Economic Recession from a Biblical Perspective

by Garrett Glende

As this article is being written, shoppers around the country are crunching the numbers in their checking accounts, wondering if they will be able to provide the kind of gifts their children are used to receiving this Christmas. The past months have brought a recession to the United States which has not left many unaffected. The decline has been brought about by many factors including the decreasing value of the dollar, the subprime mortgage crisis, and the bankruptcy of many large investment banks. To be certain, these are tough times for the average worker, but the Christian must not cry out “the sky is falling!” But what should be the proper response to this economic crisis? What wisdom does God offer?

In order to develop a biblical attitude toward the current state of the economy, it is necessary to look to Scripture to see how God has told us to handle our finances and the rest of our possessions. First, we must realize that what we have is truly not our own. Everything that is ours has been given to us by the grace of God. Paul reminds the Corinthians, “For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did not receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). We need to recognize that our belongings are God’s and it needs to show through in our actions. Also, we should guard ourselves from any temptation to covet money or material things. The Christian’s first affection is Christ. When we place money and wealth above all else, we have fallen into idolatry and have dethroned Christ as Lord in our hearts. Jesus warns us that “you cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:24). 1 Timothy 6:9 says that “those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.” It is easy for the man who pursues riches to become blinded by his quest for worldly possessions that he forgets what is most important, ruining his soul in the process. We must store up heavenly treasures, for our treasures are in the same place as our hearts (Matthew 6:19-21). With this in mind, the Christian must also work hard to provide a healthy life for his family, doing all to the glory of God. We aren’t to be lazy and just trust that God will provide, but we should work diligently and with excellence to make a living.

So how are we to respond today? One thing that would be more than appropriate is prayer. We must acknowledge our utter dependence on God, the provider of every gift. Pray for protection from the love of money. Pray for God to provide only what you need. Pray that the poor would be provided for and that our leaders would handle the situation responsibly. Ultimately, we must remind ourselves that God will provide all that we need in life. He does not guarantee wealth, success, or health, but he has given us a promise that He “causes all things to work together for good to those who love [Him]” (Romans 8:28). God will not be unfaithful to this promise. Christians can rejoice in the fact that no matter how difficult circumstances are, we have a God who works all things out for good. Constantly worrying about the falling stock prices is not a healthy attitude to have. Instead, it would be good for us to continually give thanks to God for granting us everything that we do have, while believing that He will continue to sustain us through this period of time.

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The Beacon is the monthly newsletter for Lighthouse Bible Church in San Diego, California. It covers a variety of subjects including LBC events, church history, current events from a Christan perspective, ministry profiles, and messages from our pastors and elders. To join the Beacon ministry, please contact Stephen Rodgers.

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