GIVING IN LACK - THE WEAPON OF GENEROSITY
Although generosity should be our lifestyle in want and in plenty, in times of financial hardship it isn’t the natural inclination of the heart. Anxiety and fear attacks us from all sides, tempting us to hoard. We fear that if we give to others, we won't have enough for ourselves. But in our seasons of lack, our answer is not to hole up in a defensive tower; the answer is to fight. One weapon in our arsenal is generosity.
Truth is found in God’s Word, not in our glaring circumstances or dire situations. And truth states we will reap bountifully if we sow bountifully (2 Corinthians 9:6). Long ago, I learned the principle of sowing what you need. This extends far beyond money. If you desire a good friend, be one. If you want mercy, extend it. Keep in mind that while reaping what you sow is a kingdom principle, God looks at the motives of the heart. He is looking for a heart that gives out of love, for without love we are nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2.) Generosity touches the heart of God, and touching His heart is the cry of mine.
There is power in pouring out during times of great personal need, in giving out of lack versus out of plenty. My husband and I learned this principle through trials. In 1993, while living in California, someone was paying our mortgage, a hospital was supplying formula for our premature twins and friends were buying us groceries. Though disheartened and despite our fears, we searched for creative ways to help others in need. For instance, I would periodically go through our young sons’ clothing to give away what no longer fit or was needed. We offered our home for birthday parties and hosted friends’ out-of-town guests. We learned something in this process.
Giving from lack demonstrates faith in a God who promises to supply all our needs. It says, “Though I am in need, I can be generous because I believe God to be. I can’t out-give God. I live from His economy, not this world’s.” Psalm 34:10 promises, “Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”
Giving as a key to breakthrough is a well-defined Biblical principle. A simple word study of “give” and “generous” leads to dozens of scriptures clarifying this truth. And our personal breakthrough was nothing shy of miraculous.
The first miracle happened when we brought our premature twins home from their two-week stay in the hospital. Because of severe toxemia, I had an emergency C-section five weeks early. Due to several complications, eight doctors attended my delivery. Afterwards, my sons spent two weeks in Neo-natal ICU. Even with insurance we owed twenty percent. Our portion was $23,000.
The bill had to be settled the day we brought the twins home. My husband, Richard, prayed as he walked to the billing counter. “What do I say, Lord? Please give me favor.”
After giving his name and telling the receptionist he was there to discuss our bill, she stated, “Your bill has been paid in full, sir.” Richard thanked her and walked away. To this day we don’t know how our our bill was paid, but we do know by Whom it was paid. One of the names of God is Jehovah Jireh, my provider. And He manifested Himself as such on our behalf.
But this was only the beginning. During this time period, we acquired an unlisted home phone number due to prank calls. A couple weeks later, the phone rang. A man’s voice on the other end asked for Richard, requesting he fly to Texas for a job interview. When Richard asked how the man got our unlisted number and work credentials he responded, “From your headhunter." Richard didn't have a headhunter.
We kept this minor detail to ourselves, and Richard flew to Texas. He was hired on the car ride between the airport and the company office. An added blessing was, though this start-up company was based in Texas, we were allowed to stay in California.
This began a whirlwind of events. Within two years Richard was making more monthly than many make in a year. We would literally laugh when his paychecks arrived. In addition to our tithe, we were able to bless many people and support a couple of ministries.
Did this happen because we poured out during hardship? Can our “works” earn us a blessing? Make no mistake, it is by grace we are saved and by grace we receive gifts from a holy God. He can and will do extravagant things on our behalf—often when we have done absolutely nothing to deserve it. Yet it is a facet of God’s character to honor His word and promises, to abide by the very principles He has established. And one of those principles is the law of sowing and reaping.
God looks at the heart and knows its secrets. I believe it thrills Him to bless the hearts of those who hope in Him, no matter their circumstances. During the last thirteen years of personal drought, our family has lived off the savings of our previous blessing. Today we find ourselves struggling once again. Yet in God’s economy, we know mourning turns to dancing, ashes to beauty, and life springs forth from something once dead.
Many, like us, are suffering hard times. But take heart! With God not only some things, but all things are possible to him who believes (Matthew 19:26.) It only takes one day for all things to become new. One day! He is the God of the suddenly, and in Him there is always a hope and a future.
How can we contend for breakthrough during financial trials? A generous spirit is one place to start.
“The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.” ~ Proverbs 11:25
(All scripture taken from the New King James Version.)