A Message Of Hope For The Financial Crisis
By Linda C Dipman

   The bills lay piled on my desk.  My upholstery job work orders lay in a small stack under the
bills. No matter how much I calculated what I was bringing in, it did not cover what money needed
to go out to cover my expenses.  I just didn't understand what I was doing wrong?  I tithed, helped
others all the time and yet here was the dismal truth, I didn't have enough when extra expenses
like house and car taxes and even insurance came due. I didn't even have enough for my
grandchildren's birthdays or even Holidays.  

   How can this happen, if I am a child of God and I try to follow Christ's example in all of my
affairs, why wasn't I making enough money?  Has God forgotten me?  Aren't Christians supposed
to be blessed when they follow God?  My mind questioned what was going on in today's world
that was causing the extra stain on my finances.  It had to be the soaring gas prices and the
incredible mark up at the grocery store.  Everywhere I turned, even in the work I did, prices were
soaring. My upholstery material, shipping, foam and supplies I needed in order to do the job I had
been doing for the past 34 years had gone up in price.

   Sixty-eight percent of People in the United States alone are feeling financial pressure from the
increase in gas and the resulting increase in inflation.  People have stopped spending their
money on their homes; instead they are using the money on every day expenses.  I can't believe
that just four years ago I was paying less than a dollar and a half on gas and now it has tripled.  
What is happening to our world that is driving the prices so high that small businesses are rapidly
going out of business?  And families are feeling such a strain that they have stopped paying their
mortgages and are defaulting on there loans?

   Has our world become so evil that God has turned His back even on Christians?  Where is
God when there are so many hurting people in the world today?  These questions raced through
my mind as I flipped through page after page in my Bible looking for A Message of Hope for the
financial crisis.  Something to make me feel like no matter what, God loved me and He was
looking out for me regardless of how bad the economy seemed to be heading.

   Genesis 35: 9-13, "When Jacob returned from Mesopotamia, God appeared to him again and
blessed him.  God said to him, 'Your name is Jacob, but from now on it will be Israel.'  So God
named him Israel.  And God said to him, 'I am Almighty God.  Have many children.  Nations will be
descended from you, and you will be the ancestor of kings.  I will give you the land which I gave
to Abraham and to Isaac, and I will also give it to your descendants after you.'  Then God left
Him."

   We all know the story of Jacob and how his family became the Ancestors of Jesus Christ.  We
know that God blessed them with wealth and instructed them in the Laws of Moses.  But not many
people acknowledge that Jacob went through many hard trials.  One of the biggest trials Israel
went through was when the entire world went through a severe famine.

   Genesis 42:1&2, "When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, 'Why
don't you do something?  I hear that there is grain in Egypt; go there and buy some to keep us
from starving to death.'"

   Jacob did everything according to the will of God, yet his entire family was suffering just like
everyone else in the world.  I imagine that he was feeling just like we are about the high gas
prices that have affected every price from food to clothing in our country today.  I am sure Jacob
questioned God's blessing and even His promise of a rich future for His family.

   So many Christians don't understand the purpose behind our world.  They think if they do
everything right then of course nothing bad will happen to them.  They will be blessed with a
surreal life and never suffer from the same kinds of problems their neighbors go through.  
Unfortunately this is not true.  If the world goes through an economic slow down that causes a
recession, everyone will suffer the consequences.

   If there is a major ice storm you will have damage just like your neighbors.  If your
neighborhood is hit by a tornado then you will go through it too.  From earthquakes, tidal waves,
hail storms, to world wars; everyone suffers the consequences of what happens in there part of
the world.  

   This is the reason it is so important that you have God in your life. God is good and He wants
people to be blessed and not victims of Satan's evil plots against people.  Satan is the evil god of
this world and his only desire is to turn people away from God.  Satan does this by thrusting
people into natural disasters, recessions and sicknesses that lead to death.  The more things he
does to people the more people will curse God.  When people become victims then they give up
on God and allow Satan to become victor over their lives.

   Understanding our world will help you to fight against evil and to never give up.  Jacob sent his
sons to Egypt for food only to discover later that his very own son Joseph was ruler over the
country.  Joseph had taken his misfortune of being sold as a slave by his own brothers and
turned it around.  He relied totally on God and because he was faithful, God helped him.

   Joseph's prayers gave him the supernatural ability to interpret dreams.  God gave him the
wisdom to take the dreams and form an escape plan in order to protect Israel and the
surrounding nations from being wiped out from the impending famine.

   When Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers he was a changed man.  A good man who
grew from the trials of life.  A man of wisdom who interpreted life according to the will of God and
not as a victim.  Joseph was a man who listened to the voice of God and did His will.

   Genesis 45: 7&8, "God sent me ahead of you to rescue you in this amazing way and to make
sure that you and your descendants survive.  So it was not really you who sent me here, but
God.  He has made me the king's highest official.  I am in charge of his whole country; I am the
ruler of all Egypt."

   Reading the story about Joseph restored my faith in God that He had not let me down in my
own finances.  One year before, God led me to refinance my house and I put most of it in
savings.  I didn't understand why I needed the equity from my house until now.  God knew what
the future would bring and He protected me from losing everything.

   God is always in control.  But we must be faithful to Him and listen to the Holy Spirit.  God will
lead us down the right paths.  Sometimes it is a higher paying job.  Other times it is a job that is
closer to home that saves you from paying all of your earnings on gas.  Maybe it's more
insulation in your attic or new windows.  Listen and follow His voice if He tells you to refinance, do
it!  If you must sell a luxury item then do it.  God knows the future and He can only protect us
when we are listening and obeying Him.

   A message of hope for the financial crisis sprang up in my thinking and allowed me to look at
my life with victory.  A message of hope that even when life looks bleak God would never let me
down.  

   Place your faith in God and trust Him with your finances.  Don't covet your savings account
because you have to use it in order to meet your expenses.  Cash in an insurance policy if this is
what you have to do in order to survive.  God gave you a money reserve for such a time as this.  
A Message of Hope for the financial crisis is that this too shall pass.  Remain faithful, read your
Bible, pray and never lose hope that God is on your side.
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