What would happen to your faith during a personal or national crisis? On what are you depending? In what or whom is your hope?
21 My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
preserve sound judgment and discretion;
22 they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
23 Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the Lord will be at your side
and will keep your foot from being snared.
At the risk of sounding pessimistic, the prosperity in which we live is precariously balanced upon a financial precipice. According to the financial gurus, we have about five years before our national debt becomes so large that we cannot even pay the interest, at which point, there are several avenues that the future might take:
- The market crashes and we go into a depression again;
- We are taken over financially by China, who–from what I understand–holds most of the notes on our loans;
- We default on our loans and run the risk of going to war;
- The government forces the tax-payers to kick in more money;
- The people fire everyone in Washington and start over;
- Any number of the above;
- Something entirely different that I can’t imagine.
All the more reason to put our faith and trust in the Lord and not in our finances and wealth, nor our way of life here in America. Our faith is in the fact that this world is NOT our home and we are just a-passin’ through to His new home that He is building for us.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:1-4
I love to couple this verse with one from Jesus’ prayer in John 17:
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
In the meantime, we would do well to do these things:
- Keep our debt to a minimum;
- Have at least some of our savings in something rather than paper money which is electronically accessible;
- Pray for our neighbors that we will be able to help them in their need and that they will turn to the Lord in the time of crisis;
- Prepare our church body to be a source of assistance, encouragement and hope during the crisis;
- Hope for the best; prepare for the worst.
You may be wondering why we would not fear disaster or ruin (from verse 25). It has to do with our security in Christ. We brought nothing into this world and we will take nothing out of it. I’ve never seen a U-haul trailer behind a hearse! All of the Egyptian pharaohs left all of their treasures behind. How do we know? Because archeologists found their stuff!
How we leave this world is not nearly as important as how we live in this world. We should live with our eyes fixed on Jesus and His ultimate plan for us. In that plan, we can now prepare to help others come to Christ, whether it’s during a national crisis or a personal one. The idea is to take our eyes off ourselves and start living as if the world will end tomorrow–because it COULD! [I told you I may sound pessimistic]
Let’s heed the words of Peter, who gave his life for the sake of the Gospel:
3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget [scientists today deliberately ignore the truth] that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly [an end is truly and surely coming].
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you [and the world], not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance [Here is our task! Let’s be about the Father’s business].
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming [how? by leading people to Christ. THAT will speed His coming]. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:3-13
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that You are waiting until Your children are gathered in. May I be one of Your gatherers, a worker in Your field. Send me, O Lord, send me. May I be ready for the day You call on me. Amen.
37 Then he [Jesus] said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:37-38