A Christian perspective on the current economic situation.
The current recession has brought some of the toughest living situations in many decades to this country.
Hundreds of thousands are out of work; tens of thousands are either homeless, have had to change their living situations from owning to renting or are even having to live with family members. For many of us it has been a hard pill to swallow after years of relative financial success.
Most of those in my social and professional network such as writers, authors, pastors, counselors and insurance adjusters are fairly educated people. Suddenly being without work, not being considered for publication or called to a church to serve or given a claim to adjust at first seems a temporary “hiccup” in the personal economic scope of things. But after nearly three years of this recessionary nightmare, homes lost, marriages failed, loss of health insurance, life insurance and bills piled high, many of this writer’s associates and friends have begun to consider themselves a complete loss and total failure.
In the Rio Grande Valley of Texas where some of the lowest per capita income in the United States exist (slightly under $18,000.00 per family) and homelessness has always abounded, even greater evidence of homelessness has recently been demonstrated. In the local Wal-marts on any given late night you can see cars filled to capacity with possessions and families pulling in to sleep for the night. For many of these people their car has become their home.
The Church is well aware of the problem of poverty in the world. It has been addressing the situation going back to its beginning. The book of Acts is all about the ecclesia or “fellowship of believers” who came together to both share their faith and belief in Christ as well as their dependency on one another for their very sustenance and survival (Acts 2:42-47 NIV). The church was alive and well and forever in the business of helping and caring for the poor and down trodden. The church at that time was the poorest of the poor.
Even in the time of Christ, Jesus was left with the responsibility of physically feeding the thousands who followed him because they had nothing to eat. On one occasion He fed 4,000 (Mark 8:1-9) and on another He fed 5,000 (Matthew 14:13-21).
When it was tax time and He and His disciples had no money to pay their taxes, Jesus provided the way for His disciples and performed a miracle to provide the money for payment.
As bad as things might seem right now, they were far worst in the time of Christ and the early church which is partly why Jesus came. The world was lost. It was wandering aimlessly without hope or purpose. Jesus and only Jesus gives an abundance of both purpose and hope. If we let Him, He can change our lives and make a significant difference.
Jesus even preached the greatest message ever preached in the “Sermon on the Mount” where he addresses the poor and down trodden specifically; those mind you who had all but given up. (Matthew 5:1-43 NIV)
Jesus said, 25 “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 than food and the body more than clothes? 26 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? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?” Matthew 6:25-27 NIV
No matter how bad we might think things are, when we keep our eye on Jesus, He will provide. Keep the faith my friends, a setback is not failure.