Welcome to uncertain times – again! Economists will agree that there has been a major economic recession every 10 years or so. Troubling times are not new. Jesus himself told us, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
In times of trouble we need to get back to basics, to that firm foundation which will help us to weather economic storms. “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.” (1 Timothy 6:17) The first basic principle is that wealth is uncertain – you cannot base your life expectations and hope on money! We should not go into shock or panic when things seem to go wrong. It is a characteristic of our world. The world will panic and be fearful. Believers can experience peace and overcome the world’s fear.
Have you ever been on an airplane, trying to read or get work done, distracted by announcements, a crying child, or an animated conversation between seatmates? If so, a most useful item is a set of noise cancelling headphones. Once you put these on, all outside noises are cancelled, and you can enjoy a quiet atmosphere which helps you to concentrate and focus on what matters most at that time. Financial fear and stress can cause so much ‘noise,’ which is amplified by the media informing us constantly on what is going wrong and how bad it all is. We need to put on our spiritual noise cancelling headphones and start listening to what matters most. In troubling times, we need to spend much less time listening to social media, tv and the press and spend much more time reading and studying the Bible.
The Bible gives us a stark contrast. Jesus tells us that if we put our trust in him, we shall have peace in the middle of a storm. We can confidently put our trust in God who promises to provide all we need
Jesus changed his environment and those changed by Christ will change theirs also!
Are you a thermometer or a thermostat?
Respectfully speaking, Jesus was not a ‘thermometer,’ but a ‘thermostat.’ A thermometer reacts to the environment and is changed by it. ‘Thermometers’ will respond to mounting fear and uncertainty with a jump in their emotional mercury. When the line shoots up, the emotional temperature rises, small obstacles become large, fear increases with a tendency to either fight or flight! They are at the mercy of an ever-changing climate.
Jesus was a ‘thermostat.’ A thermostat controls its environment, managing it and sending out signals to control the temperature and maintain it within a certain range. The central heating control on your wall is a thermostat - and you, as a believer, are called to be a thermostat. A thermostat assesses its current environment, just like the thermometer does, but does not mould to it, or succumb to it. To be a thermostat is to have a set goal and to work in ways to bring the current environment to where they want it to be. What it takes is being proactive, not reactive. Having a thermometer that gives data does no good unless this information can be used to make change.
Things will always go wrong. We cannot always control circumstances. You can always control your reaction and attitude towards a situation. You cannot control the economy.
When facing economic challenges, the time is ripe to turn to Biblical principles on navigating your finances God’s way and using Biblical principles to your advantage. Take a financial physical check-up in the next part of this series.
This is part 1 of a Series: Financial Fitness for Uncertain Times
1. Get ready to change
2. Take a physical
3. Get financially fit
4. Lose fat
5. Build muscle
6. Build endurance