I wasn’t your typical university student who focused on hall activities, securing internships or hitting the books.
I was frequently flying, even during school weeks, to support my pastor in the mission fields to various nations. So in my university years, I learnt to trust in God’s providence.
And He was certainly faithful to provide – I didn’t see my bank balance drop for those three years despite incurring many expenses!
In my final semester in 2018, I started seeking God for my next step after graduation. I thought it would be a specific direction like always. This time, however, I heard an unexpected answer: “You get to decide”.
I hoped to continue my missions work. To accomplish that, time and financial freedom were crucial. So I explored a unique arrangement to work part-time as a creative, hoping that it would allow me to continue missions work more.
Unfortunately, that arrangement didn’t last long.
After a couple of months, my freelance work came to a halt with my client discontinuing my services. And in my part-time job, I struggled with the office environment. Circumstances didn’t allow me to continue missions work, and I was facing chronic health struggles.
As I conversed with friends, I knew this arrangement wasn’t working out. After much consideration, I felt peace to take yet another step of faith to go into full-time freelance in 2019.
That gave me the time and space to recuperate and figure out my next step.
I doubted myself and questioned if I really heard from God.
The first nine months were a trying period in contending for my health and wealth. I was making less than $700 per month and my health wasn’t improving either.
As the eldest child, I hoped to lessen my parents’ burden and plan ahead. While the money was sufficient to support myself, there wasn’t much left for other things.
I looked at my peers who took the traditional white-collar jobs and were earning a stable income. At times, I doubted myself and questioned if I really heard from God. Was I going on the right path?
It was easy to get depressed by my predicament.
It was then that I recalled my mentor’s testimony of how God delivered him from his financial struggles.
At the time, he was a young businessman who got swindled by his partner and was deep in debt. While my mentor sought a financial miracle like a windfall, God didn’t deliver in that way.
Instead, God brought him on a journey through Scripture. God showed my mentor what He promises when it comes to finances and acting upon the Word (this includes giving).
And over time, my mentor experienced his breakthrough.
God is able to make all grace abound to you.
Having heard his testimony, I was determined to seek out God’s promises and experience them in my life. One verse stood out as I studied the scriptures.
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed” (2 Corinthians 9:8, NASB)
It hit me. His Word tells me that I can be sufficient in all things. Beyond meeting my needs, I can be in a place of abundance. I can be in a place of strength to supply every good work.
However, I was nowhere near yet. How do I get there? I found my answer in the verses prior.
SOW AND REAP
“Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7, NASB)
I realised that I needed to start giving.
Money is like seeds. They have the potential to produce much harvest. As we sow (give), we trust that in due time we will reap from our investment.
So I learnt to sow by giving to different people. Even when it cost me a significant portion of my income, I trusted that each time I gave there would be a harvest to reap later on.
SETTING ASIDE MY TITHE
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” (Malachi 3:10, NASB)
When we’re running low on cash, we intuitively cut down any secondary expenditure. Some of us view our tithes as something we can save on.
However, God’s word taught me to not hold back from supporting His house. Whatever I earned each month, however much, I would set aside 10% for tithing.
I chose to trust in God as Jehovah Jireh, my Provider.
REAP THE HARVEST
While, I didn’t see an immediate turn of events, over time, more business came in. My monthly earnings started increasing.
His Word is true! I experienced the principle of sowing and reaping in my life. Even then, I was challenged to give even more. And as I yielded to God’s leading, I saw an even greater breakthrough in my finances.
Today, I’m in a place of strength to support ministry work in different countries.
When COVID-19 hit, I thank God that I heeded His voice and took this path. While some projects have slowed down, I was relatively unaffected by the economic downturn as my work was already based online.
I’m sharing this testimony to encourage everyone reading to discover His word and see His promises come through in your life. You’ll come to realise that you can never outgive God. Even in your finances, His goodness overflows.
- What does money mean to you?
- How does God define money and wealth?
- What is one practical way you can align yourself to God’s will in the area of finances?