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73% of Americans rank their finances as the number 1 stress in life, according to new Capital One CreditWise survey

Stress is the feeling of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental or emotional pressure.

  • And I would like to add to this definition that stress is NOT JUST unable to cope with mental or emotional pressure, but also unable to cope with physical, societal, relational and the financial pressures of life

Financial Stress: The Psychological impact of not having sufficient finances/resources to meet your basic needs.

Welcome to this fallen world!  We are not living in the Garden of Eden any longer!  Our sin cursed world has brought upon humankind various and multiple stressors that we will face throughout our lifetime. And our stress is a normal, natural and expected part of life, which comes to us in many ways!  External factors like calamity, disaster, and even certain sickness and diseases most times are not self induced. They are part of what we have to deal with in this fallen world.  Some of the internal/self-induced factors that could/do bring about stress would be poor or even wrong choices  regarding relationships, finances, or even health decisions.



  • There are internal and external causes of financial stress and/or poverty found in the New Testament.
    • Internal Causes
      • Laziness and/or moral foolishness:
        • 2 Thess. 3:11 – For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.
        • Luke 15:11-24 – The Parable of the Prodigal Son
      • Old age or illness (life in a fallen world!):
        • 1 Timothy 5:3-4 – Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.
    • External Causes 
      • Oppression:
        • James 5:1-4 – where the rich kept back the wages of the laborers.
      • Disasters/calamities and/or droughts:
        • Luke 15:8-9 – Parable of the lost coin
        • Lk. 15:4-7 – Parable of the lost sheep
          • Understand that if livestock were stricken or crops are destroyed they had to wait till mating or growing season in order to work toward restoration of money/finances.
        • Also, in the Old Testament we see multiple places of disasters (Job 1-2).
  • This is not an exhaustive list, but I wanted to make it known that within Scripture we see some of the categories that impact personal finances. In the big picture of the Old Testament, when the Israelites experienced economic hardship, we see that they struggled on many levels and that, many times, they blamed God (outside of Job). It is good to know that when these difficulties, these stressors came upon them, God was using those stressors and challenges to get them to refocus on Him and bring them back into a right relationship with Himself.



  • What kind of financial stresses exist?
    • According to some studies, here are the top financial stressors, in no particular order: Housing cost (mortgage or rent), lack of stable income, educational expenses, desire for a nicer lifestyle, not having money in case there is an emergency, not being able to retire, and debt. This list is not exhaustive because there are other factors like foolishness with money, family issues, medical/health issues and the list can go on!
  • At this point, one should take the time and assess the root cause and decide if it is something that you or your spouse (if married) caused this financial stress or if it was an outside source, something circumstantial.
  • There might have to be some new learned behaviors that will help you to not go down those destructive paths again.It is okay to struggle with personal finances at times throughout life! We see that God uses these times to call us back to Himself and strengthen us. The goal is to just have this financial stress just be a period of time (a season of time in your life) and not have it become a life sentence!  For that to happen, the root cause of the financial stress needs to be known. If it is you (and your spouse if you are married) causing the financial challenges, then there will have to be a cessation of those actions/behaviors immediately. If you do not know how or what to do to change your direction if this is a self-imposed financial issue, seek out some counsel (a pastor, a mentor, a professional counselor).
  • If your financial stress is an external cause, that is more difficult to change and adjust, for the most part. There may be some mitigating action that can be done to adjust/change things for the future, but that may take a careful eye on it, most likely with much prayer and counseling. It may have to be a stark change/adjustment in your life or lifestyle to get moving in the right direction.  The key is there is a need to find out what the root cause is (specifically what the problem is) and then work toward the “why” of the problem, if that can be found.

