Tag Archives: Financial Crisis

A New Perspective

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The Lord helps the fallen

and lifts up those bent beneath their loads.

Psalm 145:14 (NLT)

As I awaited departure for my flight home, I worried that my trip would be delayed or cancelled due to the ominous appearance of the brewing winter storm.  The dark, billowing clouds matched my dreary mood.  Thankfully, the flight took off as scheduled, and we ascended through the turbulent mass of clouds.  For a while, I saw nothing out of my window seat view except gray wisps of thick foggy vapor mixed with icy rain droplets streaking across my window.  As the plane punched through the cloud ceiling and reached its cruising altitude, I was blinded by the glorious light of the setting sun.  My spirit instantly brightened, and it amazed me to think about the stark contrast of this majestic site above the cloud canopy, compared to the gloomy conditions below.

This experience reminded me of how often we allow burdensome circumstances in life to weigh us down and make us feel that we are “bent beneath our loads.”   Our outlook is gloomy because we only focus on the worrisome details of our lives, and we lose sight of the fact that the Son is up above us watching over every moment of our day.  He cares about our burdens and wants to lift us up and give us a new perspective.

“In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came to His ears.  He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under His feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. He made darkness His canopy around Him— the dark rain clouds of the sky.  Out of the brightness of His presence bolts of lightning blazed forth. He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters.”  2 Samuel 22:7,10-13,17

Your distress might be in the form of financial struggles, a health crisis, career concerns, parenting issues, addiction battles or relationship strife.  But regardless of what load you are carrying, it can be overwhelming.  God listens to each whispered prayer, and your cry for help reaches His ears –He loves you and He wants to help.  He will lift up those bent beneath their load.  He doesn’t always completely remove the burden, but by lifting your focus from doom and gloom to His majestic glory, your soul is strengthened, and you will have renewed stamina to keep moving forward.

“…the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
the Lord loves the righteous.”

Psalm 146:8 (NIV)

The Perfect Storm

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Before very long, a wind of hurricane force,

called the “northeaster,”

swept down from the island.

The ship was caught by the storm

and could not head into the wind;

so we gave way to it and were driven along.

Act 27:14 – 15

As I write this post, Hurricane Sandy is brewing in the Atlantic.  Forecasters have predicted that this late season tropical cyclone could turn into “The Perfect Storm,” referring to the possibility of a rare combination of weather systems merging together to create a scenario of unusual magnitude.  In the case of Sandy, the tropical moisture of the hurricane could potentially collide with a huge blast of arctic air to wreak havoc on the northeastern coast of the United States where Sandy is expected to make landfall early next week as a Super Storm of potentially historic proportions.

In the key verses above, Paul and his shipmates were being pummeled about at sea by another late season storm where two weather systems had collided.  The conditions were so terrible that they could not fight the storm and eventually “gave way to it and were driven along.”  This northeaster was a storm of unusual magnitude, and their ship was caught up in the angry seas for over two weeks.

Sometimes we face situations in life which seem like “perfect storm” conditions, causing us to feel like giving way to the wind and waves that rock our world.  There are many types of stormy situations that could devastate our lives:

  • financial calamity
  • medical crisis
  • death in the family
  • relational strife
  • betrayal by a friend
  • loss of a job
  • illness of a child
  • teenage rebellion
  • debilitating injury

Perhaps we are strong enough to successfully navigate through one of these problems, but when two or more of these “systems” merge together at once, we may feel like “giving way” to the storms because we feel powerless to withstand the impact. In our weakness, we simply go with the flow and feel aimlessly tossed about.

If you are facing such a super storm of life right now, remember that God is bigger than anything you might be going through.  He created the earth and the sea and everything in it, and He holds your life (along with all your problems) in His hands.  When you feel that you have lost all hope, remember that He is the anchor of hope for your soul. 

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure… Hebrews 6:19

You are not alone in your time of crisis.  God is right by your side, and He is your strength when you have nothing left.  Hope in Him is firm and secure, even when you feel like you don’t have a solid foundation upon which to stand.  When you are in a Life Storm, it is natural to be afraid, but if you place your trust completely in the Lord you are able to have courage to face whatever comes your way.

