Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hope In Uncertain Times

There is no question that the state of the economy is probably reason one why many people worry today. Layoffs, budget cuts, shrinking home values, stock market collapse, all subjects which in one way or another have touched most everyone. As believers, do we have reason to worry? What, if anything, can we do to help ourselves? As always, I believe the Bible can provide the answers we are looking for in the uncertain times which we face today.

I want to start by asking you to look at something profound that David had to say in the book of Psalms.

Ps 37:25
I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

It seems here, according to David, that believers who choose to live righteous lives will not be reduced to having nothing, but will in fact, be preserved by God. So the key may be to figure out exactly what God, through David, was telling us about righteousness and how that affects how we live in the troubling times we find ourselves.

If you recall, we recently studied the armor of God which we as believers are to wear every day. One of those pieces was the breastplate of righteousness. Why is the breastplate so important? Consider that it protects our heart, and as we are told in the book of Matthew;

Mt 6:21
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

In this chapter we find Jesus teaching against the Pharasees who believed it was what you did that made you righteous. But it would appear that Jesus is saying that righteousness is what you are, and what you do will be a result of what you believe in your heart. You see, here we find that the religious rulers of Jesus' day thought what they did made them righteous which is why they went around making a show of what they did. Jesus in essence told them they had it backwards. So what is our "treasure" supposed to be, and what should our heart be focused on?

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 10:6, 9-10

Hopefully you remember that one of the biggest ways Satan attacks us is to try and create doubt in our minds about the promises we have from God. If, in the times in which we find ourselves, we begin to doubt that God will sustain us as we see the material possessions we have accumulated begin to disappear, where exactly is our heart? Do we truly believe that God will take care of us, or are we, like the Pharasees, just putting on a good front?

God promises to take care of the righteous. Our righteousness is revealed by our proclamation of faith, and living with the knowledge that God will take care of us.
Do people look at you and see worry and concern, or do they see the confidence we have in our hope in Jesus? Now more than ever, we can be a witness for Christ by living confidently.