Maraming Filipino daw ang sobrang honest sa work, educated and qualified, good in communication skills, very religious pero bakit marami pa rin ang nanatiling mahihirap. Hindi ito ang nais ng Diyos sa atin. He wanted us to have the best.

Jesus said: “…My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” – John 10:10 NLV

Having a rich and satisfying life is the ‘purpose’ of God in our lives.  And in Deuteronomy 8:18 NLT, God said: “He is the one who gives you power to be successful...” You see that the purpose of God is for us to enjoy life to the fullest, but at the same time He also gave us the power to be successful.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

But let us now look to some of the causes of poverty to many Christians today.

#1 God’s punishment brings poverty

Sapagka’t hindi ka naglingkod sa Panginoon mong Dios na may kagalakan, at may kasayahan ng puso, dahil sa kasaganaan ng lahat ng mga bagay: Kaya’t maglilingkod ka sa iyong mga kaaway na susuguin ng Panginoon laban sa iyo, na may gutom, at uhaw, at kahubaran, at sa kakulangan ng lahat ng mga bagay: at lalagyan ka niya ng isang pamatok na bakal sa iyong leeg hanggang sa maibuwal ka niya. -Deutoronomy 28:47-48

Kaya ayaw ng Lord na half-hearted tayo pag naglilingkod. Dapat taos sa puso ang mga bagay na ginagawa para sa Kanya. Dapat may full obedience in His word and commands. Ganyan ang ginawa ng Diyos marahil sa handog na ginawa ni Cain. His [Abel] brother Cain brought “some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord” (Genesis 4:3). Pero ang handog ni Cain ay hindi kinasiyahan ng Diyos. Bagamat hindi sinabi ng Bible kung bakit pero marami ang nagaakala na walang pananampalataya at kagalakan si Cain sa kanyang ginawa, and therefore, he did not find favor from God.

“You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. -Haggai 1:9

He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey it.” (Luke 11:28). The Wise King Solomon said: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).”

Marami mga Kristyano ang nanatili sa kahirapan because they forget God who gave them the power and the ability to gain wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18) “But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth…” But people forget God as soon as they have earned or got something. Deutoronomy 28:47-48 Sapagka’t hindi ka naglingkod sa Panginoon mong Dios na may kagalakan, at may kasayahan ng puso, dahil sa kasaganaan ng lahat ng mga bagay…Kaya minsan ang kasaganaan or prosperity hindi laging maganda ang outcome. Minsan ‘test’ din sa atin yan ng Lord. Are you faithful to God?

God is challenging us: ”  “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.” -Malachi 3

Deuteronomy 28: 1

Blessings for Obedience

28 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:

You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.

The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.

You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. 11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.

12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. 14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.

Curses for Disobedience

15 However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you:

16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country.

17 Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed.

18 The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

19 You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.

20 The Lord will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him.[a] 21 The Lord will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess. 22 The Lord will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. 23 The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. 24 The Lord will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed.

25 The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth. 26 Your carcasses will be food for all the birds and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away. 27 The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. 28 The Lord will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind. 29 At midday you will grope about like a blind person in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you.

30 You will be pledged to be married to a woman, but another will take her and rape her. You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit. 31 Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will eat none of it. Your donkey will be forcibly taken from you and will not be returned. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will rescue them. 32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand. 33 A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce, and you will have nothing but cruel oppression all your days. 34 The sights you see will drive you mad. 35 The Lord will afflict your knees and legs with painful boils that cannot be cured, spreading from the soles of your feet to the top of your head.

36 The Lord will drive you and the king you set over you to a nation unknown to you or your ancestors. There you will worship other gods, gods of wood and stone. 37 You will become a thing of horror, a byword and an object of ridicule among all the peoples where the Lord will drive you.

38 You will sow much seed in the field but you will harvest little, because locusts will devour it. 39 You will plant vineyards and cultivate them but you will not drink the wine or gather the grapes, because worms will eat them. 40 You will have olive trees throughout your country but you will not use the oil, because the olives will drop off. 41 You will have sons and daughters but you will not keep them, because they will go into captivity. 42 Swarms of locusts will take over all your trees and the crops of your land.