God never promised that His children would never face problems, but He does promise that He will be by our side no matter what.  If you are in a “Perfect Storm,” He can handle it.  Simply hold on tightly to your anchor!

“When the storm has swept by,

the wicked are gone,

but the righteous stand firm forever.

Proverbs 10:25

Unfamiliar Paths

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I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
    along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
    and make the rough places smooth. 
These are the things I will do;
    I will not abandon them.

Isaiah 42:16

 

This passage brings hope to those who may be walking an unfamiliar path in life, blindly forging ahead on uncharted territory.  This dark path could be the result of unemployment, illness, divorce, disability, mounting debt, addiction, or the loss of a loved one.  You may have found yourself in a position as a caregiver, patient, single parent, or widow, and you feel as though you are blindly groping through each day, with no direction or guidance. 

 

But for those who trust in God, He promises to light the steps ahead.  He will take you by the hand and guide you through this journey.  With Him by your side, you will not stumble.  Your Heavenly Father will carry you when you are too weak to move ahead on your own strength.  He will make the rough places smooth, and He will never abandon you.  Simply trust in Him; His promises are true, and He will help you.

 

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the Lord his God,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
    the sea, and everything in them—
    the Lord, who remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed 
    and gives food to the hungry. 
The Lord sets prisoners free, 
    the Lord gives sight to the blind, 
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, 
    the Lord loves the righteous. 
The Lord watches over the alien 
    and sustains the fatherless and the widow…

Psalm 146: 5-9 

Casting Cares

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Cast the whole of your care,

[all your anxieties,

all your worries,

all your concerns,

once and for all]

on Him,

for He cares for you affectionately and

cares about you watchfully.

1 Peter 5:7AMP


God wants to help you will all your “baggage.” Whatever concerns you, whatever is causing you anxiety, all your worries, all your problems ~ no matter what kind of burden you are carrying around in your heart, He cares deeply about you, and He wants you to give it all to Him. Trust that He is big enough to handle anything you bring Him, and He’s always ready to take the load off your shoulders.

God is Faithful

[reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise,

and He can be depended on]…

1 Corinthians 1:9a

Yet I will Rejoice

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Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty…
yet I will rejoice in the LORD!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign LORD is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights.

Habakkuk 3:17 – 19 NIV


When you feel overwhelmed by the weight of problems bearing down on you from all sides or if your troubles seem to be more that you can handle, remember that you can still find joy in our LORD, and that joy is actually your source of strength.

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 NIV

We are not controlled by the circumstances swirling around our lives. As children of God, we have a source of unlimited strength within us to endure any trial we face. He will give us surefooted confidence to place one foot in front of the other as we tread through the deepest valleys. You will run like a swift deer through dangerous and rough terrain.

Instead of focusing on your difficulties, look to God and rejoice in Him. Your troubles will pale in comparison to the light of His glory. Trust Him with any situation in life, and you will find confidence and hope in the darkest of days.

Peace for Today

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Peace I leave with you;

My peace I give you.

I do not give to you as the world gives.

Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27 (NIV1984)

 

Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles;

It takes away today’s peace.

(Author unknown)

 

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7 (NIV1984)

 


 

My Heart Will Not Fear

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The Lord is the light of my salvation-

Whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life-

Of whom shall I be afraid?

Though an army besiege me,

My heart will not fear,

Though war break out against me,

Even then will I be confident.

Psalm 27: 1, 3

 

God does not lack the power to bring order to a chaotic world…or a chaotic life. You may not be engaged in a physical war, but you may feel besieged by a battle you are facing in your personal life. Your struggle could be a medical crisis, a relational rift, a financial stress or an internal trial. Regardless of which type of war is breaking out against you, you can find the strength to endure by placing your trust in the One who is the light of your salvation and the stronghold of your life. With God by your side, you can face any situation with courage and confidence…and without fear.