Unemployment is over 9%. Gas is over $4 and the value of our homes dropped again. No wonder people are concerned about their future and the future of their children. Some are even getting angry. How will we cope?
A recent Newsweek/Daily Beast poll shows a majority of Americans surveyed are losing their optimism that the economy will soon turn around. The report says, "three-quarters of our respondents think the country is on the wrong track. A majority say the anxiety wrought by this recession has caused relationship problems and sleep deficiency. Two-thirds even report being angry at God."
People blame the wealthy, government, big corporations and President Obama for the stagnant economy. These are the usual suspects in a bad economy. With an election year approaching we will see the president take more heat for the problem. If the economic figures do not improve Obama could see himself as a one term leader. No president in modern memory has won a second term with unemployment this high. Jimmy Carter lost the 1980 election to Ronald Reagan largely because Americans felt they were worse off financially because of his leadership.
I have to go back to that period thirty years ago to remember a time that was as bad or worse than what we are currently experiencing. America did pull out of that nose dive and go on to experience a period of unprecedented wealth. It is that period that came to a crash three years ago with the near collapse of the financial and housing markets and the subsequent impact on the world economy.
Most Americans under the age of forty do not remember a period of crisis like we now have. They lack a perspective to view today's problems. I see this in conversations with young adults who have real concerns about their future. Many truly understand the future is in their hands–they cannot rely on the government. Hence the anger of many.
What I find most disturbing is the dwindling confidence among many that we can work our way out of this mess, stabilize and experience further growth. When people lose confidence in themselves or their institutions you have a systemic problem that does not go away overnight. Confidence is another word for faith and faith is a spiritual concept rooted firmly in God. Blame God or get angry at Him and you make a big mistake. God is not responsible for America's economic problems. We are responsible as nation and until we accept the duty to change our ways and get back to a fiscal, moral and spiritual path that works we will not see nor come to the solution.
Through the prophet Ezekiel God challenges today's ill-placed anger toward Him. 'Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is not fair." Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies". (Ezekiel:18:25-26 Yet ye say, The way of the LORD is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?  When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. )
I make no predictions about how long or how bad this current economic problem will last. But don't blame God and don't lose faith and confidence. Follow the sound fiscal laws laid down in the Bible when it comes to your personal finances. Get out of debt and stay out of debt. Live within your income. Honor God with your money by giving to Him what He claims is His, a tithe of what you earn. (Proverbs:3:9Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:)
Our paper money has always carried the inscription, "In God we trust". Don't lose your trust in Him. God is our sure source of confidence.
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