This week was an especially tough one on Wall Street. The demise of Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and AIG headlined news for most of the week. Even if you don't make your living in the financial industry, you'll feel the effects of its turmoil. Your nest egg might look just a little smaller this week or perhaps your company might be cutting back spending. If you're looking for a new job, it might seem just a little harder going. Or maybe you're doing just fine but your neighbors aren't.
How do you deal with tough financial problems? What tempations do you experience in such times?
Anxiety, perhaps? It's not uncommon for some of us to be tempted in this area. In the midst of mounting bills without corresponding income, we can be tempted to anxiety. How we can sustain such financial drain, we wonder?
How about unbelief? I remember when I was out of work in 2001. It was the post dot-com bubble era - it seemed like companies were shutting down every week and employees were being laid off daily. After several months of not finding work, I began to wonder if I'd ever get another job again!
A couple of weeks ago, I heard a message on Sunday by CJ Mahaney about how many of our struggles stem from spending much of our time listening to ourselves, instead of speaking to ourselves. Sounds a little confusing, doesn't it? The point of the message is that we spend much of our time, listening to our own negative, sinful thoughts -anxiety, unbelief, anger, etc... instead of actively speaking God's truth and promises to our own souls.
Here's how it might be applied in times of personal financial turmoil - instead of passively listening to our own thoughts of anxiety ("we'll get crushed by this mounting bills") or unbelief ("I'll never find a job"), we can actively proclaim to our own souls, God's unfailing promise to provide what we need -
"Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:31-32
"Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing." Psalm 34:8-10
Speaking good news - that's what we need in the midst of any turmoil.