When our application for chapter 13 was approved, it was against all the odds. Everyone told us it would never happen because our debt was not big enough, but by the grace of Yehovah, what people said would happen did not come through.
What did we do to make it come through? We trusted Yehovah and prayed. We did not hear anything from Him about it; we just knew that there would be only two ways out of this. Our application would be approved, or we would become slaves to debt for the rest of our lives. We were terrified at times, worried, and anxious while we waited for our application to be approved. But instead of dwelling on what could happen, we decided to trust Yehovah and pray hard. So every time we felt worried, we prayed, and it helped.
At the same time, we had started taking Shabbat seriously. The Bible says Shabbat is a covenant sign between Yehovah and us. Did this have anything to do with us being approved? The Bible says when He sees our hearts and sees our honesty, He rewards us and continues to guide us towards righteousness. So according to the Bible, the answer is yes. We did not have everything together at the time, we did not understand it all, but we had a willing heart to obey the Bible and not the traditions of men.
One of the things I saw in the Bible is the commandment for men to wear tzitzit. In addition to celebrating Shabbat and trying to understand the Torah, I started wearing tzitzit, and we bought our first mezuzah.
We did not have everything figured out, but we took what we understood and obeyed it. We realized we needed to celebrate Shabbat, that I, as a man, need to wear tzitzit, and we had to have a mezuzah. I do not know what you are going through right now in your life, but I encourage you to start somewhere even though you dont understand it all. Start with celebrating Shabbat even though you right now can’t see how you could possibly afford food tomorrow. If you are a man, buy tzitzit and a mezuzah. Yehovah will see your obedience, and He will reward it the way He did for us.
When we first started making payments on our chapter 13 agreement, it felt very liberating and empowering. For a long time, other people had garnished our wages and taken money from us to pay our debt. Now we had the liberty to decide when to make the payments and the responsibility to make them on time. We had both decided that we would not do anything to jeopardize this so that we would be debt-free within 3-4 years from now.
Being blessed with this opportunity to slowly but surely make our way out of debt was fantastic. For the first time, we had hope that we would soon be released from the consequences of our sins. But then things started getting difficult for us, and it was not even our fault.
This ministry is not something my wife and I do full time; we have a regular 9-5 job that pays our bills. Suddenly and without warning, our paychecks started getting really messed up by the payroll office, making a lot of mistakes. To try to correct them, they made other mistakes, all threatening our newfound hope to become soon debt-free.
As a part of chapter 13, we had been given a budget we had to stick to. Our budget was founded upon the estimated monthly income. If something happened to our monthly wages, we would not be able to make a budget that month, and not be able to make the agreed installments every month. If we did not make the agreed monthly payments on our debt, our creditors would cancel our chapter 13, and we would be slaves to debt for the rest of our lives.
When the payroll office at our work started making all these mistakes with our monthly paychecks, it became a genuine possibility we would not be able to make budget and the monthly installments. We had acquired this debt because of our own sin, but now someone else sins threatened our hope of ever becoming debt-free. So how did we handle this? What did we do?
Next week we will see how the Torah and our faith in the cross have worked in our lives for our benefit.
Before we close for this week, I want to give you a piece of advice based on what I have been through. Yehovah is faithful, but He has never promised you a rose garden. He has never promised you to remove every trouble and mountain in your life. He has guaranteed to be with you, to comfort you, guide you, provide for you IF you are faithful to Him in your Torah obedience. He does not expect you never to be afraid and never have fear, but when fear comes, He expects you to pray and trust Him and show Him that you trust Him by being consistently obedient to the Torah.
I do not know your situation and how you got into debt. But I do know this, if you will focus on the Torah and not on your debt, Yehovah will do the rest. How do I know this? From experience.
Until next week Yehovah bless you