43 The foreigners who reside among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. 44 They will lend to you, but you will not lend to them. They will be the head, but you will be the tail.

45 All these curses will come on you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you. 46 They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever. 47 Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, 48 therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the Lord sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.

49 The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young. 51 They will devour the young of your livestock and the crops of your land until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine or olive oil, nor any calves of your herds or lambs of your flocks until you are ruined. 52 They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the Lord your God is giving you.

53 Because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you. 54 Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children, 55 and he will not give to one of them any of the flesh of his children that he is eating. It will be all he has left because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of all your cities. 56 The most gentle and sensitive woman among you—so sensitive and gentle that she would not venture to touch the ground with the sole of her foot—will begrudge the husband she loves and her own son or daughter 57 the afterbirth from her womb and the children she bears. For in her dire need she intends to eat them secretly because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of your cities.

58 If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the Lord your God— 59 the Lord will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses. 60 He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will cling to you. 61 The Lord will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed. 62 You who were as numerous as the stars in the sky will be left but few in number, because you did not obey the Lord your God. 63 Just as it pleased the Lord to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you. You will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess.

64 Then the Lord will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods—gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your ancestors have known. 65 Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the Lord will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. 66 You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life. 67 In the morning you will say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening, “If only it were morning!”—because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see. 68 The Lord will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again. There you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.

There are also poverty which were given by God in order for His people to return to Him.

“I gave you empty stomachs in every city  and lack of bread in every town,
    yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord.  –Amos 4:6

Yon pala ang gusto ng Diyos. Minsan ang Lord na din pala ang nagpapadala ng kahirapan at kagutom, ngunit ang kelangan pala ay bumalik tayo sa Kanya.

For you always have the poor with you…Mark 26:11 NLT

God declared that the poor will always be around for a specific purpose by God. In Deuteronomy 15:11 “For the poor will never cease to be in the land…” The reason maybe is because God wants to bless that person to get out of poverty, so that God’s glory is revealed and His name is praised.

#2 Katamaran or Laziness

Kaunting tulog, bahagyang idlip, sandaling pahinga at paghalukipkip, samantalang namamahinga ka ang kahirapa’y darating na parang armadong magnanakaw upang kunin ang lahat ng iyong kailangan. –Kawikaan 6:10-11 Magandang Balita Biblia

Maraming mga tao ang sobrang tamad pero palike-like lang sa mga magagandang quotes sa social media ngunit hindi naman marunong magbanat  ng buto, gusto palagi pahingi-hingi lang.

Ang daming opportunities but because of laziness and lack of vision, the Bible said: “My people is perish because of lack of vision.”

#3 Pagiging Maluho o Malayaw

Ang taong maluho at mahilig sa alak ay di yayaman,
    bagkus sa hirap siya’y masasadlak. – Mga Kawikaan 21:17

“Those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty” (Proverbs 28:19) Maraming tao, mas naniniwala pa sa sugal kesa magsikap para makaahon sa kahirapan. They chase fantasies and being hallucinated of having so much or having an ‘instant’ millionaire mentality. Kaya malakas sa atin ang mga lotto or sweepstakes. Ang iba may mga inaalagaan pang numero baka tatama. Some people live like as if they are super-rich kahit hindi naman. These people are chasing fantasies that will lead them to being poor.

Heavy drinkers and others who live only for pleasure will lose all they have. -Proverbs 21:17 CEV

Maganda sa tao iyong hindi maluho ang pamumuhay. Ok sana kung kaya mong i-sustain ang ganyang lifestyle; paano kung hindi? Ang kelangan ay maging simple lang ang buhayand always spend within budget: live below your means. Wag masyadong bumili ng sobrang mahal na mga gamit dahil lang kelangan ipagyabang. Most of the items and commodities nowadays have a higher price than the same quality simply because of the brand – meron silang higher price perception: the more expensive, the more quality. Pero hindi iyan totoo sa maraming items. Some of them are even produced by the same manufacturers but differs only on labelling na lang.

