Saturday, November 1, 2008

How to Cope with the Current Financial/Economic Crisis

This week, for my Saturday "Soapbox," I wish to share an article written by my dear, precious friend and prayer warrior Nancy Arant Williams. She is a loving, giving, Godly woman filled with wisdom, and a prolific and talented writer and editor. On her Web site, she offers several free "mini-books" that will encourage you in your Christian walk, and a few free ones especially for writers, too. When you drop in, be sure to check out her full-length books, too - you will be blessed.

Now, Nancy's article:

How to Cope With the Current Financial/Economic Crisis

by Nancy Arant Williams

Perhaps like me, you’re struggling to understand how to cope with what is becoming a cataclysmic financial bind. We’re in crisis and we need wisdom to know how to respond.

First of all, as a Christian, I can say the Bible speaks volumes on this subject, even predicting it to a certain extent. So you may be asking, does it address the issue of where to invest our money or what to do when we lose our jobs and homes?

No, it doesn’t give specific direction of that kind, but it deals with something that’s actually more important than physical needs.

How can that be, you may ask. Because time is short, and all the signs of the times are pointing to the fact that Jesus is coming soon.

And while God has always cared about the needs of human beings, our comfort and security are not His first priority. In fact, I believe He’s allowing this crisis to bring us to our knees, to find out who is truly His.

Our nation has truly been blessed. Our flourishing economy has allowed us to become wealthy and, unfortunately, greedy and selfish. As a result we’ve come to expect a certain standard of living that I believe was originally a blessing of God on our Christian nation.

At this point in time, however, we have strayed far from our Christian roots and even further from the truth of God. We have come to believe our own rhetoric—thinking that we can do no wrong, and if we do, it won’t matter, because there will be no day of reckoning.

Well, obviously, we were wrong, and our day of reckoning has come. We’ve seen it coming on the horizon, but now it’s here.

And as much as I hate to say it, I believe America and the entire world are in for a depression the likes of which the world has never known. According to Scripture the world financial collapse will have the world clamoring for a savior, a person who has economic solutions. This will invite the entrance of the Antichrist, who will make promises he won’t intend to keep, except in accord with the devil himself.

You may be upset that I have no better news to offer. Well, in the middle of this mess, there is no good news in the natural world, but in the spiritual world, where it really counts, there is amazingly good news. Jesus still saves and keeps and anoints and ministers exactly as He always has.

For unbelievers this won’t seem like good news if all they’re after is economic relief. But for Christians it is cause for incredible rejoicing, because God is in control, and He is still trustworthy.

Let me give one warning here though. If you became a Christian simply to be blessed by Jesus, as Santa Claus, perhaps after hearing a name-it, claim-it gospel, you will fall away, because from this point on it will no longer be easy to be a Christian. Christians won’t be famous or in control of great wealth or influence. True Christians will simply be sold-out servants of Jesus Christ, who want to share the love of Jesus with an angry, bitter, vengeful world. We will be, for the most part, hated, scapegoats for those who need someone to blame.

It won’t be a fun place to be. But in the middle of chaos, we as believers who are truly the Body of Christ, will join together in love and unity, to share the message of salvation with those who are teachable for the very first time in our generation. That alone is worth getting excited about!

But let me address the question uppermost in your mind. How do we as Christians deal with the loss of everything we’ve held dear in the material world? We hold it loosely and get ready to let go of it if the Lord calls us to do that. And we choose to say, “I trust you, Lord, no matter what I see with my eyes.”

Instead of trying to address these issues with our minds and problem-solving skills, we will need to choose not to lean on our own understanding or the wisdom of men. These days, we will need to seek God, knowing and resting on His Word, asking for wisdom, protection, provision, and above all, the hope and joy found only in Him.

And lest you be downcast, believing it’s time to be depressed and give up, let me say that we as believers were born for such a time as this. If we can get past the loss of material things, and major on the reason we live, we will, above all men, be most blessed, most joyful, most excited, and most hopeful. Because Jesus is the answer to every question.

Personally I’ve seen this coming for some time, and I’ve been asking the Lord to change my heart, so I don’t clutch tightly to material things only to lose my own soul in the process.

We as believers will absolutely lose jobs, homes, retirement funds and money, things we’ve always counted on. But if we really believe what we say we’ve believed, that God is faithful and trustworthy to direct our steps and meet our needs, now is the time to put feet to our faith. The truth is, nothing else will be steadfast and secure from now on. To survive, we must daily dump all our fears and cares at His feet, in faith and love, choosing to serve Him no matter what the cost. If we do that we will be like brilliant lights in the blackest of dark nights, attracting the lost like bees to honey.

Probably the hardest thing to give up will be our control and our self-sufficiency, because we will have no control, nor will we be sufficient in and of ourselves. Things will appear totally out of control; but you and I have access to all of heaven’s wisdom, glory and provision, to bless those who are desperate for something. May they be desperate for God and His message of salvation—the very reason we live.

So what’s it to be? Will we give our grief and neediness to God and be part of the solution, or will we fall away, part of the problem?

I want to be part of the soul-winning team that loves Jesus with all my heart, soul and strength. I’m asking for nations, for revival for my own heart, for our country, and the world.

Will you let your light so shine? Join me in repenting and choosing to go the narrow way.

Copyright 2008, Nancy Arant Williams. Used with permission.

Tracy here: You can count me in, Pixels. What about you?

Thanks for sharing with us, dear Nancy. May the Lord bless you for your faithfulness and service.

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