Saturday, January 10, 2009
Do we still trust in God? giveaway list
Do we still trust in God?
It happened with such subtlety that we scarcely noticed. Americans as employees, employers, and conservative stewards bought into a financial system disguised as our future security. This system, on which so many banked now lies in a virtual heap with grave questions regarding its recovery. It has showed its vulnerability and fleeting worth. It is a stark reminder that there is only one in whom we can trust. There is no safety in anything but God alone—in every area of our lives—including our futures, our jobs, and our retirements.
Today’s economic news seems nothing but bad heaped upon bad. Sales are down. Gas prices are up. Businesses are closing. Just this week, a major hospital in my town laid off 150 workers–mostly nurses who in the past felt very secure in their line of work. While many experts staunchly avoid the R-word (recession) to describe our present time, others have skipped right over this lesser evil to say we are headed for nothing short of a Depression. The stock market looks bleak and many bemoan great losses from their investment portfolios. Retirees are rightfully concerned. Those close to retirement are frightened and discouraged and working people across the country have retreated into a depressed economic state.
Our federal bills, emblazoned with “In God We Trust,” attest so boldly a God this nation has largely forgotten in its finances. The money motto testifies of a time when our founding fathers really did rely on God. They were building a new nation from nothing and recognized the blessing of sustenance. Today, complacency has replaced conviction and pension plans have quietly but surely usurped our trust in God as Provider. The enemy works stealthily and in secret and it seems he has found some semblance of success as Americans blanch in the aftermath of a tanking financial market. Christians, in particular, should take note as what they had become convinced was secure loses hold.
With hearts open to Him, we sing, “I Surrender All.” But do we really? In times like these, the kaleidoscope turns and we are shifted to a new and uncomfortable place where we must examine whether or not we have, in fact, surrendered all.
A Litmus Test
If you have lost your job or significant investment income, compare your general feelings of security from before the loss to now. On a scale of one to ten (ten being very secure), rank how you felt when your job or investments seemed safe. What was your general outlook on your future, your retirement, and your comfort level in life? Did your paycheck or monthly statements bring a sense of peace?
Next, rank how you feel now (with one being very insecure). In the absence of a job or a large fund, do you feel slightly adrift or unsure?
A large variation between the two scales may indicate an area where God can do some repair. Being so identified with our livelihood, no matter how great or small, that we flail without the assurance of it points to modern day idol worship. God told us to have no other gods before him. Our pensions, stocks and jobs are not our assurance—He is. One who got this right was a friend who invests in various ventures and funds. When asked how he was doing in light of the economy, he replied, “I’m doing great. My money is not.” He clearly exhibited a separation from earthly wealth, that money or lack of it, would not alter who he was or his God-calling.
If it Never Comes Again
When financial markets fall, most expect that with time they will recover. Analysts tell Americans to hold tight and wait out the slide. Christian, let me ask, what if the market never recovers? If you have held a semblance of peace because retirement is still years away or you have a secure job, it could be argued that submission to God as provider is not yet complete.
Until we are prepared to give every earthly possession over to Him and still find peace, joy, and grace, without worry, through His son, Jesus Christ, we are not acknowledging Him as Jehovah-Jireh. It’s a tall order but one He gently admonishes us toward in Matthew 6:34. Jesus said not to worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Just prior to that, he tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and…all these things shall be added. He has our needs close to His heart and if we do our part, He will do His.
Many of us will struggle as we define these things that are added. God’s definition surely differs from ours. Most Americans trust in over-abundant provision when viewed in the global scope. Countless millions live with great joy and provision in what we would consider squalor. Could we, if pressed, continue to live and trust God in those conditions? Of course! Would it be comfortable? Most likely not. But He promised that our needs would be met.
If and when the financial markets recover, we, as Christians, need to reevaluate our participation in them. Beth Moore, renowned author of many bible studies once said, “There is nothing more dangerous than friendly captivity. ” Why? Because it never remains friendly. Has the nation’s financial system lulled us into trusting it over our God? In 1 Timothy 6:17 he said, “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.” His word is clear. Nothing is certain, and he makes a point to name our riches specifically. No job, no pension plan, no 401k, nor any investment will reap the return of your trust in God.
Does this mean Christians should avoid investments in our country’s financial markets altogether? Of course not. It simply casts God’s spotlight upon our hearts and questions the understanding that all treasure on earth, no matter how carefully built and stored, is temporal. We can live with or without it through our trust in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Let God work his gentle correction today and let’s return to believing, with all our being, that it is “In God We Trust.”
Betty R~Simply Southern
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