God’s favor is what makes our lives rich and fulfilling, and we want His grace toward us to flow freely and continually. Trusting in His promises moves us into a position to receive good things from Him, but fear blocks our trust as efficiently as rubber blocks electricity. Learning to rely fully on God in all areas, including in our finances, is a gradual process. God can’t be compartmentalized or squeezed into a box, and we see His favor on our finances only when we trust Him enough to allow Him access to this one last stronghold.
God knows how money can influence us, which is why He uses this to gauge our level of trust in Him. Our giving is an expression of our trust, but some Christians can be afraid to put more trust in God than in their money. Paul, the apostle of grace, devoted considerable time to teaching about the link between grace and finances. In his letters to the Corinthians, he pointed out that whatever is given cheerfully will return to the giver in the same proportion. “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6, 7).
We don’t have to be afraid that God is after our money. He has everything He needs; He wants to give to us, not take from us. Being a deliberate and intentional giver puts us in agreement with Him. When the devil tells us we’ll lose something when we give, we can believe that the opposite is true. “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back” (Luke 6:38, NLT).
An understanding of grace enables us to give regardless of whatever is going on with our finances. When God showed grace to the churches at Macedonia, not even their own poverty could stop them from giving generously (2 Corinthians 8:1-15). We don’t have to be wealthy according to the world’s standards in order to give according to Paul’s principle of proportional giving. When Jesus was watching the treasury and He saw a poor widow give all she had, He remarked on her trust (Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4).
We’re not the source of our own prosperity. Giving keeps us out of self-centeredness. Financial blessings from God aren’t linked to our own works. “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Romans 11:6).
When our hearts are willing to give, what we don’t have won’t matter. God will honor our faith and trust in Him, and His grace will show up and provide what we need to give. We won’t have to worry about not having enough left for us, because we have His promise that He’ll take care of us. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Our money can’t buy God’s favor, but our trust is the currency of the kingdom of God that allows Him to show us abundant grace.