Friends, greetings in Jesus Name! Today I will be sharing with you on what I title, "Giving in Times of Adversity". In times of adversity, financial pressure and economic crisis, one of the toughest things to do is to give. The natural tendency at this time, is to reduce all giving to the barest minimum or stop completely. The wisdom of the world at this period demands that you should close your ears to the "cries for help" of those around you. Why? Giving them might reduce the ration available to you. Even as Christians, the biblical verse that says, "Give and it shall be given unto you" (Luke 6:38), no longer holds any weight in the hearts of some believers. Why? Everyone at this time wants to grab and not release. Even the corporate organizations as well are not spared. It's at this period that they cut down drastically all marketing and promotion budgets that they initially earmarked. Some go as far as laying off valuable staff in response to the impending doom.
Well, I have good news for you. Even in times of lack, if God says release and give, you must obey. One thing I have realized about God is that, He won't ask you to give when He's not ready to surpass what you have given. May I announce to you that, you cannot out give God. It is true that the concept of giving has been so abused by many, especially by some so-called ministers of the gospel. It becomes imperative to know that one of the errors in giving are the ones done without being led. Please, do not get it wrong here. Really, one does not have to be led by the Spirit in order to give a helping hand to his brother who is falling. Wisdom demands that you support the brother in whatever capacity you can at such moment. But it is also expedient to know when the Holy Spirit is nudging you not to give. I have come across beggars on the street while driving, and I was moved to give out money, but I heard a voice saying, "Do not release that money". Immediately, I put my money back into my pocket.
Now, God wants us to be obedient children when the call to give is genuinely from Him. This call to “give” may be God speaking directly to you, or through someone else, say a friend, pastor, tv program, or a book. The bottom line is, you cannot go unrewarded when you heed the call to give at such moment. That reminds us of the widow of Zarephath. When Prophet Elijah met her, she was gathering some few sticks to make her last meal in the house. The heat of famine at that time was causing many to lose heart, just as it's happening in many parts of the world today. Therefore, doing good by giving anything to someone was forbidden by many at that time. Why? Everyone wants to survive during famine. So, the word "give" does not exist. Now, Elijah said to the woman, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” Ah, the woman replied: “As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”
And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. In today's world, if people hear a man of God saying this to a poor widow, they will curse him, and brand him as a wicked man. But that was God speaking through him. The funny part of this story is that, Elijah asked the woman to first, make the meal for him, before herself and her son. She obeyed! The result of her obedience – led to living in God’s bountiful blessings, abundance, laughter, satisfaction, and lacking in nothing – throughout the season of famine (1 Kings 17:1-16). Yes, it may be difficult to give when you have little. But remember, “In famine you shall be satisfied (Psalm 37:19); and in “famine you shall laugh” (Job 5:22). This is possible when we live in obedience to God’s voice like the widow of Zarephath. I pray we become more sensitive to the needs of others around us, and know when the Lord is leading us to give at such moment. Have a fantastic week. With love, Elvis!