Sunday, January 11, 2009

"Bad Economic Times" Part 2

Mike here....

as promised here is the second installment of my own thoughts on how believers are responding to our current economic times.

While the situation is very real and shouldn't be taken lightly, I'm concerned that American Christians have on some levels begun to replace their faith in God with faith in Country.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a patriotic guy. However, are we now looking to government and human leaders to make our day to day lives and even more our future "comfortable" and secure?

Lets look at Psalm 49

5 Why should I fear when evil days come,
when wicked deceivers surround me-

6 those who trust in their wealth
and boast of their great riches?

7 No man can redeem the life of another
or give to God a ransom for him-

8 the ransom for a life is costly,
no payment is ever enough-

9 that he should live on forever
and not see decay.

10 For all can see that wise men die;
the foolish and the senseless alike perish
and leave their wealth to others.

11 Their tombs will remain their houses [a] forever,
their dwellings for endless generations,
though they had [b] named lands after themselves.

12 But man, despite his riches, does not endure;
he is [c] like the beasts that perish.

13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves,
and of their followers, who approve their sayings.

14 Like sheep they are destined for the grave, [d]
and death will feed on them.
The upright will rule over them in the morning;
their forms will decay in the grave, [e]
far from their princely mansions.

15 But God will redeem my life [f] from the grave;
he will surely take me to himself.

16 Do not be overawed when a man grows rich,
when the splendor of his house increases;

17 for he will take nothing with him when he dies,
his splendor will not descend with him.

18 Though while he lived he counted himself blessed—
and men praise you when you prosper-

19 he will join the generation of his fathers,
who will never see the light of life .

20 A man who has riches without understanding
is like the beasts that perish.

I must admit, one of my own personal struggles is materialism. I'm not trying to just point the finger at others here.... I know there are 3 fingers pointing back at me.

But this scripture, as well as a host of others, make it very clear that riches in this world are worth nothing in our eternal existence.

Our current economic situation leaves us with two basic choices.

Do we focus on what we don't have and still want or do we focus on what God has blessed us with, starting with salvation through His Son's death?

The nature that we were born with, a sinful nature, would have us focus on what we have, materialism.

God's focus is on bringing His creation back to Him, whatever it takes to get our attention.

Does he have your attention?


Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,
Just a disclaimer, it's Jenn here.
You wrote:
"I'm not trying to just point the finger at others here.... I know there are 3 fingers pointing back at me."
Just my observation:
Whenever you point at others (one finger), and all the while are pointing back at yourself (three fingers) 1+3=4; ever notice where the other finger is pointing? Well, when I point, the formation of my fist looks kind of like a gun. The fifth finger (my thumb) is pointing UP! Toward Heaven! As if to remind me to pray.
No matter whom I am pointing at (what situation our economy is in, what is happening in the Middle East, or even what is going on in my own personal life) my faith in Christ allows me the luxury of prayer.
That pointing fist is a good reminder to give everything to God in prayer and accept His peace in return.
We shouldn't be shocked, surprised, ashamed or disappointed by our emotions in times of uncertainness. Not one of us is without sin or temptation, not ourselves, our families, our government officials, or our enemies. We all can be washed clean through prayer.
Everyone and every situation deserves prayer and we have the capacity to pray. When we are overwhelmed by helpless feelings the acts of prayer and worship are really the only things that we have the power to do. Pray for salvation, for our families, our economy, our nation, our world, and yes, our enemies too. Our time is short. Prayer is our commandment.
Who can fathom the power of our Father? The perfectness of the sacrifice of the Son, however, is available for anyone who will believe.
When I think about what my family's future will look like in the current economic climate I get very anxious. Only God knows what the future holds. This is not to say that we shouldn't be aware, as my significant other (Curt) often reminds us; but we should welcome and receive the gift of peace the Lord gives in these difficult times.
None of us can know what our Father has in store for us, for our country and our world. We can, though, find peace in knowing He is all powerful and provides for us if we are determined to stay within His will.
In closing I offer these scriptures, we hear them often but they are worth reading again:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:6,7
"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:17,18

the70thweek said...

Thanks for your thoughts Jenn!

I totally agree with you. I know that with the right mindset believers can really grow stronger during hard times.

I just hope we all can keep that in mind as the realities become personal.

I also appreciate the scripture, those are always good to read/remember.

Thanks for taking the time to make a comment, that is what this is all about.

Until next time.