What’s a recession?
It’s my fridge looking emptier, my budget tighter, my future more uncertain, my sheets bearing the marks of my nightly tossing and turning, and my heart overwhelmed, angsty, and in despair.
When our economy starts declining, the treasures of earth turn to vapor—our plans, our paychecks, and our pursuits—and we are left wondering what to cling to. The catastrophe outside created a crisis within. Loss exposes where we put our hope. It reveals what we value. And, it shows us what we hold on to most tightly.
You won’t find economic tips, predictions of prosperity, or political opinions here: just hope. Hope for you, and hope for the world, in the same place we have found it—in God’s Word.
God’s truth endures forever. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Though all else pass away, God’s Word won’t (Matthew 24:35). He is still speaking, and of all the news being directed at you today, it’s the Lord who made heaven and earth that you need to hear.
Through his Word, God fixes our sight on himself: the one who is truly in control. He invites us to pray to him and carry our cares to his throne. He reminds us of where to rest our hopes—on the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ in his life, death, and resurrection. And he asks us to patiently wait for him to provide for his children as he promises. The recession may not go—at least for a while—but there is refuge and relief for all those who trust in the Lord of all that’s going on.
Our Creator, in his Word, reminds us that all things come from him. It’s painfully humbling to experientially realize our dependence on God in times of crisis. Though God may be loosing our grip from this world, he’s not a taker by nature. On the contrary, he has given us many good gifts—life, family, friends, work, education, and athletics—so that through them we might find the Giver (Acts 17:24-28).
We’re wondering what to cling to. Would you believe today that the Lord of heaven and earth wants you to hold tightly to his hand (Psalm 73:23-24)? Know that it might take pulling all else out of our hands for us to cling to his. We cannot pretend to know all his ways, but we can rest on what he has told us in his Word, and we can know him.
For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
Have no fear
of sudden disaster
or of the ruin
that overtakes the wicked,
for the Lord will be at your side
There is nothing—no circumstance, no trouble, no testing—that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a great purpose, which I may not understand at the moment.
But as I refuse to become panicky, as I lift up my eyes to him and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disturb me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will cause me to fret—for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is! That is the rest of victory!
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
Rejoice in hope,
be patient in tribulation,
be constant in prayer.
to the needs
of the saints
and seek to show hospitality.
Written by William Cowper
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform:
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour:
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own Interpreter,
And he will make it plain.
Future worry is overwhelming. There’s a reason. We don’t have grace today for tomorrow.
One of Satan’s simplest tricks and most effective devices is to draw our attention to things we can do nothing about. There’s nothing worse than a crisis that can’t be fixed. If our hours are spent with thoughts of tomorrow’s problems, which are not accessible today and which we know we cannot touch with today’s resources, we are doomed to worry.
And worry wears us out… [Yet] our calling is today. It’s not that we don’t think of tomorrow, but it must consistently be filed under “future grace.” The tide of confidence in God’s sufficiency must wash out worry. In fact, it’s a command. “Do not be anxious for tomorrow.” To go there is to disobey a directive from the One who holds every moment in his hand.
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
A rich man’s wealth is his strong city,
and like a high wall in his imagination.
your goal to
live a quiet life,
your own business and
working with your hands
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
Today we have the Spirit of power who
gives us courage for
small steps of obedience
even when tomorrow seems quite bleak. When tomorrow comes, the Spirit will again give us
the power and courage
that we need.
Grace is new every morning.