Sunday, March 09, 2008

Recession!

There's a fearful word being used by all the news sources with great zeal....it's the "R" word....RECESSION!

Chicken Little has returned shouting, "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!" The media is making sure that no one listening to their monologues gets away without a healthy dose of fear. They are so good at their fatal forecasts that many are looking up just to see if the sky really is falling. I'm not advocating that their concerns are not valid, but what I want to address is how we respond to the temptation to fear difficult times.

Just for fun let me contrast some of the things being said in the media with a few words of encouragement-

-"Friday's employment report strongly suggests that an official recession has arrived," wrote David Rosenberg, North American economist for Merrill, in a note this week entitled "Recession a reality."

-"Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?'…. for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” –Jesus

-"There are people out there, amazingly enough, who say that we have not yet had any hard evidence to support the U.S. is in recession, I mean, hello? I think we've had more than enough evidence," said Jeremy Batstone-Carr, head of private client research at Charles Stanley.

-“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” -Paul

-“The U.S. economy is heading for a recession in 2008, according to a poll conducted on behalf of CPA firm Rothstein Kass by Russ Prince, a leading authority on private wealth. Over 61% of hedge fund industry principals surveyed indicated that a recession in 2008 is a “very likely” scenario.”
-Hedge Funds Anticipate Recession in 2008 Yahoo Finance

-“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Paul

-“Over the past half century, every U.S. housing downturn as sharp as the current one has translated into a U.S. recession. U.S. house prices are falling at an annual rate of nearly 4% — an event not seen since the Great Depression — and the downward trend is accelerating. The credit crunch that has emerged since late July is a clear signal of a move closer to recession. Tighter credit conditions mean that the drag on the U.S. economy will soon spread beyond the housing sector to affect consumption and investment decisions.”
-Recession 2008?
Wall Street Journal

-“Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.” -Habakkuk

These are indeed difficult times....times of war, worry, financial distress, change.....there are real reasons to be tempted to fear. Our challenge, as Christians, is to not let the "winds" of fear take our eyes off of the Lord and his promise of care. Throughout the bible God uses the prophets to remind us of how he has taken care of his children in the past...how he provided water in the desert for 2 million escaping slaves, how he fed them with manna in the wilderness, how he met their needs as they trusted him.

Difficult times may be coming this year and it will give us great opportunity to trust the Lord and see him care for us. The God who created the worlds can care for our needs in the midst of difficult days. Trust him to do what he has done many times in the past....trust him as Habakkuk did when he said,

“Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.”


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Although, Jesus and Paul probably didnt have their life savings in a falling stock market either. just kidding, well...kind of.

Thanks for your reminder though of where our focus should be.

Hope your feeling better.

lu said...

Mike,

Thanks for reminding us of these important truths.

I absolutely love the versus about how He cares for the birds ... how much more he cares for us.

I have bird feeders outside my kitchen and home office windows as a visual reminder of this truth. When my husband lost his job after 9/11, I stopped filling the bird feeders because the expense was something I felt was unnecessary at the time. My husband asked why I didn't refill the feeders and I told him we really needed to cut back. He pointed out he knew the feeders gave me great joy / peace and he knew they were my visual reminder of God's promise to care for us. He promptly went out and bought more bird seed and has kept them full since then.

I also remember, however, there are believers who suffer hard times and who do not have enough food to eat or safe shelter. That is when I remember the verse you mentioned that says "And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." What we ultimately MUST have is Christ! Our heavenly Father gives that to us. Eternally, that is all we need.

Cheri said...

Thanks for writing this post. I hope lots and lots of people get a chance to read it.