Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear . . . Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns - and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
A recent CNN business report began with the line:
America's finance chiefs fear the economic expansion is nearly over. Almost half of experts surveyed expect a downturn in 2019 and that a recession will begin by the end of 2020. According to those who keep track of such things, since 1854 the US has encountered 33 cycles of expansion and contraction. Since 1980 there have been four periods considered recessions, with the last framed within 2006-2009. During every recession the question is:
When will recovery come?
Not just in modern times, within the bounds of Bible history there have been many economic downturns; often times marked with famine. Joseph's interpretation of Pharaoh's dream predicted a recession that would be caused by famine and would last seven years. Now given that our LORD is Almighty, we sometimes wonder why He would allow such disaster? In the example of Joseph and many others we see that God was sending a message to His people. God was preparing them for a future blessing.
The Almighty has been referred to by some as,
Conductor of History and the World.
Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all the deeps. Psalm 135.6 God is in control! And as such our Wise and Omnipotent God allows recessions to come into our lives. Never the less Christians sometimes question,
God, why are you letting these things happen? Why this recession? Why this disaster? When will relief come? Questioning God is not by nature 'bad.' In catechism we are reminded that there's no such thing as a 'bad' question. But there are 'wrong' questions! In view of God's Word and promise of love for the world, the question is not 'why' but rather 'What? For every recession, disaster, trouble, and tribulation the question is,
What are you going to do about this dear Father? Of this we can be sure of two things: (1) God wants to draw us closer to Himself. (2) God wants to give us hope. Referring to times of struggle, even the threat of death, Jesus said,
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father . . . so don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10.29-31 While sparrows were cheap in Jesus' day, the worth and price God has placed on you is beyond measure and counting. That cost of our salvation was realized when the Son of God Himself fell to the ground.
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12.24
Expansion-Contraction, Recession-Recovery, whatever comes our way in the changing time realities of life here is a sure hope: God's control is your future blessing.
Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God and there is no other, I am God and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand and I will do all that I please. Isaiah 46.9-10
God's purpose for you and me is recovery and renewal that will never end, but will last to eternity.
~ Pastor Kelly Mitteis