When issues arise in our world that directly affect us and are far outside our control, our anxieties have a way of taking over. Real problems impact us. We begin to imagine absolute ruin on the path before us. And our fears about what could be ahead can debilitate us.
But as we have seen, there is a factor that we always need to add into the equation whenever we face adversity—one that supersedes the reality of our circumstances and always gives us hope. And that, of course, is the presence of God. Our heavenly Father helps us in our difficulties and weaknesses in ways beyond what we can ask or imagine. So in the last couple of weeks, we have examined these thoughts in order to fight them with the truth of God’s Word:
Of course, another thought that can shake our sense of stability and worth to the core is:
So that is the one we are dealing with next because it is discouraging when you see everything you’ve worked for vanish as events in our world unfold. It is disheartening when men and women want to work—to provide for the needs of their children and households—and they cannot do so. A person’s self-worth can take a major hit, especially when they cannot even afford the basics of life. Eventually, we can give into our frustration, anger, sadness, and sense of futility.
That is why, at this point, I would like to take a moment and encourage those who are currently fearful over the state of the economy.
Friend, if you are one of the many people who have lost a great deal during this current season and are facing terrible financial difficulties, I admonish you: don’t give up and don’t lose your faith in God. I know it is heartbreaking to be unable to take care of your family. The pressure associated with not having an income or being in danger of losing everything is immense. But God is your confidence in these troublesome times. He says:
You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its remotest parts and said to you, “You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you. Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isa. 41:9-10)
Your life is still in His hands regardless of how the economy is doing. Yes, this is a disheartening season. But you do not have to give in to despair. This is not the end for you. Things can and will change for the better, but you must hold on to your faith in the Lord. He works on behalf of those who wait for Him (Isa. 64:4).
That said, I believe we must search our hearts. We must begin by being willing to admit that as a country and as a culture, we have a problem. Part of what plagues our nation is our focus on material wealth. Because of our prosperity, we have grown self-sufficient, somewhat comfortable, and we’ve lost much of our understanding as to what is genuinely important. Sadly, many have come to believe that if we wish to be someone significant in this world, there are critical items we should own and levels of wealth and notoriety we should attain. Many have also come to the devastating conclusion that God is not really that necessary. As a result, we rely on money as our source of worth and security rather than our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Yet God’s Word is clear: “He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like the green leaf” (Prov. 11:28). In fact, Psalm 62:10-12 teaches us, “If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them. Once God has spoken; twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God; and lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord, for You recompense a man according to his work.”
Friend, our value comes from our relationship with the Savior—not our investment portfolios, bank accounts, salaries, or what we own. Those things will fade away and fail us. Only intimacy with the Father gives us true worth or security (see Heb. 13:5).
You may be tempted to think this: “The economy is failing. I am going to be left with nothing.”
Fight that thought with the truth:
“You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth.” —Deuteronomy 8:18
“Be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” —Joshua 1:7-8
O fear the Lord, you His saints; for to those who fear Him there is no want. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; but they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing. —Psalm 34:9-10
When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand. I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread. —Psalm 37:24-25
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving and pay your vows to the Most High; call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me. —Psalm 50:14-15
The Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in You! —Psalm 84:11-12
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones. Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine. My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord or loathe His reproof, for whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. —Proverbs 3:7-12
Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert. —Isaiah 43:18-19
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance. Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live. —Isaiah 55:2-3
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. The Lord God is my strength. —Habakkuk 3:17–19
My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:19
Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. —1 Peter 5:6-7
Next week, we will look at this fear: “I have no future. I’m trapped.”