Do You Feel Like You’re on a Financial Rollercoaster?

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Does it seem like every time your financial situation begins to improve, something happens to send you right back where you started?

Picture a timeline representing the past thirty to forty years of your life. It isn’t a straight line but rises and falls, careens forward and drops suddenly the way a rollercoaster would. The peaks represent seasons of breakthrough while the troughs represent periods of lack or loss.

Many Christians experience this up-and-down cycle in their financial lives and fear they are doomed to repeat it forever. When we think that way, we don’t expect to win long term. We actually expect to lose our hard-won gains through mistakes, circumstance, sabotage, and betrayal.

Followers of Jesus often feel like there’s a “ceiling” in their financial lives, and they can never quite penetrate it.

Does this sound familiar?

Is It a Curse or Something Else?

Some spiritual teachers identify this rise-and-fall pattern as a generational curse. In fact, whole ministries claim they alone know how to break this kind of spiritual curse and recommend heavy prayer, fasting, and systematic confessions and declarations to nullify the curse and set yourself free.

I understand spiritual curses are real and effective, and I also understand there are few substitutes for prayer, fasting, and systematic declarations. But with all due respect to those ministries that specialize in breaking curses, I take issue with the premise that curses are somehow more powerful than sanctification through the cross of Christ.

Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,

So a curse without cause does not alight. (Prov. 26:2 NASB)

As followers of Jesus, we can believe lies that impact how we deal with money and other matters. We can reach across the line of Jesus’ blood and adopt patterns, ideas, cycles, and ways of thinking that aren’t biblical or profitable. But in my opinion, actual “cursing” can threaten only the unbeliever.

As the Bible says, in order for a curse to be effective, it must attach to those who have not yet confessed faith in Jesus Christ. No curse can be stronger than the sacred blood and sacrifice of the cross.

Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. (John 19:30)

Why, then, do so many Christians suffer from financial cycles? I believe the answer is found in a failure of capacity.

The High Places

Returning to the rollercoaster-timeline idea, take a look at the peaks in your financial past.

Breakthrough, victory, success—it doesn’t matter what we name these seasons; they are all good seasons brought about by the grace and mercy of God.

When something good comes to us, it comes from the Lord. No other source of good exists in the world. Even when good comes through the hand of another human, God alone is the One who makes good happen. Consequently, every rise in our finances can be seen as a gift from Him—no matter how big or small it is, He is the source.

When good happens, this lifts you closer to a peak in your timeline.

At familiar levels there’s little risk of failure. You’ve passed those levels before and already mastered them. But if the good is large enough to lift you all the way up onto a peak, that’s when the test of wealth is activated.

The Low Places

Troughs are times of lack or loss—seasons of financial difficulty. We are certainly tested in these seasons! But the trough is not the test of wealth. Rather, it’s the test of lack.

In the low places, we cry out for help. We look to our Father in heaven, asking Him for protection, provision, and identity. We tell Him our needs and fast, pray, wait, rest.

But while we’re doing these things, we don’t lose hope—instead, we remember it’s only a matter of time until God delivers. He has before, and He will again. With God, rescue is never if He will but when He will. God is a deliverer by definition.

When good things begin to flow to us once more, we recognize this is the hand of God. He is blessing us. This time as we start up the incline, our demonstration of capacity needs to be different. We’ll find ourselves repeating the same cycles until we learn how to carry what God has given us.

The Test of Wealth

Capacity can be defined as the ability to carry well the good things God gives us. This is a great challenge—in fact, it is the test of wealth.

At the peaks, we have opportunities and choices—things that require a simple devotion to Christ and the ability to say no.

A sage once said that knowledge adds something to your life every day, but wisdom removes something every day. Wisdom includes the ability to say no to certain choices. That’s the key to passing the test of wealth.

Growing in capacity is your assignment as a Prosperous Soul. When you pass the test of wealth at a peak, you demonstrate faithfulness with what God has given you. If you’re found faithful, He may reward your faithfulness with another good.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. (Heb. 11:6)

The answer to capacity is being faithful to carry whatever God gives us. If we’re faithful, we may be promoted, and that is where our timeline becomes a staircase rising from glory to glory. This is the kingdom economy in action—moving ever higher.

Each new peak becomes a test of wealth. When we pass the test, we demonstrate faithfulness and qualify for God’s reward or increase. Capacity is how we break the glass ceiling of old patterns.

One Final Thought

As we learn capacity, our attention needs to remain on faithfulness, not on what we might gain.

We aren’t entitled to increase—we just need to be faithful with whatever God may bring. Leave the gains and promotions to Him and His wise judgment, because stewardship with money demands faithfulness or, as 1 Corinthians 4:2 says, trustworthiness:

In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.

 God bless your Prosperous Soul.

To read more about money and finding freedom for your soul, check out the following articles:

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Lauren Stinton