Struggles God's Way

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Economic times like these can be hard. Just as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah got swept up by the enemy in Genesis 14:11-12, we have also been caught in a storm. Recessions and financial struggles have hurt thousands of families. There have been so many job losses and foreclosures around us that it is hard not to wonder what might happen next.

2 Chronicles 20 shares an excellent example of how God expects us to approach the battles that come into our lives. It is a wonderful illustration of how we should face our current and future financial challenges.

In this chapter, King Jehoshaphat found himself having to face some enemies who were coming to make war. Let's review how King Jehoshaphat handled it.

Go to God

First, in verse 3, he decided to go to God. The king knew this battle was beyond him, so he went to the source of his strength.

Remove distractions

In that same verse, he declared a fast for the entire nation. Sometimes, we need to remove distractions in our lives so that we can clearly hear from God.

Come together as a Christian family

In verse 4, the people came together to seek God's help. We cannot face the enemy alone. We need God, and we need our family to help us battle the enemy. Our Christian family is full of prayer warriors who can intercede for us in the midst of our struggles. In turn, we need to also make sure that we are available to help and pray for those who need us.

Remember the promise

In verses 5-9, King Jehoshaphat prayed to God, remembering the promises God made to Abraham and his descendants. We are also Abraham's descendants. We are also heirs to the promise, and we should never forget it. We should cry out to God when we are distressed, so He will hear and save us.

Recognize our limitations

As the king's prayer continues, in verse 12, he recognizes their human limitations. We cannot beat the enemy in our own strength. We have to turn our eyes to God.

Wait on God for direction

In verse 15, God responds. Not only does He tell the people of Judah not to fear, but He also gives them specific instructions on how to handle the situation. In 2 Chronicles 20:15, the Lord says, "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's." (NIV)

Face your enemy

God does not expect us to hide from our problems. He continues in 2 Chronicles 20:17, "You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you." (NIV)

While we may not have to fight the battle, we still have to show up.

Praise God through it all

In verse 18-28, the king and the people of Judah worshipped and praised God. They had yet to go into battle, but they still remembered to praise God in the midst of their problem. They praised Him on the way to the battle.

Upon getting to the battle site, they found that the problem had been eliminated. They praised God all the way home.

Give God the glory

As 2 Chronicles 20:29 illustrates, this battle showed every nation who God was. God uses our struggles for His glory. He brings us through not only to remind us of who He is, but also to show non-believers who He is. Let God use you in that way.

Ozeme J. Bonnette is a financial coach, speaker, and author of Get What Belongs to You: A Christian Guide to Managing Your Finances. Her focus is on increasing financial literacy among adults and youth around the U.S. She earned 3 Bachelor's degrees at Fresno State, and her MBA at UCLA's Anderson School. Her blog is http://www.povertynorriches.com. Reach her at ozeme@thechristianmoneycoach.com.

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