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Economic Uncertainty

November 26th, 2012

Economic Uncertainty

Government is not the solution to economic uncertainty; God is.

“I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances.” Philippians 4:11 NAS

Economic uncertainty seems the rule and not the exception presently. Each day’s news is filled with more bad news than good as it pertains to finances, whether on the global, national, local, or personal levels. Everyone suggests a different solution; no one solution seems effective. While political parties exonerate themselves while caustically blaming one another, the economic problems stubbornly grow more ugly and personal, and individual families suffer the consequence. Unemployment is not a percentage; it’s people. Our nation, like many other nations, faces economic challenges bigger than borrowing and spending can solve. See Proverbs 22:7 NIV. Nationally, this is not the first time, maybe not even the worst. Ask your grandparents or great grandparents.

Individually is a good place to begin, rather than nationally or internationally. I would first suggest that government is not the problem; you and I are – our incessant wants, insatiable appetites for more, sense of entitlement, and unrealistic expectation all that will be at another’s expense. The origin of the current economic uncertainty is first moral and spiritual, only then financial. As citizens, we have allowed the government to tax unfairly, spend unwisely, borrow indiscriminately, and grant government favors at public expense. But we are the government, by means of duly elected and appointed leaders. In the closing words of his Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln vowed, “. . that Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” 1863. Of, by, and for the people remains the guiding principle upon which any government governs.

Likewise, the government is not the solution; God is. The problem of resolving personal economic uncertainty begins with each individual. The Bible’s counsel is this: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:6-9 NASV.

No one in today’s increasingly secular, materialistic society can avoid financial anxiety or be naturally content. Incessant advertising and irresistible marketing subtly erodes contentment. There is good news. Like Paul, you can say, “. . I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” Philippians 4:11-12 NASV.

My Dad taught me simple, practical principles of money management, “Work hard. Remember, God is your Source. Tithe first. Never spend all you earn. Save some. Spend wisely.” That’s Biblical economics, wise stewardship, and sound money management. Hebrews 13:5 NIV/2 Corinthians 9:6-11 NKJV. And tithing, giving, and generosity are what God honors and rewards. See Malachi 3:10-12 NIV/Luke 6:38/Acts 20:33-35 NIV. Be certain of this truth, “My God will supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NKJV.

My prayer for you today is that you know the provision and blessing of God on all.

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Undisturbed Peace

May 28th, 2009

“You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is fixed on You.” Isaiah 26.3

The answer is simple and clear. Where Christ governs, there is peace.”

My thoughts today are about “undisturbed peace.”

Our world is much like the world into which Jesus was born. Armies, hostilities, occupying forces, political and religious divisions, were all the order of the day. Rulership was imposed by the strongest and the most brutal upon the weakest and most vulnerable, as it is today. Yet, into exactly that kind of world, Jesus came as the Prince of Peace. At His birth angels declared, “peace on earth, and good will toward men.” Luke 2.14. There will never come peace on earth by armies and political alliances, however hard nations try.  Man cannot produce peace; he can only disturb it.

Peace is most precious to the one who is without it. They search in vain for better circumstances thinking peace will be found there. Peace is elusive for many, because although they long for it they do not know where it can be found.

The Bible speaks about a “peace from God,” that comes through Jesus who said, “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 NLT.  God supernaturally places peace within your heart.

There is also the “peace of God” when men experience an unexplainable measure of well-being and contentment that is the fruit of the Spirit that is unexplainable by their current circumstance. “You will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 NLT. Don’t try to examine or explain God’s peace; just enjoy it.

But those are only available to the one who has accepted the invitation of Jesus to live at “peace with God,” surrendering to live life on God’s gracious terms, and living without hostility toward His Law and will. That’s where real peace begins. “Therefore since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus has done for us.” Romans 5.1 NLT.

Imagine a time and place where it can truly be said there is undisturbed peace. When will that time come, and where will that be found? Isaiah foresaw such a time, “And of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.” Isaiah 9.7 NIV. The answer is simple and clear. Where Christ governs, there is peace, and only peace! Until a man is at peace with God, he will not find peace of mind, will not be at peace within himself, nor can he always live at peace with others.

Peace is more than the absence of trouble, nor is peace the promise you will not have trouble. Peace is the living presence of Jesus whatever the circumstance or dangers that surround you at the moment. Peace starts in a man’s own heart, when he makes all things right with God. “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is fixed on You, because he trusts in you.Isaiah 26:3.

My prayer for you today is: that you will have peace that cannot be disturbed.

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