How to deal with financial stress and restore your health from a Scriptural perspective
Our financial situation has a significant impact on many areas of our lives. Many people are not aware of the link between financial stress and health. If you are financially stressed it can negatively impact not only your personal and professional life but also your physical and mental health. Today, we are going to look at how to deal with financial stress from a spiritual perspective so that the associated physical health and mental health issues can be healed.
According to a recent American Psychological Association (APA) survey, today’s most common sources of stress are the future of our nation, money, and work. According to the APA, 77% of these people reported regularly experiencing physical symptoms caused by stress, and 73% regularly experienced psychological symptoms caused by stress.
The negative effects of a drive for perfection
We live in a culture that demands perfection. In Western society – whether in the arena of finances, education, government, sports, business, or even within the family unit– everything is judged by performance. We don’t make allowances for people’s failures because there’s a stigma that everything we do must be perfect.
This state of affairs creates a lot of stress and anxiety in people’s lives. When we internalize this stress, it starts to affect our spirit, soul, and many of our body systems. The result: we may end up with a stress disorder.
It’s important that you realize that today’s society may not make provision for failure, but God does! God says that a righteous man will fall and rise again.
“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief” (Proverbs 24:16 KJV).
Psalm 37:4 says: “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand”.
What are stress disorders?
Stress disorders or syndromes are a result of fear, anxiety, stress, guilt, and shame. The enemy causes you to lose your peace by producing fearful thoughts that affect your central nervous system.
It is well documented that chronic, untreated stress can lead to anxiety disorders, insomnia, muscle pain, high blood pressure, brain fog, fatigue, and a weakened immune system. Let’s look at how financial stress can directly contribute to some of the most common stress-related diseases and disorders: fatigue, insomnia, migraines, gastrointestinal disorders, depression, and heart disease.
One of the most common issues stemming from stress is fatigue. When your body releases stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline into your body for too long, you can begin to feel exhausted.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a stress disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that lasts for months, doesn’t go away with bed rest, and can’t be explained by any underlying medical conditions.
Doctors prescribe ways of relieving the symptoms through medication and stress-reducing activities. But the best prescription is to eliminate the spiritual root causes in your life. This may include getting your finances in order.
How to deal with financial stress related to fatigue
You need to embrace the truth that you are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. The cure to fatigue is to repent, release that drive to succeed for the wrong reasons, and realize that you have value beyond your performance or your finances. You don’t have to earn love. God is love. God will always accept you if you turn to Him.
Don’t look to yourself or others as your source of approval or success. That is very stressful and will never produce the right outcome. People may fail you, but God cannot. Trust God; He needs to be your source.
Philippians 4:13 says: “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”
Sometimes money problems can keep you up at night. An occasional restless night might not be much cause for alarm, but if you’re unable to fall asleep most nights, your stress with money may be contributing to your insomnia. Sleep deprivation may also worsen your financial problems because your job performance may suffer if you’re overly tired.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, inadequate sleep can lead to other health problems such as mood disorders, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
Chronic insomnia is brought about by a spirit of fear that projects real or imagined thoughts of fear into your future. Your hypothalamus is a part of your brain that is like the watchdog of your endocrine system. When the hypothalamus senses stress, it will not rest until the stress issue is resolved. The hypothalamus also controls sleep patterns. When it is stimulated by stress, it will not allow the body to get into a sleep rhythm.
How to deal with financial stress related to insomnia
You will not be able to sleep well until you resolve the stress issue and take your peace by trusting the Lord for the answer to your stressful financial situation. Then, the hypothalamus will stop being on continuous alert and let you go to sleep.
Psalm 4:8 says: “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.”
Migraines are a stress disorder with unexplained throbbing headaches, accompanied by nausea, vomiting, auras of light, fatigue, and mood changes. They occur when glands in the endocrine system begin to malfunction and cause lower serotonin levels and higher histamine levels.
Part of the root cause of migraines is having an internal conflict about an external conflict. The external conflict is an open door for fear, which releases the histamine. Then you may feel guilt or confusion about this conflict and how you are handling it.
Concerning finances, one thing that can bring on this internal conflict is having unsettled monetary goals, or an unclear, Biblically-based plan. You may be trying to manage it, but perhaps you haven’t submitted it to God and are trying to figure it out your own way.
How to deal with financial stress related to migraines
Doctors prescribe medication that will raise the serotonin levels and drop the histamine levels to control the migraines. We prescribe that you repent of the fear of financial failure or whatever else is tormenting you.
