How does God want me to respond to what I see happening to the U.S.A.?

Tue, 11/04/2008 - 4:55pm
By: Letters to the ...

How are Christians to think and live at this time of national financial crisis? Let’s review some of the ways faith is to walk through such a time as this.

We can begin with a paradoxical thought. Though we should not be conducting our lives any differently than we always do (assuming that biblical wisdom is ruling our thoughts, interests, pleasures, and plans), we ought to be living differently in the sense of a heightened awareness of our circumstances.

It was said of the sons of Issachar in the time of King David that they were “men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do” (1 Chron. 12:32). This tribe of Israel was known for its good sense in having cast their lot with David rather than Saul.

The point of this for us is how critical it is that we know what is happening around us, discerning shifts in the winds of culture, politics, and the economy. We are to watch the development of current events with a biblically keen eye. How does God want me to respond to what I see taking place in my nation?

We ought to be living by the scriptural standards of financial stewardship. Jesus has told us to “make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings” (Lk. 16:9). Invest for eternity. That’s what ought to be guiding our financial lives.

Are you living within your means? Do you carry credit card debt? Why? What are you doing about it? Have you taken on a mortgage which is beyond an affordable range? Reevaluate your spending and saving habits. This is a good place to begin.

Don’t panic. If you have investments in the stock market, don’t take unwise action. Making rash decisions at this time is like jumping out of a roller coaster. You will get hurt. Hiding money under the mattress is not wise money management. John Wesley’s advice is still valuable. Make as much as you can. Save as much as you can. Give as much as you can.

Inform yourself. What is going on in our national economy? Read and listen to wise people, though even this can be a bit confusing, given the conflicting opinions of smart people. But there are sources of accurate information that you will need to locate and access. There is no virtue in sticking one’s head in the sand when ill winds are blowing.

Don’t be angry after dark. “Be angry and do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil” (Eph. 4:25-26). There is a righteous anger, but it can easily degenerate into bitterness.

Wall Street did not get into the financial mess it is in without the contributions of a lot of people. Greed, fraud, and the failure to hold financial and governmental institutions accountable have all entered into our present economic debacle.

But be careful. Nursing a grudge toward individuals, lending institutions, liberals, conservatives, or particular presidential candidates will poison the well of one’s heart.

There is a larger issue that must rule our thoughts and responses to pain and suffering. God is wisely and lovingly sovereign over all our losses and gains. Job is a worthy model. Job lost almost everyone and everything near to him. What did he do? He worshiped God (Job 1:20).

Beware of placing confidence in our political system to solve our social, moral and economic problems. Election season fever is infecting millions of minds. Politicians are making promises which will be easily forgotten when power is gained. It is quite unsettling to see so many carried away by utopian dreams.

If a certain candidate is elected, so the rhetoric goes, he will solve our problems. The gullible are easily mesmerized by promises for change. The older and wiser have seen all this before.

It is the moral character of a nation that determines its strength and stature in the family of nations. Go to the polls and vote, but don’t be deceived by those whose world-view will only ensure greater suffering for coming generations.

The current crisis in the market place is a painful reminder of the fragile and temporary nature of earthly kingdoms. Governments come and go. Their stories are told in our history books.

The prophet Daniel’s account of the story of human kingdoms leaves us in stunned silence. A stone, the Son of Man, is seen smashing into the kingdoms of this world. They will be destroyed and in their place will come Christ’s kingdom that will endure forever (Dan. 2:44).

The nations have a rendezvous with Jesus Christ. The city of man awaits its fiery destruction. The business world will lament the loss of the commercial empire they have built (Rev. 18:11-16). A catastrophic stock-market crash on a world-wide scale will one day occur. All of this precedes the second coming of the King of kings and Lord of lords.

We must live prayerfully and evangelistically. A time of economic instability serves as a “road-block to hell.” God sends disasters to warn all who are worshiping lesser gods of the eternal disaster of hell. Will those who are worshiping at the altar of materialism come to their spiritual senses and repent? Will Christians who have been drawn into the sins of the culture have their eyes opened and repent?

These are responses for which we can pray. The church of Jesus Christ must show the world how to walk down Wall Street.

Dr. Howard E. Dial, senior pastor

Berachah Bible Church

Fayetteville, Ga.

login to post comments