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Are you “upside-down”?

Current financial news frequently refers to the unfortunate situation of homeowners being “upside-down.”  When someone’s home is worth less in the current housing market than they owe to the bank, it’s a distressing situation.

Unfortunately, we can be upside-down in our spiritual lives as well. When our ability to trust God with the difficulties of life falls short of our ability to trust, we can experience insecurity and panic. Worry and fear drains our equity, and we may feel that our spiritual resources are lacking.

How do we gain spiritual equity?

In natural terms, we build equity by making regular payments on the mortgage, or by external forces raising the value of housing. The ideal scenario occurs when these forces work simultaneously.

We can build spiritual equity by affirming our trust God in the everyday circumstances of our life. Situations often arise that are beyond our strength, ability, or understanding. When we confess our trust in God, we increase the value in our spiritual account. Time spent in worry or doubt drains our account. Time spent in thanksgiving and prayer adds divine dividends and spiritual equity.

Later we look back and see that God worked in the situation. As we acknowledge his work and thank him for it, he adds supernatural dividends.  Our balance grows, sometimes in unexpected ways. When the next difficult situation comes along, we have greater resources to trust and see his hand at work.

Verifying balance sheet

Facing tough times

Over the years, life has brought us many unexpected challenges: a 9-month-old baby with pneumonia, lengthy unemployment, a daughter’s brain tumor diagnosis. As I made “trust deposits,” acknowledging God’s sovereignty and power in each situation, my spiritual equity grew over the years. When faced with my own cancer diagnosis nearly two years ago, I found I had an ample account to draw on. Doctor’s reports caused minor “withdrawals” as I dealt with bouts of worry and anxiety. But there were abundant resources to face surgery and recovery with faith, confident in the ultimate good that God would bring in my life.

What’s the bottom line?

As with our natural finances, it’s helpful to look at the statements periodically. In the daily challenges of life, is the trust account growing? Are we making the daily small deposits that gain interest and dividends for the future? When difficulties arise, is our first response panic or prayer? Do we look for advice in our favorite blog, or God’s Word?

Life is uncertain, and we never know when we’ll need resources. When we put our trust in God, the compound interest of his faithfulness will insure that we have an ample supply when we need it.