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Monday, January 26, 2009

How Can Anyone Have a Secure Future?

Have you watched the stock market? It goes up and down like a yo-yo! There is bad news, good news, undetermined whether it is good news and news that makes no sense at all. The jobless rate is up. The news questions whether you will keep your job. Your retirement money is all but gone. Social Security has little chance of survival. What are you supposed to do?

I asked the question of my congregation last night: How many mistakes would we have avoided if we had seriously, diligently, carefully asked God what we should do, waited for His answer and did what He said? The answer was: All of them!

God seems to be the missing factor for most people who are seeking a secure future. We depend on bailouts, presidential administrations and the way the wind is blowing before we depend upon God.

I remember the old preacher, Vance Havner, telling the story of the very ill grandmother who asked her family what her prognosis was. The family said, "The doctor told us it was in God's hands now."

She said, "Has it come to that?!"

Havner said, "It always comes to that so we might as well start with that!" It is in God's hands.

Where is the call to prayer that we should be hearing for our financial situation? Iceland's government has collapsed during this financial crisis. Will we wait until ours does the same before we will go to God?

Are we lifting up our employers in prayer? If they don't make money, they can't pay salaries. The most stable job is one in which you do great work for a company that makes lots of money.

Are we praying for our neighbors? The stability of a neighborhood depends upon consistency of the people who live in it. The house next door may be foreclosed upon if my neighbor's job is lost. A neighborhood of vacant houses is not good for those who are left behind. Housing values will fall and crime will come in.

Are we praying for those businesses in which we shop? Each store represents employees, transportation and manufacturing. The closing of so many shops will result in the loss of many more jobs than that one store employs.

Are we praying for the elected officials? They must make wise decisions that will not haunt us many years from now. I often tell my staff, "Today's problems were yesterday's solutions." We cannot simply look for the fastest way out of the economic crisis. We must do so with the future in mind. Who besides God can see the future?

Are we praying for our own decisions? We must make the right decisions as well. If it sounds too good to be true; it probably is. But how will we really know if we don't ask God?

Can we have a secure future? Yes, we can but it will mean putting everything in God's hands.

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