Disastrous Economic Times
We are living through an economic turndown. Read a newspaper, listen to news reports, drive through the streets of your town—what you see and hear will only confirm the reality in which we Americans now find ourselves. This disintegration of our country’s economic affairs has reached disastrous heights, systematically damaging the market nationally as well as internationally. And as we watch corporation after company after business collapse, perhaps some of us wonder if there really is hope. Perhaps some of us wonder if we are next.
The company which holds the mortgage on our property recently disclosed some information about other ministries with which they work. In its 45-year history leading into 2008, the company had foreclosed on only 2 churches; last year, in a span of 12 months, they foreclosed on 7, each averaging over 2,000 in attendance. This information attests to the fact that moving a ministry forward without the needed financial support is nigh unto impossible. A church requires funds to operate its various ministries (Missions Program, Bus Ministry, etc.), similar to how you need funds to operate your home.
I am not a financial guru; I cannot predict what will transpire this year. Perhaps the economy will get worse before it gets better, or perhaps it will continue its downward spiral. HOWEVER, regardless of what is happening around us, we must continue to have hope, the anticipation of good in the near future. This economic turndown may simply be the harbinger of revival in our lives, in our homes, and in our churches. For example, I have been told that divorce rates are down simply because couples cannot afford to hire divorce lawyers. The turndown has also affected travel and vacations. Before, folks would take a three-day weekend trip to “recuperate” from the workweek. Now, these pleasure trips have ceased. Last summer, I noticed that most people took a one-week vacation and were in attendance at their home churches for the remainder of the summer. This turndown, then, may not be as disastrous as we make it to be.
In closing, I encourage each of our readers to look up during this turndown. I am reminded of a Bible passage in Psalm 120:1:
In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me.
Perhaps for the first time in years, God’s people are truly turning to Him. You see, up until this time, we have been living quite successfully without Him (or so we thought). We allowed our attitude and spirit to develop into a similar one found in the church of Laodicea:
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.
- Revelation 3:17
Please pray with me that, instead of looking down and looking within, God’s people will look up and turn to the One Who can give us direction in our lives. Pray that we will continue to lay up for ourselves treasures not on earth but in Heaven. This economic turndown can become a great moment in American and world history, for it may just mark the time when an entire world turned to the Lord.