Summary: The bad news keeps cascading from Wall Street but we, as believers, have a solid hope during this time!
How should we respond to this recession or depression? The DOW has dropped 5500 points (from 14,000 to 8500) since October 2007 (a 40% drop) - the biggest drop in history. 13 bank failures this year (including WaMu - largest in history). Other investment banks, Like Lehman brothers have dissolved. And even more, like Merrill Lynch, have avoided those catastrophes only by selling out. AIG, the largest insurance company in the world, survived only through an 85 billion dollar government bailout. 2 largest mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have collapsed. Home values are plummeting; some areas have seen values drop over 20%. Foreclosures are at their highest level in history. Many other economic indicators are down and multiple economists, politicians and leaders are fearing and predicting a recession at best and a global depression at worst. The president and congress passed a 700 billion dollar bailout which so far has done nothing and world leaders are scrambling for answers. Note: Paul Johnson describes the Great Depression in his book A History of the American People and notes that nearly every maneuver our government has taken over the past year is identical to what they did to avoid the Great Depression - to no avail. This disaster is not an accident, but our economy is reaping what it has sowed. Hosea 8:7 - “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.” The economy is not my provider. Phil.4:19 - “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Mt.6:25-34 - “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? " And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ’What shall we eat?’ or ’What shall we drink?’ or ’What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” He is able to provide, even when there is no imaginable way. Mt.14 - Jesus feeds the 5000. Mt.15 - A few days later He feeds the 4000, even though his disciples doubted again (15:33). Personal stories: Leaving our jobs, Romania 2006, Our car. Rom.8:28 - “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” If you love Him, God will turn this situation around for your good. He will also use this situation to get our country’s and world’s attention! How bad can it get? - i.e. you won’t die!!! (James 1:2-4). Romania example. Some of the best times of my life. What should you do? Heb.13:5 - as bad as it might get, he will never leave or forsake you. Ex.14:13 - Just like Moses told Israel, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today.” Mt.25 - Be a good steward of the resources God gives you. Don’t live in debt. Rom.13:8 - “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another.” 2 Cor.9:6-8 - “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” Mal.3:10 - As we give God says, “Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” Heb.12:1-2 - Keep your eyes on Christ. Pr.3:5-6 - Trust God, not our economy or political establishment. Fittingly, that reminder is right on the money we use every day. Job.31:24-28 - "If I have put my trust in gold or said to pure gold, ’You are my security,’ if I have rejoiced over my great wealth, the fortune my hands had gained, if I have regarded the sun in its radiance or the moon moving in splendor, so that my heart was secretly enticed and my hand offered them a kiss of homage, then these also would be sins to be judged, for I would have been unfaithful to God on high. Ps.91:1-7 - “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD , "He is my refuge and my fortress, Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you." Phil.4:6-7 - Press into Him, connect with Him and you will experience a peace that surpasses understanding. Remember people around you need that right now. Ps.9:10 - Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. Don’t fear, steward your money wisely, keep your eyes on Him, Trust Him and Connect with Him and you will weather this storm.