Posted August 9, 2011
Personal and national fears, anxiety and anger skyrocketed over the past few weeks as American politicians fell to verbal blows.
The National Debt Clock in New York City as seen on August 8, 2011. This digital billboard displays the increasing US debt.Source: Jesse Kuczynski
What's the source of this conflict? Whether to extend U.S. debt limits, cut spending and raise taxes. A Congressional compromise was barely reached in time, but many still fear that we're slipping back into global recession. The numbers of joblessness and debt are so large that they disorient our senses. How does this make you feel? Is the tottering economy keeping you up at night? Millions are having their share of sleepless times, but you don't need to join them.
Experts agree that the past decade of mind-numbing bust and boom, greed and fiscal gluttony has left consumers and investors alike with all-time record low levels of trust. Until trust levels rise and confidence begins to return, the threat of a double-dip recession remains. Given this, what are we supposed to do? Perhaps surprisingly, we all have our roles—even you right now can play a surprisingly positive part.
What can you do? Turn to God
For thousands of years, the answer to this question has lain before us. Even though the numbers are all-but-unimaginable, large-scale crisis of political and financial origin are scarcely new. Humans from every walk of life have faced deep crises before, and they will face them again.
Any crisis or challenge—even ones as global as we see today—generally includes some element of consequence. Many challenges or crises are largely self-inflicted. Clearly much of the global crisis that engulfed the planet over the past few years was the direct result of unchecked greed. Too many people tried to get rich at the expense of others, and the system failed.
The Bible, which chronicles human behavior according to the standards of a living God, shows time and time again that God allows trials to befall us to get our attention. If viewed properly, trials teach us wisdom and fashion within us precious godly character. They teach us to seek God, depend on Him for strength and answers, change to match His ways, and to be grateful for the many blessings that we receive. When we do this, we don't have to worry about the economy, whether local or global.
The apostle Paul—a man of God who had his own share of trials and challenges—urges us to turn our lives completely over to God, to offer ourselves totally and humbly as "living sacrifices" (Romans 12:1, New International Version). In doing so, we can find out what God's divine will is for this planet and for ourselves (verse 2).
And once we find out what God's will is for us, if we change and align ourselves with that powerful and loving will, we have nothing to fear . The Bible teaches and experience confirms that people who are yielded fully to God's will and have set themselves in motion to do it—these people experience a level of emotional and mental serenity that defies description. This active and living commitment produces a literal peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7).
Trust in God is the antidote for worry
For those worried about the economy, worried about their jobs or worried about what they may wear or eat, Jesus offered specific advice. As He told his followers—which includes us today—"Do not worry about your life" (Luke 12:22). He magnified this by reminding us of our limited power: "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing , why do you worry about the rest?" (verses 25-26, emphasis added). Adding an hour of our individual lives is a big thing for humans. In fact, it's impossible! But for an all-powerful God, it's a "very little thing."
The point? If we're aligned with God's will and seeking to do it, God will take care of us. Concerning the physical things of this life, Jesus tells us that God the Father "knows that you need them" (verse 30). If our priorities are straight, then we have nothing to fear. As Jesus concluded in this passage: "But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well" (verse 31).
Are you still worried about the economy? Lots of people are. But if we are seeking the means to be of service, of learning of and then furthering God's will, we have unbreakable spiritual promises to rely on. You don't have to worry about the economy. As Paul instructs us today, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (Philippians 4:6, NIV).
If we do this properly, even in the midst of global financial uncertainty and turmoil, we have this mighty promise: "My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). So stop worrying and start yielding to a God who loves you and cares for you!
Want to know more about how to seek and learn what God's will is for you? Request or download the free booklets, What is Your Destiny? and Transforming Your Life: The Process of Conversion . Both are free to you without obligation, and the return on your investment of time will surprise you.