God's Good Plans
The Secret to Surviving the Economy
CBN.com “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you,plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer 29:11-12 NIV
Whine, Whine, Whine. Everywhere I go, people are whining about the economy. Yes, I realize I’m whining about whining, but the whining is tempting me to whine, too.
After all, I have a right. My husband’s severance pay is tick-tocking away as he pursues next career steps. Even dropping the price to below what we paid hasn’t helped sell our beautiful Phoenix home, thus causing mortgage payments in two cities. Tropical storm damage and unexpected vet bills dented an already strained budget and a sore foot assures the use of a car that demands outrageously priced gas instead of walking.
Whining makes me feel worse, makes situations worse, and doesn’t help anything. Maybe ranting will make me feel better.
Have we forgotten that God has plans for us? His Word says He
plans to prosper us, not harm us, and give us hope and a future. Is it hope for the future that we have lost? After all, tough economic times are here, and a look back at the Great Depression reminds us that they could get worse. However, even in the Depression, God had plans for the people of America and America did have a future.
But, alas, even ranting doesn’t help. All that helps is applying God’s Word to our current situations. Jesus said loving God and people were the most important commandments (Mark 12:30-31). He then went on to tell us to love God with all our mind, heart, soul, and strength. If we love God with all our mind, heart, soul, and strength, there is no room for fretting. If we stop worrying about the economy and focus all our energy on loving God and our neighbor, God will reveal His plans for us along with how to finance them. That is a promise we can depend on.
So how does this apply to the reality of unsold homes, whining around us, and stressed budgets?
Below are five simple steps for surviving the economy, based on Mark 12:30-31. (These are steps from my book Pocket Full of Quarters – 5 Steps to Loving God.)
Step 1 – Follow God, Mind to Mind
Focus your mind on God. Meditate on the promise of Jeremiah 29:11. Discipline your thoughts to focus on what is good, lovely, pure, and admirable (Phil 4:8-9). Get honest and answer, in writing, the following questions:
- What is the reality of my situation? (This answer may take a spread sheet.)
- What risks am I facing?
- What can I afford?
- What can I do without?
- What is good about my life?
Step 2 - Please God, Heart to Heart
Whining, complaining, and self-pity are poison for the heart. Stop! If your financial situation has taken a downturn, stop pouting. Release the grief of what you’ve had to give up, and let your heart heal. If fear is worming its slimy way through your heart, stomp your feet at Satan. If the demon “resentment” has captured your heart, break free of the chains.
The God of the Universe has plans for you! After all, even in the Great Depression, unemployment was only at 25 percent. God can help us stay on the good side of any statistic. Let God heal that troubled heart so you can love God with a whole heart. Reel in those rambunctious emotions and let your heart love God.
List in writing:
- What you had to give up
- What you lost and are grieving
- What you are afraid of losing
- Who and what you are mad at
- Who and what you have been complaining about or blame for your current economic situation
Step 3 - Embrace God, Soul to Soul
The soul is the part of us that meets God daily and spends an eternity with Him. We serve a risen Lord who has overcome death. Economy issues are nothing for Him. Go to your knees in prayer, confession, and praise. Confess what you wrote in Step 2 above.
- To help you forgive anyone and any situation that has hurt you financially
- To reveal His plans for you and how you are to carry them out
- To give you wisdom to know what to do next
- To give you the power to obey
Thank God for everything in your life, even the economic crisis. Ask Him to use this crisis to bring you and others closer to him. Thank Him for having a plan for you that is better than anything you can imagine. Praise God for being bigger than gas prices, presidential elections, and wars.
List on paper what you believe God is leading you to do.
Step 4 - Serve God, Strength by Strength
Get up from your knees and obey, starting with the list you just made. This is no time for doubt,
laziness, or even delay. Work with the energy and confidence of the determined. God promised great plans and a future, but His plans usually involve hard work. Work way into the night and invite people to join you. Smile while you are working because you know a secret. Your God has plans to give you hope and a future.
Step 5 - Love God’s Children, Neighbor to Neighbor
If you’ve followed the above steps, you’ll be a light in this troubled time. Love of your neighbors will come naturally. There is nothing like economic stress to bring people closer to God. Praise God for this stress and use it in leading others to Christ. Be generous and let people know that your faith is why you can afford to be generous. Trust that God’s plans include ministering to people with your time and money. By focusing on the needs of others, we take the focus from our own troubles. Look to the future and remind neighbors to do the same. Don’t whine, and walk away from anyone indulging in that sin. Be an encourager.
When you realize how your faith is lifting the world, it will buoy your faith even more. Watch in wonder as the plans of God unfold, sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly, but always timely.
In the scheme of all eternity, unsold homes and rising gas prices are unimportant. If we listen, God gives us daily marching orders. If we obey, His perfect plan unfolds. If we stop worrying about the economy and focus all our energy on loving God and our neighbors, the economy crisis will serve its purpose and take care of itself.
God may or may not give us the money or material possessions we think we want or need, but He will finance His plans for our life. I promise – hope will return! I promise – we will have a future. God said it and I believe it!
Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. Cheryle would love to speak to your group on this timely topic. For more information, to buy her book Pocket Full of Quarters, or to schedule a speaker for an event, go to www.pocketfullofchange.org or call Gail Golden at 904-316-5462.
© Pocket Full of Change Ministries.
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