#4 Katigasan ng Ulo or Kawalang ng Disiplina 

Kahihiyan ang kasasadlakan ng hindi nakikinig sa saway,
    ngunit ang tumatanggap ng payo ay mag-aani ng karangalan. Mga Kawikaan 13:18

Maraming mahihirap nanatiling mahirap dahil ayaw makinig sa mga good financial advise, dahil gusto palagi bigtime agad. Ang daming opportunities na pwedeng pagkakitaan pero pinapalampas dahil sa kakulangan ng kaalaman. Ayaw naman mag-aral or mag self-study or mamasukan muna sa negosyong gusto nila similan pero ayaw, dahil mahirap daw.

It is worth mentioning the words of the billionaire, Jack Ma

The worst people to serve are the Poor people. Give them free, they think it’s a trap. Tell them it’s a small investment, they’ll say can’t earn much. Tell them to come in big, they’ll say no money. Tell them try new things, they’ll say no experience. Tell them it’s traditional business, they’ll say hard to do. Tell them it’s a new business model, they’ll say it’s MLM. Tell them to run a shop, they’ll say no freedom. Tell them run new business, they’ll say no expertise. They do have some things in common:

They love to ask google, listen to friends who are as hopeless as them, they think more than a university professor and do less than a blind man.

Just ask them, what can they do. They won’t be able to answer you.  Their Whole Life is About Waiting….

Gustong yumaman pero ayaw maturuan. Sira ang ngipin, pero magagalit sa dentist pag nasabihan. Walang pera, pero magagalit sa mga nagtuturo ng Laws of Prosperity dahil eto ay pagkuha ng kanilang kinikita. Most people are poor because they knowledge and lack of discipline.

Yan mga taong walang ambisyon, it can also brings poverty.

Ang mabuting pagbabalak ay pinapakinabangan,
    ngunit ang dalus-dalos na paggawa’y walang kahihinatnan. – Mga Kawikaan 21:5

Kelangan sa tao na magkaroon din ng mataas na hangarin at mapaganda ang kanyang buhay. Kaya nga hindi porke’t mayaman ang magulang, e makakasiguro ka na magiging mayaman ang mga anak. Minsan hindi yan totoo.

All dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. -Walt Disney

#5 Becoming a Guarantor to someone’s debt can bring poverty

Don’t guarantee to pay someone else’s debt. If you don’t have the money, you might [even] lose your bed. – Proverbs 22:26-27 CEV

Maraming mga tao ang naghirap dahil sa pagiging guarantor sa utang  ng kaibigan or kamag-anak. Kung alam mo na wala kang pagkukunan ng ibabayad, wag kang mangangako na ikaw ang magbabayad. Ang sabi ng Bible na baka pati ang iyong higaan ay kuhanin pa sa iyo.

#6 Debt brings poverty

This story will show you what the kingdom of heaven is like: One day a king decided to call in his officials and ask them to give an account of what they owed him. As he was doing this, one official was brought in who owed him fifty million silver coins.  But he didn’t have any money to pay what he owed. The king ordered him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all he owned, in order to pay the debt. – Matthew 18:23-25

I know some success stories who borrowed money to put up a business. Pero kung ang pangungutang naman ay para lang sa pagpapa sosyal, pagyayabang,  wag ugaliing mangutang dahil ito ay magdadala ng kahirapan sa buhay. Kahit na: “buy now, pay later” pa yan…you are still liable to pay later and most of the time, may patong na interest yan, pag di mo nabayaran may penalties pa yan. So you’re paying the principal amount + interest + penalties. Debt brings poverty kase yung original amount na inutang mo, nagkakaanak pa yan pag di mo nabayaran.

#7 Being greedy or selfish can bring poverty

May isang tao na nabigyan ng opportunity na makapasok sa isang malaking hotel kahit no read, no write pa siya. Wala siyang interview dahil malakas ang backer nya. Pero ang ginawa nya, araw-araw, ninanakaw niya ang magagandang kutsara at tinidor sa kusina. Kalaunan, nalugi na ang hotel, bumagsak ang negosyo, nawalan na din siya ng trabaho. Greedy people can cause so much trouble.

