I believe we are headed for some drastic tough times. Getting through tough times will be something that in all honesty, will not be in the hands of government, politicians, Wall Street, or corporate America. It will be dumped in the lap of everyday Americans like you and I. They will not feel the tough times, they have their futures secured. It will be you and I that have to survive this coming economic crisis. So my responsibility to you, as a pastor and servant of Jesus, is to help you figure out how to get through these tough times ahead. Rest assured we are headed there and I don’t see a way past it.
16 As for me, I will call upon God
And the LORD shall save me.
If you are serious about getting through tough times then you must get serious with God.
I am not a doom and gloom preacher, nor do I qualify to be a hell fire and brimstone preacher, but the fact remains that our nation, composed of over 300 million individuals, has left the faith of our founding fathers, left the faith of our grandfathers, and has chased after another god. I am not talking about Buddha, or Mohammed, or aliens in spacecrafts. I am talking about the god of self. We have become self-centered, self-indulgent, and self gratifying. It has led us down the road to financial ruin. The politicians in Washington will not do the right thing because they are worried about their own self-interest. The average American wants them to fix it as long as it doesn’t affect their own self interests. We all want the burden to fall to someone else. We have all lived beyond our means. We have all forgotten that the debtor is a slave to the lender. We have given up our birthright for a bowl of stew, and stew cooked in a foreign land at that!
There is only one way out of these tough times. We must turn around. That is called repent in the bible. We must change direction and tighten our belt, take responsibility for our own folly and irresponsible lifestyles, and take seriously once again the faith and teachings that made this country great in the first place. We have squandered our birthright, but it is not too late to come back to a loving heavenly Father and ask Him to fix was we have messed up.
Now I am not talking about Washington having a bible education program, or even calling upon the bums (I say that in the nicest possible tone possible) from both parties turning to God, although that would be a start in the right direction, but I am talking and calling upon individual Americans to do it for themselves, changing their attitudes, stop living beyond their means just to have another gadget or toy, and stop asking government to give them anything. Instead, start looking to God for your answers, your needs, and the wisdom to get through these hard times.
My friends, we cannot have a jail house conversion in America. It cannot be just something you do because you got yourself in trouble, or you are crying uncle. You must sincerely start a personal relationship with God through His son Jesus Christ. Jesus said, He was the only way to the Father. (John 14:6). The reason I say that is not to take advantage of your fear, but instead out of cool clear logic. How can you expect God to move upon your behalf if you do not know Him? If you do not have a real and personal relationship with Him? God can and sometimes does move on behalf of strangers, but He always meets the needs of His children. You can’t afford a maybe, you need a certainty if you are going to get through these tough times.
My favorite quote about tough times is
“Tough Times Never Last But Tough People Do”. I have heard many people say this over the years and I have found it to be true. However I ask you, does a tough person look to the government for a handout? Do they ask Uncle Sam to be some kind of Dutch Uncle? No! They stop putting government in the place that God should only be. God is our strength. God is our provider. God is the very present help in times of trouble. They look to God, they hear His voice, and they obey. That again is why you need prayer for getting through tough times and in order to have effective prayer, you need to know the one you are praying too!
If you are serious about getting through tough times then you are going to have to change your lifestyle.
No longer can we live with a dog eat dog mentality. No longer can we just look out for number
We must turn away from that self-centered lifestyle. We will have to start thinking about how our decisions affect other people. Will buying that new car force me to have to work more than is healthy? Will it keep me from my kids? Will my spouse have to work as well and will my kids be pawned off to a daycare? Can I get by with an older car in good condition instead? Do I need an ATV? Do I need a boat? Do I need a sleep number bed or can we do with just a middle of the road bed? You will have to stop indulging your materialistic side. You will have to start practicing delayed gratification. You will have to start saving.
You will also have to love your neighbor as yourself. No longer can you afford to not be tied into relationships with those around you. You can no longer be an island unto yourself. You will need people and people will need you if we are to get through these hard times. You are going to need family, friends, and those close to you, and if you have decided to start being serious with God, then you are going to need the love and support of other believers. You will need your church family where they all can band together to encourage and help one another in getting through tough times.
We will get through these tough times.
My friends, we will get though these tough times. I have no doubt. What does remain in doubt is what America will look like once we do. We will either be likened to a Banana Republic, or we will come out leaner, stronger, and once again the people who were bold enough to place on their money, “In God We Trust”. Personally I think we should have remembered that statement a long time ago.
Now that is something to think about!