With our economy in what is being called the worst recession in over 35 years, and perhaps since the Great Depression, it is expected that people are going to start asking questions. One thing on the minds of many people is how their faith relates to this economic downturn.
Whether from newspapers, office conversations, coffee-shop talk, blogs or Twitter, it seems everywhere you turn there is someone who is wondering how they are going to provide for their family. The Christian community seems to be no more immune to this attitude than anyone else. But should that be the case?
Perhaps the difficulty with this has to do with the lifestyles that we have become accustomed to. It seems that Americans have gotten “soft” in a number of ways. We seem to believe that, because we live in America, we have the right to a comfortable life, a single-family home, a new car, family vacations, etc.
Not even the Declaration of Independence guarantees these things. It says we have the right to life (though we pass laws to allow the pre-mature termination of life with abortion), liberty (which as we move toward a socialist political structure we lose more and more of) and the pursuit of happiness. This does not say that we have the right to be happy, but rather to pursue happiness.
Our society has become so inundated with the idea of instant gratification and over-the-top lifestyles, that Americans are beginning to get a bit too comfortable with the luxuries that we have been blessed with. Need we be reminded of Job 1:21?
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised.”
Have we forgotten that the blessings we have are a gift and not a right? God is not obligated to make us comfortable and make our lives easy. We are not His pets that He is responsible for keeping safe and warm and cozy.
God said He would take care of our needs. But, today we seem to get more and more confused at where the line is drawn between “want” and “need.” The media helps to foster this “have to have it and have it now” mentality. Instant credit. No money down. Buy now, pay later. No interest for 90 days or 1 year or until 20xx.
At some point, those of us who believe have to learn to truly trust the God is faithful and will keep His promises.
Of course, this is easy for me to say as I have been blessed with a great, stable job and a very good income. So I am not in the same position as many of the people who have been adversely affected by the economy. But, the truth is the truth, though when in certain circumstances it is hard to remember.
Maybe that’s why I felt the need to write this. Maybe, since I’m not in that situation, I am able to see this truth more clearly. My guess is, if I were in the same situation as many of the people who are losing their jobs, I would not be able to see this truth and would not be able to trust that God will keep His promise.
In any event, if you happen to be one of the people who is being affected financially, please prayerfully ask yourself what your actual needs are and focus on how God is meeting those needs. Yes, you may lose your job, your car, your house. You may have to sell your big-screen TV, cancel your cable or cell phone.
Or, maybe you don’t have a TV, drive a seven year old car, don’t have cable or a cell phone and you’re getting hit with this. God is still going to be faithful. To truly understand that, we have to look for what is truly necessary and see that He is meeting that need.
I’m not saying it will be easy. It certainly won’t be fun. But, God will carry you through if you trust Him to keep His promise.
If you are struggling, my prayer is that you would lean on Him and let Him carry you. Pray with thankfulness and expectation that God will be faithful and He will provide. The hard part is that it’s not always obvious how or what He is providing for you. But whatever it is, it will be exactly what you need.
Grace, love and peace.