You can resolve your inner conflict by taking your peace in God and trusting Him as your source. Stop leaning on your own understanding and start to seek His ways continually.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
There are several gastrointestinal problems caused by fear, anxiety, and stress. Much of the malfunctioning of the gastrointestinal tract is caused by lacking peace regarding issues in your life including financial stresses. These disorders include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, and malabsorption (aka leaky gut syndrome).
Fear of failure (including financial failure) may also contribute to the effects of some of these diseases.
How to deal with financial stress related to gastrointestinal disorders
In an attempt to manage these diseases, many people become heavily involved in nutrition and supplements at a great monetary cost. This financial burden might lead to additional stress. God’s remedy is to restore you to peace and trust in Him and to remove the spirit of fear that is causing the problem in the first place.
Isaiah 26:3 says: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
The key to perfect peace without fear is to trust in God. However, in order to trust in God, we need to know what He says in His Word regarding His promises to take care of us and to help us.
Start by repenting to God for the areas in your life where you have not trusted Him and ask Him to help you learn how to trust Him again. As your relationship with God and trust is restored, your health will recover also!
Depression is a significant mental health concern that is often associated with financial stress. Money problems might lead to a sense of hopelessness or even sometimes suicidal thoughts. If you find yourself in that situation, you certainly should get immediate ministry help.
Depression is a mental health disorder that involves your thoughts, your behavior, your feelings, and your sense of well-being. People who are depressed feel consistently sad, anxious, and empty. They can also feel hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, ashamed, or restless.
Biologically, there is nothing organically wrong with the brain. However, there is a disruption in the brain’s neurotransmitters’ normal function. They fail to secrete the correct balance of three chemicals: serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
How to deal with financial stress related to depression
The root of the issue is that a person may be listening to heavy, oppressive thoughts concerning their money situation. The enemy wants them to feel hopeless and helpless so that they would rather give up than to seek God for His ways. With God, there is always a way out. He is greater than any financial problems. And, as a good, loving Father, He wants to lead you to peace and joy in Him.
Isaiah 61:3 says: To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
To avoid letting financial stressors lead to depression, don’t tie your self-worth to your net worth. Remind yourself that you are more important to God and people than the paycheck you bring home. God loves you and can guide you out of your financial problems.
Whenever I find myself in a tight place, I like to say, “Boy, this is a big problem! I can’t wait to see what God’s going to do with this!”
Fear of poverty, being trapped in a job you hate, or other financial issues that make you feel like you can’t escape can lead to heart disease. The roots of heart disease also include a projection of evil or bad things into your future. Perhaps you continuously expect something to go wrong financially or are fearful of losing control in your finances.
How to deal with financial stress related to heart disease
When you find yourself getting tense or angry when things don’t go your way, calm yourself by taking deep breaths and remembering God’s promises to prosper you as you keep his commandments.
Deuteronomy 29:9 says: “Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do.”
Choose to submit your finances to Him and to trust Him with the outcome. When you release that heavy burden, your body can be at peace again, and that extra stress will stop interfering with your heart!
1 Peter 5:7 says: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
It’s time to overcome the shame of poor financial health
Unfortunately, there is a lot of shame around money, and people don’t want to talk about it. This can make financial failure even more stressful. A large percentage of Americans are embarrassed to admit that they have credit card debt, and 43% said that they’d feel judged if family or friends found out.
The shame associated with poor financial standing can lead to withdrawal and isolation, which are often the beginning stages of serious mental illness. I want you to realize that guilt and shame are lies from the enemy that are designed to keep you from reaching out to God and others for help. If you recognize fear, guilt, or shame operating in your life, why don’t you take a minute right now to repent to Father God for listening to their lies? Submit your ways to Him so that He can begin to pull you out of this pit.
Looking back at your family history
Look back at how money was handled in your family. Is it possible that you were taught some inaccurate beliefs surrounding money and how to manage it? If that is the case, I encourage you to reach out to a trusted friend, family member, financial advisor, or pastor for help. I also recommend taking a good, Bible-based program like Crown Ministries. Learn what God says about money and line your ways up with His. When you do so, the Bible says that His blessings will come upon you and overtake you.
And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 28:2 KJV
You are not alone; we want to help you overcome
Remember, you are not alone! You have a loving Heavenly Father who is only a prayer away from helping you. We are also available at Be in Health to teach you how to overcome the things in your life that might be getting in the way of your health, wealth, and happiness.
My desire for you is that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers. (3 John 1:2 KJV)
Disclaimer: Financial stress isn’t the only root cause of most of these diseases. But for the purpose of this topic, we’ve highlighted specifically how financial stress can lead to health issues. Our For My Life Retreat dives even deeper into the specific spiritual roots of disease and provides you with the Biblical tools that you need to defeat them and to walk in health and wholeness.
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