To get this discussion down to a personal and practical level, if there are financial issues, struggles, challenges in your life and/or your marriage, the first step that needs to take place is:



  • After one learns or uncovers the root cause, for the believer in Christ, it would be very good for the individual or couple to take this to the Lord. Most likely there needs to be a spiritual “fix” before there is a financial “fix” in one’s life and/or marriage! For this change to really take place, you will need the invitational involvement of God, His Word and the Holy Spirit in your life! Change, real change stems from God and His Word actively working in your life, and that is what would have to take place for forward progress to come to pass in your financial stresses.
  • Not only will the Lord need to be involved, there may be a need for a professional counselor to help you with moving forward with some new learned behaviors (of course all based in and around the Word of God). A Pastor or Church leader that can and will take time to hold you accountable and also give guidance and advice. Solid biblical accountability, for some, can be a key factor for the individual or couple to get them out of their self-induced financial mess and moving in directions that are honoring to God and aligned with His Word.
  • For real change to take place:
    • Ask God to show you the root of the stress/issue.
    • Take ownership [your part] of the problem.
    • Confess your failure in this before the Lord (and your spouse if married).
    • Seek forgiveness from the Lord (and your spouse if married).
    • Repent from these ways.
    • Commit to memorizing what the Word of God says about money and stewardship.
    • Commit to reading/listening to what other Godly experts are teaching about money and Biblical stewardship.
    • Commit to putting into practice in your life (and marriage if married) those things that you read and learn in the Word of God and from other Biblical Stewardship authors, bloggers and podcasts.
    • If need be, and you are not getting traction, seek out an accountability partner or professional counselor to assist you in moving in the right direction.
    • Set certain financial goals together with your spouse.
    • Celebrate small victories!
    • PRAY.



  • As you go through this process, there is one very good biblical truth to remember (and even memorize).
    • And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19, NIV84)
      • Here we see that God promises to meet your basic needs, and during financial stressful times, this is one truth that you ought to hold tight to, memorize and pray back to God daily.
    • As you do this, part of your new learned behavior may be discerning what is truly a ‘need’ from what is actually a ‘want’. This is key for forward progress in your finances and to be able to reduce your financial stress.
  • As you process and put into practice this biblical truth of contentment, it would be very beneficial for you, and if you are married, your spouse also to remember this:
    • All struggles are ordained by God to sanctify you to be more like Christ.
      • James 1:2-4: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
  • There is a choice to learn through these struggles. You can fight it or submit to it. God has a reason for your struggle, and it is best to choose joy in light of the trial because of the knowledge that God is working on me and my spouse!
  • It may seem that during this financial stressful time that everything seems to be out of your control. It is most likely because God is working in and through you to grow you in your trust and faith in Him! And, when you are out of control, usually, HE is in control, working to bring about His purpose in you through these light and momentary trials.
  • For more, see episode 10 on ‘Trusting in God’s Provisions’.



  • This is where the “rubber meets the road” in reducing your financial stress. Your process will need to include: 
    • Establishing a budget (or refreshing your budget). See episodes 16 & 17 for more.
      • Get real with following your budget, not just talk about it! You may need to, for a season of time, keep receipts and keep track of every dollar spent! Setting up and following a budget will be a game changer for you. As you set up and move forward with a budget, consider getting an accountability partner or couple to hold you to what you have put together on paper!
    • For some that need to reduce your financial stress would be to immediately get a second job. Remember that this additional income may only be for a season, and it should greatly assist in reducing the financial stress, as long as you stay true to your budget and even your debt elimination plan if you needed to put one into action.
    • Another essential thing may be the need to sell some items to dig yourself out of the financially stressful hole that you are in. This may be a radical move, as I have seen some do, where they sell almost anything that is not nailed down or sitting in one place.
    • It is okay to ask for help! You don’t know what you don’t know!  Seek out a professional in your area of challenge or difficulty! Your movement forward will happen better, faster and with a clearer picture when you bring in those that know what to do and how to do it! Your help may also be in the shape of a biblical counselor to assist you in some behavioral changes. This is very important if you come to a conclusion that your financial struggles and stress have been self-induced, so a professional counselor to assist you in some behavioral changes may just be in order.



As we wrap up, we would like to share with you some key verses that we have found to be helpful when going through those financially stressful times. These are good verses of reminder, encouragement and faith building during these challenging days.

Matthew 6:31-32 – Nothing to worry about

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.”

Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Matthew 7: 9-11 – God is the giver of good gifts

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Philippians 4:19 – God supplies all our needs

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

2 Corinthians 9:8 – Abounding in every good work

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”


With these verses, they are talking about NEEDS, not WANTS! Our heavenly provider, our God promises to provide for and take care of His children and provide all that they NEED according to HIS RICHES.

Consider taking action today in moving forward to reduce or eliminate your financial stress in your home!



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