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How to Have Financial Joy

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“My whole life, I've always had that desire to help people, you know? Knowing within myself that I was a blessing to somebody, that is a blessing to me.”

In 2014, Esteban Ocasio’s wife was unfaithful and ended their marriage of twenty-six years. Esteban was left with $25,000 in credit card debt his wife had racked up, in addition to paying court costs and spousal support.  

"I had a $15,000 lump sum payment that I had to make to her. I wound up losing what I felt was like everything. It was a very, very challenging time for me, not just emotionally. It just hit me from every angle you can think of. It was like, 'Lord where are You in all of this?”’

It wasn’t the first time he’d been in financial trouble. Twice before, Esteban lost his job when the companies he worked for folded. Each time, Esteban’s reaction wasn’t panic but peace, a peace he attributed to his faith. “I knew God was going to see me through this. I just did whatever I could. So, I was, you know, sometimes working three or four jobs, part time jobs just to make ends meet. Tithing through everything; that is one thing I’ve never stopped doing.”

So, when his divorce left him struggling to pay his bills, Esteban was frustrated. Then, as he dove into God’s word for comfort, he noticed something, “Tithing to me was out of a sense of obligation. It was almost like I was living off of a checklist, you know, I’m going to church, check; I’m tithing, check. As I started getting into His Word and trying to draw near to God, I came to realize that Christ isn't looking for us to follow Him out of obligation. He wants us to love Him, to appreciate what He did for us on the cross.”

As Esteban continued giving with a changed heart, God gave him favor with the credit card lenders. They agreed to eliminate the interest charges, cutting his debt in half so that Esteban was able to pay it all off in two years! Since that time, Esteban has doubled his tithe to twenty percent for the sheer joy of it.

“I think I'm kind of selfish because I love that feeling of being able to help somebody else. So, when I give, I get that joy knowing that I was able to help somebody in need.”

Today, Esteban lives comfortably as a semi-retired subcontractor and enjoys the freedom to do what he loves, like spending time with his grandson and sharing the financial lessons he’s learned with others.

“I like to encourage people to give, to tithe, so they can experience the true freedom that Christ has for them. If you just rely on Christ, rely on God, He will supply.”

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Cheryl Wilcox Headshot

Cheryl Wilcox, Coordinating Producer, The 700 Club. I hail from a Jesus loving SoCal surf family 🏄🏻‍♀️. I’m the mother of two brilliant, business owning daughters. My heroes are the Great Emancipators and Corrie Ten Boom 🇳🇱. I scull 🚣🏻‍♀️ for life balance, (it’s a little easier than surfing) and I’m passionate about organic food 🥗 and gardening. Since 1989, I’ve produced feature stories 🎬 for CBN. In my free time I enjoy reading about the lives of Saints – like Julian of Norwich🇬🇧. I’m baptized Anglican. Christ is King! 💫

About The Author

Amy Reid

Amy Reid has been a Features Producer with the Christian Broadcasting Network since 2003 and has a Master’s in Journalism from Regent University. When she’s not working on a story she’s passionate about, she loves to cook, garden, read and travel.