It seems that everywhere we turn today we are bombarded with warnings and stories about our failing economy. Many are nervous about losing their houses, ambulance jobs or savings as a spirit of fear overwhelms our nation. Several verses come to mind as we walk through these difficult times. The first is James 1:2,3 – “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” (NIV) Becoming a Christian does not exempt us from facing trials, but how we face them is what sets us apart.
As we’ve had the blessing to visit churches and meet pastors we have seen firsthand what happens when congregations choose not to put their faith in what the TV commentators are saying, but rather in God’s promises. God is doing amazing things right here in the US! We’ve seen churches that are growing, not only in attendance but in missions giving; friends that have seen their jobs preserved; generosity poured out to communities from people who are not afraid to share what they have. That brings me to the second verse that’s become a mantra in my life. 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (NKJV) It’s time for all of us to stand up against fear, put our trust in God and make wise decisions. We are praying for you, your job, your church and your family that God will bless you and meet all of your needs.
Some have said, “Wow, what a horrible time to be a missionary raising funds!” But as one pastor said recently, “God doesn’t look at the Dow before he makes a decision.” We know that God has not put the Great Commission – to go into all the world and make disciples – on hold until our economy recovers. We are persevering and trusting that God will provide the funding we need to get to Colombia. Souls are at stake and we will not give up and lose hope!
This weekend we had the honor of getting to know the people at Living Hope Assembly of God. Pastor Sanders and his team realized after looking at the numbers that they had been able to triple their missions giving in the last few years. His revelation – “All we did was give!” When we stop depending on what the news is telling us is our future and start depending on God and his promises, we are going to see incredible things happen! I hope today you won’t spend your time stressing about the bills you have to pay, but that you’ll seek God’s will for your finances and find ways to be generous to those around you.