Sometimes you can become rich
by being generous
    or poor by being greedy. -Proverbs 11:24 CEV

Tama ang sabi: “what you give you gain, what you keep you lose.”

There is the one who [generously] scatters [abroad], and yet increases all the more;
And there is the one who withholds what is justly due, but it results only in want and poverty. Proverbs 11:24 AMP

Then in Luke 6:38: “If you give to others, you will be given a full amount in return. It will be packed down, shaken together, and spilling over into your lap. The way you treat others is the way you will be treated.” Pag nagtanim ka, mag-aani ka. Whatever you sow, you reap. Magtanim ka ng mabuti, mag-aani ka rin ng mabuti.

Don’t be selfish and eager to get rich— you will end up worse off than you can imagine. -Proverbs 28:22

Kaya minsan maraming mayayaman ang hindi na rin na-enjoy ang mga kayamanan nila kase naging gahaman sa salapi, naging madamot at yung iba naman ay nanakawan lang or nautangan lang ng hindi na din naman nabayaran. Kaya yung naimpok nila, ay napunta sa wala. Ang ending, mahirap pa din sila. So, do not be selfish and eager to get rich. There is more to life than to have loads of money and you forget the better things: family life, friendships and laughters. Minsan dahil wala ka ng kaibigan, kaaway mo na din ang iyong mga kapatid, you’re not happy. You are empty because there is nobody to share your wealth. You know that there is an unexplainable or indescribable feeling when you give. Kaya maraming philantrophists who donate vast amount of their wealth to the society. It feels better to give than to receive.

#8 Neglect of God’s work can bring poverty

You expected much, but received only a little. And when you brought it home, I made that little disappear. Why have I done this? It’s because you hurry off to build your own houses, while my temple is still in ruins. -Haggai 1:9

May mga taong ayaw magbigay sa simbahan pero ang bahay nila ay punong puno ng kagamitan na halos wala ng paglagyan. Pero pagdating sa offering, lalabas para hindi makapagbigay. This is poverty mentality and God hates it. But God assures that when you give and become faithful to His kingdom and ministries, He will open doors of opportunity for you.

Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! -Malachi 3:10

#9 Oppression brings poverty

The Midianites took almost everything that belonged to the Israelites, and the Israelites begged the Lord for help. -Judge 6:6

because they cheated the poor
    and took their homes. -Job 20:19

Kaya minsan maraming hindi makapag negosyo sa Pilipinas in a legitimate way because hindi ka pa nagsisimula, ang dami ng mga nangongotong sa iyo. Yung iba naman, gusto magsimula ng piggery or manukan sa bundok, pero may mga tulisan na kikikilan sila na magbigay kung hindi pagbabantaan sila. Oppression brings poverty. Kaya ang iba, nag nenegosyo ng patago at illegal kase pag lumaban ka naman ng parehas, hindi ka aasenso dahil sa oppression ng government by imposing too much regulations which are too burdensome. Kaya hindi na encourage ang mga SME (Small and Medium Enterprises).

#10 Misfortune brings poverty

Minsan naman may mga paghihirap na dala talaga ng kamalasan. Minsan ang iba ay nasa ‘right time, right place’ lang. Nagkataon andun sila kaya dumating ang swerte ng buhay.

I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time. -Ecclesiastes 9:11 NLT

Minsan naman din ay pinayagan ng Diyos, kagaya sa buhay ni Job naging miserable ang buhay ngunit panandalian lamang, dahil ibinalik ng Diyos kay Job ng doble ang lahat ng mga nawala sa kanya. But the bottome line is that, some people are unfortunate to be poor.

There are things we cannot change because they are brought by God or natural calamities and disasters. But if our poverty is caused by these other elements above that we can do something, let us change our habits so we can enjoy life as designed by God. Magbago para mas maging maganda ang takbo ng buhay.

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