(Part two in the Raising Financial Support series from Tim Parlier. Read part three here.)
When dealing with financial support raising, there’s an arguably the more painful position: denial.
Despair: Although similar to denial, this response emotionally could be called the “low-denial” where all you can see is what God ISN’T doing. Despair tends to take shape in feelings of abandonment, rejection, loneliness, and hopelessness. The one in despair says internally, “It’ll never get any better.” Despair can be a crushing feeling that makes you not even want to get out of bed and face the day. Although I’d argue this is healthier than living in denial because at least you’re actually feeling the pain of these emotions, it’s still rooted in a lie about God.
The root of despair is unbelief in God’s ability to provide in a meaningful way. Sure, you have a theology of provision but functionally your God is beginning to be your own hard work or lack thereof, and your god (you) is failing to get you what you need. When you’re in deep despair this looks like total hopelessness in your own ability and in God’s ability to change your circumstances. The lie about God we’ve bought into when we’re in despair is that “God is inept, and although He’d love to help you, He just can’t get it done.“ Or possibly you’ve turned the dark corner into a full blown “God doesn’t want to help me and He’s abandoned me.”
If you’re living in despair about your funding, you have an amazing opportunity for growth. It’s time to repent (change your God) and believe the Gospel.
Here is a prayer I’ve prayed, and I hope this can help you articulate some things going on in your heart and emotions that are driving your actions:
Father, I’ve believed the lie that you are absent from my life and my finances. I’ve believed the lie that you’re inept and unable to provide for me when I most need it. I’ve even begun to believe that maybe you don’t want to help me. Functionally I’ve begun to lose trust in you, in people, and in myself. I’ve begun beating myself up about my inability to get things done and without realizing it my entire thought life is focused around me. Deep down I believe I deserve better from you and that you have been unfair to me. I realize these are lies, and I repent of believing these lies about you. I turn to you, Jesus, the author and the perfector of my faith to finish the good work you began in me. I turn to you and you alone, God, as the source of my life and ministry. Help me, Spirit, to believe the truth about your care for me as a Good Father. Help me, Spirit, to walk in faith regardless of circumstances and trust in your plans and provision for me.
Thank you, Jesus, for calling me and sending me into the harvest, your harvest. Thank you that I’m not an accident and that you’ve prepared these good works for me to walk in before the foundations of the earth. Help me to believe in you and not my efforts or circumstances. Retore my hope in you and your ongoing work in my life, specifically in my funding. Help me to walk out my repentance in faith as I ask financial partners to join my team. I need finances, Father, and I ask you’d move in people’s hearts to want to join in your work that you’re doing in and through me. Thank you that my hope is in your work and your promises and you’re a good Dad who keeps His promises.
Ephesians 1:11 (NLT): “Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.”
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