How To Use A Season Of Poverty To Build Muscles For Wealth
Have you ever endured a terrible financial season only to wonder what possible good could be extracted from it? If used wisely and correctly, a season of poverty can teach you fantastic wealth lessons you might otherwise miss. You can use these lessons to profit—and I mean HUGELY PROFIT—financially and spiritually in your future.
Yes, the very financial issue that is so difficult in the present can be the circumstance that leads you to godly wealth. Unimaginable, I know. The truth of this is staggering.
I want to help you squeeze and extract the last ounce, the last drop of profit, from your season of poverty.
Wait—did I call your poverty “a season”? Yes.
When it comes to poverty, the biggest mistake we could make is deciding it’s permanent.
Poverty is a season, maybe a long season, certainly a cold, dark, unbearably frustrating season, but poverty does NOT need to be adopted by you as a permanent state.
I think of poverty as winter. Dark and bare, with no financial nourishment coming in. It’s a huge mistake to set the ” poor ” status into stone, like cement.
Whether you started out poor or were roughly thrown into a poor state by some hideous circumstance, DO NOT CEMENT IT. Put the cement away. Put it away in your mind, your hand, your plan, and your prayer. Spring is in the air. And summer’s coming.
Stay clear-headed about the timelines: temporary, not permanent—so you can get down to the important business of building your financial muscles.
I have worked with a personal trainer for many years. It is incredible how many muscles I have to exercise to consider it a complete workout. I can’t just stand there lifting a few free weights. No, I also have to build biceps, triceps, quads, abs, glutes, hamstrings, and back muscles. And when the hour is almost up, and I think I can’t take it anymore, my trainer says, oh no, we still have to work the shoulder muscles.
Well, money is like that, too. It requires muscle-building in a lot of different areas.
The Bad News
Guess what would happen if I stopped working out? I would lose muscle mass. I would lose strength. Muscles would shrivel up. Strength would yield to weakness. More would become less. As you build money muscles, you’ll have to stick with it. You won’t have to be perfect, but you must keep “working out.”
The Good News (actually, Great News!)
- Muscles have memory. It’s a fact that once you build muscle, it retains memory of what you did, making it easier and easier to make the right moves again. It’s the same with financial muscles.
- Muscles make you strong. Some people are afraid to be strong because they think God will make them suffer. We live in an imperfect world, among imperfect people, and with imperfect results. But when your muscles are strong, you don’t feel the pain. After I had started working out for a while, my cousin came to visit. I reached into the trunk of her car and quickly lifted her big piece of luggage right out of there! It was effortless for me. When you are strong, you can do heavy financial lifting and won’t even feel it.
- Wealthy Christians use financial muscles to attract, grow, retain, protect, and distribute godly wealth. What some think is luck is no more than financial muscle.
Money Muscle Worksheet for your Financial Gym
The muscle of Generosity. These are deep tissue muscles that connect with so many parts of our being. I remember when I hurt my knee, and the physical therapist explained that to be free of knee pain, I’d have to build many muscles around my knee. Giving while you’re poor quickly builds generosity muscles.
The muscle of Obedience. This muscle grows when we live in the truth that God owns all. Trusting Him, obeying Him, and learning to manage money God’s way, not ours.
The muscle of Surrender. Doing without is an experience that hurts at the time, but surrender is the most precious muscle of all. This is the power muscle that taps you into the blessing of the Lord your God. When you lay your financial burden at His feet, you suddenly have access to all the true riches, wisdom, support, resources, and provision you need. When you bow low before Him in reverent prayer and submission, He will be with you. You’ll experience a peace far surpassing human understanding, even before you experience financial victory.
The muscle of Patience. Postponing gratification builds this vital muscle. The wealthy do it all the time. They wait for the right timing to make a deal. They withhold immediate gratification to get the best conditions for whatever wealth activity they perform. After developing this valuable financial muscle, you will be so much stronger to have and hold God’s wealth. One day, you may even thank God for that season of financial suffering just for producing the gift of this one financial muscle alone.
The muscle of Efficiency. Being frugal and efficient is not just for people experiencing poverty. It’s how the rich extract the widest blessings from any wealth. Imagine how you will use this one day!
The muscle of Discipline. That’s to be sure-footed, to let your yes be yes and your no be no. Imagine the powerful stance of one everyone can trust because their word is sure.
The muscle of Ingenuity. To be found creatively coping instead of moping about your present lack. Ingenuity is a giant muscle that helps you live a fantastic life. If you build this muscle while in poverty, imagine what you can do with it when a season of affluence comes! Imagine using ingenuity to grow a business or ministry. To serve a community or an enterprise. This is one of my favorite muscles, which I admire in highly accomplished people. A season of poverty is the perfect time to build it.
The muscle of Faith. It is trusting what you cannot see because you have placed the Lord your God in charge of your life.
The muscle of Resilience. This muscle is heavy and of inestimable value to weather the storms of life. Living in Florida, I associate this muscle with putting hurricane shutters on your house. When the winds come, some trees may come down, but ultimately, your house stands.
The muscle of Hope. At some point, your situation may have been dire. Maybe there were no visible possibilities to get out of your bind. But God did. Hope is a muscle. Since muscle has memory, the muscle of hope will let you enjoy your life. You won’t be caught up thinking the little things are big. Your eyes will always seek the way out of a problem, trusting the Lord to open a way.
The muscle of Worth. As you passed through a season of poverty, you had nothing visible on the outside with which to garner favor. Yet the LORD reached out to you and brought you through your circumstance. You may have been invisible to others, but God saw you in your plight. Your future did not depend on the fleeting attention of any human being but on God. You finally understood your true and eternal worth to the Lord your God.
Even if you had once been wealthy before your predicament of poverty, without the Lord, your future was hopeless—though you didn’t know it.
Since you do know Him, trust Him, depend on Him, and have surrendered to Him, your future looks bright–though you cannot yet see it.
What You’ll Know After Your Season Of Poverty
- You’ll know how to live on less, even after you have more
- You’ll know God can change your circumstances
- You’ll be able to comfort and encourage others with truth and authentic testimony, not in untested platitudes.
- You’ll have purged yourself of sin during your time of need. You’ll have fully repented, needing His rescue.
- You’ll know your unique financial weaknesses.
- You’ll have genuine compassion and an affinity for those who are presently poor because you were once one of them. You are just like them. You are them. They are you.
- You’ll have a safety valve on wealth. Poverty is humbling. But pride is wealth’s #1 risk. Humility is a safety valve for your money.
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I’m sending you love, prayer, and excitement for your future.