Tax season! Ugh! Need I say more? Well, I’ll say just a little more.
Recently, I had taken all of our required tax documents to the local tax professionals to have our income taxes calculated and prepared. I went in hopeful and optimistic but I left confused and, I must admit, more than a little upset.
Outwardly I maintained self-control but inwardly I wanted to cry. As a matter of fact, I did cry a little when I got back into my automobile. When I contacted my husband to let him know the results, he was very disappointed as well.
You see, my husband and I had finally managed to build our savings back up after buying a house with 15 acres a year ago. We were hoping to be able to start some needed home repairs and improvement projects soon.
Well, with the results of the income tax calculations we found that we owed all of the money we had saved. Imagine our shock and disappointment.
I spent the rest of the day feeling a little sick to my stomach and letdown. My husband was angry and depressed.
I had a decision to make. Was I going to allow the loss of our savings to determine my joy? Was I going to be bitter and angry at the government? Was I going to put my trust in money or in God? After much prayer and with a lot of help from the Holy Spirit, I chose to put my trust in God.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
The tax incident happened on a Thursday. Friday morning I made the decision that I was not going to allow the loss of money to determine my behavior or my joy.
Money is not my God! God is my God! He is able to provide me with more money if I need it. He is my source and my provider. He meets all my needs!
Because I moved my focus from money to God, I went from being angry about losing all of our savings to being thankful that we had the money to pay our taxes.
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
As soon as I made the decision to trust God, to keep my eyes focused on Him, and to be thankful instead of resentful, my joy returned.
Psalm 107:22 Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of His works with songs of joy.
That Saturday, my husband and I went to the tax professional to ask a lot of questions and to sign papers. While there, mistakes were discovered and we ended up owing about a tenth of what was originally projected.
Wow! Talk about rejoicing! My husband and I were so relieved.
I was reminded of an incident in the bible where God asked Abraham to offer his son Isaac to Him as a sacrifice. Abraham must have been confused by God’s request but He willingly agreed to do what God had asked him to do. As Abraham was just about to kill Isaac on the altar of sacrifice, God intervened and said, “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God because you have not withheld from Me your son, your only son.” [Genesis 22:1-19]
It was a test! God was testing Abraham’s heart. God wanted to know that He was Abraham’s number one. Abraham passed the test!
That’s when I realized that the whole tax mishap was a test. God was testing my heart. God wanted to know if my trust was in Him or in money? He wanted to know if I would willingly offer my savings on the altar of sacrifice? He wanted to know if I would still trust Him if He took away what He had given me? God wanted to know if He was my number one.
What is God asking you to be willing to sacrifice to show your love and devotion to Him? Time, money, food, entertainment, friends? It may not be something negative. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son; the son that God had promised him and had given him. Are you willing to sacrifice your ministry, gifts, and talents; things that God has given you?
God wants to be your number one. Is He your number one?
Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.