“Recession Starts Taking Toll: Will it lead to another crash?”
“Risk of Global Recession in 2023 Rises Amid Simultaneous Rate Hikes.”
The World Bank
As you all know, the media has expressed these sentiments many times over the last few years. Many are even comparing our current financial situation to the Great Depression.
It may surprise you, however, to learn that the first two articles referenced above were from November 1974 and December 1982, respectively. The fearmongers who made them in the ’70s and ’80s were predicting financial collapse. It did not come to pass then, and this current financial situation is also not the beginning of the end.
Let me quote a few statistics you probably won’t hear from our media. “Unemployment rose to 24.75 percent in 1933.” In time, that improved, but even during Ronald Reagan’s first term in the latter part of 1982, the unemployment rate rose to 10.8 percent. Yet the rest of the 1980s were some of the strongest economic years of growth this country has ever had. Today, the current unemployment rate is about 3–4 percent. Amazingly, that means 96–97 percent of Americans are still working.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell from a peak of 381.17 in October 1929 to a low of 41.22 on July 8, 1932—a decline of 89 percent. The Dow did not return to its peak for more than twenty-two years. From 1929 through 1933, about ten thousand of the twenty-five thousand banks in the United States disappeared (source: Business and Media Institute). It’s nothing like that today.
There were no federally insured deposits during the Great Depression, but today the FDIC guarantee is up to $250,000 per account. That simply means there will be no runs on the banks as there were during the Great Depression.
All of this is to say, THE SKY IS NOT FALLING. Chicken Little is out there again, predicting the worst, and I’m amazed at how many people are buying into this. I expect this from the unbelievers, but many Christians are just as worried as those who don’t have the promises of the Lord.
Do you remember the Y2K scare? The unbelievers weren’t too moved by this, but some Christians predicted this was the beginning of the Tribulation. I had a pastor friend who advocated that his members move out into the country, buy a year’s supply of food, and arm themselves with guns for protection. I know some people who were so stressed they lost their marriages over that scare.
Or how about the bird flu? I was in Scotland in October 2005 when one of the leading experts of the British healthcare system said there was no question about if the bird flu would infect humans and cause a pandemic, but only when. Then he said it might be one year or, at the most, two years, but he stated emphatically that one-third of the world’s population would die by October 2007. In October 2007, I read in USA Today that there had been a total of twelve human deaths worldwide from the bird flu. Although it’s sad that anyone died from that illness, it’s a far cry from a pandemic.
Can you see a trend or pattern here? The world likes to exaggerate (literally lie) and present the worst-case scenarios because bad news sells. I can’t do much about the world, but I would like to use my influence to affect believers. We are not to let our hearts be troubled:
Isaac went through hard times. There was a famine in the land (Gen. 26:1). Isaac was a stranger in that land. He didn’t own any property. But the Philistines around him panicked. They didn’t work their fields. What was the use? But Isaac saw it as an opportunity and took advantage of their idle fields.
This happened during a drought! What was he doing sowing seed when they were in a drought? He was believing God! That’s what we should do.
And because there was a drought, others hadn’t planted, and therefore food was in short supply. Isaac got premium prices for his crops. The next few verses tell how Isaac became so prosperous that Abimelech, the king of Gerar, came to him and asked him to leave the region because he was more prosperous than that whole nation.
This is the news believers should be listening to. We have promises from the Lord that He will provide for our needs according to His riches IN GLORY by Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19). This world’s economy doesn’t limit us! Let those who only trust in money panic. In God we trust (Ps. 91:2, 118:8-9; Is. 12:2, 26:4; and Nah. 1:7). We should be rejoicing!
I’m not saying you shouldn’t make adjustments. If you bought into this world’s philosophy—getting all you can and getting it by mortgaging your future—then come to your senses, and follow the principles of God’s Word. Even if you haven’t been burned, you’ve learned a valuable lesson, and now you can go forward with a new focus on the Lord as your source.
And let me point out the obvious: This is not a time to cut back on your sowing. You will only reap what you sow (Gal. 6:7). This is a time to believe God as never before. This is our greatest hour. We can demonstrate to the world, as Isaac did, that there is a God in heaven who blesses His people, even in the worst times.
Here we grow again! Charis is a disciple-making machine. We’ve already seen tremendous results, and the buildout of this campus is just a tool that will allow us to reach even more people and equip them for their part in this end-time harvest.
Some will say this is the worst possible time to expand, but I’m not marching to the drumbeat of the world. I know this is what the Lord is leading me to do, and the positive response we have received confirms it. The world is hungry for the message of God’s unconditional love and grace, and we are eager to meet this need through our expanded efforts.
We are setting personal records in every ministry category: phone calls, website contacts, mail, and teaching material orders are all at record numbers. More growth is coming, and now is the time to prepare.
Many of you have partnered with us in this ministry, and I believe God’s blessing on us extends to you. You can claim prosperity and blessings because you have been planting a seed in good ground. Jamie and I are believing with you for a hundredfold return.
Most importantly, “let not your heart be troubled . . . believe in God” (John 14:1).
Financial prosperity is not just about money; it is a manifestation of the anointing from God to produce wealth. Trusting God in the area of finances is the first step to prosperity, and it requires a mindset shift to view oneself as a steward of God’s finances, not an owner. If God is your source, He will supply all of your needs according to His riches, and it will not be according to this world’s system but rather God’s economy.