Without a doubt, the world economic recession over the last two years has taken a serious toll on the lives of individuals, families and society. While we welcome the news that the recession is now behind us, this news is more of an economist’s perspective than the real life experiences of ordinary individuals who are still without jobs, and who are living on reduced incomes and facing accumulated bills among many other issues. The people of God are not immune to the effects of economic recession and very often our physical hardships negatively impact our faith in ways that trigger dismay and depression.
When hard times come, your faith in God is a sure way to survive and overcome the most difficult circumstances. In times of trouble, we must be reminded of our self-worth and personal value, even when we lose our physical wealth and possessions.
The culture of our modern age has taught us that our personal value is dependent on the value of the things that we own; consequently, as our possessions and purchasing power decrease in value, we lose our self-worth.. The Bible however, provides us with a distinctly different view of our self-worth. Jesus said in Luke 12:15 “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” The point here is that our possessions do not define who we are. Our possessions, or desire for possessions, should not determine how we live our lives. Our belief and hope in the promises of Christ should determine how we live our lives. Eternal life and eternal wealth are the preoccupation of believers in Christ. This by far outweighs and outlasts anything we have now or will ever acquire in this physical world.
If our “life does not consist in the abundance of our earthly possessions,” then it does not matter how much or how little we have. Our worth in Christ is all that matters.
God knows that in our temporal state we need food and shelter. He assures us in Matt 6:25-34 “, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
Jesus points out in this passage that worrying doesn’t do us any good. It won’t extend our lives, put a roof over our heads or fill the cupboards with food. Jesus said rather than worrying “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Making the Kingdom of God our priority is the cure to the effects of the economic recession. Our faith in God causes us to seek Him and rely on Him for everything we need. God is able to give us all that we need. Even in the midst of a global recession, Christians can live powerfully and joyfully by placing their faith in the promises of God and His coming Kingdom.