Recession Proof (#340)
Bible version used: NIV
The economy touches everyone. When it is thriving it is an engine of remarkable strength. Most rulers in the world look upon the North American economy with envy.
What do we make of bad times? Has God abandoned us? Or have we moved too far from him? Are we simply suffering the natural consequences of reckless greed?
John Piper, a pastor in Minneapolis, reminds us that God doesn’t abandon his people in hard times. God has his own purposes—which may include:
1. To expose sin and help bring us to repentance and cleansing—a new start.
2. To wake us up to the constant and desperate condition of the developing world where poverty is a way of life with no hope for one’s children.
3. To relocate the roots of our joy in
•his grace rather than our goods
•his mercy rather than our money
•his worth rather than our wealth.
4. To advance the spread of the gospel in our world precisely at a time when human resources are least able to support it.
5. To bring his church to care for its hurting members and grow in the gift of love.
God has a plan for us in good times and bad. Recessions may hurt, but we can trust God because nothing can separate us from his love. The apostle Paul wrote to the Philippian church going through hard times:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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
Now more than ever, we need to lean on God. Here is what Jesus teaches about enduring hard times:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? . . . But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34
Texts used are from the NIV.