Don’t Waste This Recession!
We have now been in this most recent recession for over 16 months. For many of us, this has been a tough road to walk down. Jobs have been lost, income reduced and lifestyles rearranged. I have experienced this first hand, both personally and in many of my clients lives. But could this recession be good for us?
Trials and difficulties have a way of revealing where our hope resides and what we put our trust in. This has been the case for me. One thing this difficult economy has revealed to me is how much I love security, comfort and self-sufficiency.
Looking back over the last year and seeing assets that I manage as well as my own personal income seemingly dwindle on a daily basis was a blow to my comfortable, middle-class Christianity
What I found, however, was something far better. God had used this recession to challenge my comforts, confront my idols and question where my hope lies. Could this recession be exactly what I needed to bring me closer to Him and conform me to the image of Jesus Christ?
As much as I did not want that answer to be yes, and as much as I thought I had already worked through my idolization of money, the answer was a resounding one
And so, when by God’s grace he allowed me to see this, I fell on my knees in repentance and sorrow, recognizing once again just how far I have to go in this sanctifying journey and the reality of my wimpy faith
I decided to embrace this recession and allow God to continue to mold, shape and chasten me into the son He has called me to be. And He does it with such a great love, kind grace and tender mercy.
I have no intention of downplaying the severity of this recession, for many of you have had difficulties far worse than some of us could imagine. What I do intend to do is widen our viewpoint and get us thinking of the bigger picture.
How about you? What have you learned during this economic downturn? What are some things that God is chiseling away and graciously teaching you?
John Piper gives some of the reasons God has for this economic turmoil in his sermon What is the Recession For? He says:
- He intends for this recession to expose hidden sin and so bring us to repentance and cleansing.
- He intends to wake us up to the constant and desperate condition of the developing world where there is always and only recession of the worst kind.
- He intends to relocate the roots of our joy in his grace rather than in our goods, in his mercy rather than our money, in his worth rather than our wealth.
- He intends to advance his saving mission in the world—the spread of the gospel and the growth of his church—precisely at a time when human resources are least able to support it. This is how he guards his glory.
- He intends for the church to care for its hurting members and to grow in the gift of love.
What I’ve learned in these past several months has been hard to swallow, but sanctifying and for that I am grateful.