It has finally happened... I hit a point this morning where I turned off the news in absolute disgust as I'm tired of all the doom and gloom that comes across the airwaves. The doom and gloom is of course related to the rapidly declining global and national markets.
BUT... here is what really has me frustrated... Christ followers who can utter nothing but doom and gloom because of the economic crisis. Now some may take offense to this, but have we become so comfortable with credit and instant gratification as even Christ followers that when the economy takes a down turn we lose hope and faith. I recognize that some tough days are here and may be coming for many people and even local churches, but where's the hope and joy that should be in all of us as Christ followers even in the most difficult of times.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, I've begun very slowing chewing on the words of the Pastoral letters. I'm still sitting in 1 Timothy 1:1-2 thinking about the hope I have in Christ Jesus. As I think about Paul and the early church, they knew what financial instability was all about. It was not uncommon for Christ followers in the early church to lose everything because of their faith in Christ, yet Paul sees his blessed Savior as nothing less than his very real hope.
As I dug deeper, I was reminded that hope in the Bible express absolute certainty about something and not a mere wish. As I perused through the pastoral letters, I came across Titus 2:11-14 (emphasis on v13). It states that we are to live self controlled and upright lives in this present age while we wait for the "blessed hope". (see also 1 Timothy 6:14, 2 Timothy 4:1) I believe with all my heart that Paul lived day by day with the absolute certainty that the best was yet to come in that Jesus His Savior was coming again. Paul lived out his days with an eternal focus which brought the temporal (i.e. economic downturns) into focus.
I'm thankful for the reminder that JESUS CHRIST IS MY HOPE and not the economy. I've learned again this morning that spending more time watching the doom and gloom report of the news creates within me a temporal focus. When I get into the Word and read that Jesus is my hope, certainty and future, the temporal begins to fade in comparison to His glorious grace, mercy and peace that is mine in God the Father and Christ Jesus my Lord (1 Timothy 1:2).
So... I'm done whining and listening to others whine about the economy. I'm not going to put my head in the sand and pretend that there aren't concerns, but as with all concerns, I lay them at the feet of my Savior and rest in the Blessed Hope I have in Him.