Weathering the Next Economic Storm

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The Bible has much to say about money and wealth. Jonathan Bernis points to three in particular that are especially relevant on the eve of an economic storm.

The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty. —Proverbs 22:3

An economic storm is brewing. It could be a very big, very destructive one.

Please understand, I’m not trying to frighten you. The fact is economic booms, busts, panics, bubbles and crises have always been with us. And they always will be until that glorious day when Yeshua (Jesus) returns to bring full restoration and put everything in order. 

In fact, Yeshua’s parable of the two house builders with two strikingly different foundations (Matthew 7:24-27) makes it clear that the storms of life come to every household.

The wonderful news within Yeshua’s parable is that it’s possible to weather the severest of storms—if you have the proper foundation. That foundation is, of course, the Word of God.

No, my purpose isn’t to alarm you. On the contrary, I simply want to help you be prepared to weather the next storm because, like it or not, storms come. And because I am convinced we are living in the Last Days, I believe our times are about to become especially stormy.

The Bible has much to say about wealth and money. It’s literally filled with principles that empower us to be prudent, peaceful and to experience abundance. Right now I want to point you to three in particular that are especially relevant on the eve of an economic storm.

1. Recognize that God Cares About Your Financial Health

Far too many Believers view money and financial matters as irrelevant to their lives; or more commonly, something unclean and unholy. It seems they have bought into the Scripture-twisting lie that “money is the root of all evil.” Of course, that’s not what the Bible says. In 1 Timothy 6:10 NIV, Paul warns his young protégé that . . . the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. It is a warning against idolatry.

The clear and liberating message Yeshua taught and modeled is that God cares deeply about every aspect of our lives, including our finances and needs. We can come to God confidently and expectantly for wisdom, insight and help where our finances are concerned.

2. Reduce or Eliminate Debt

The Bible does not prohibit debt or lending, but it does contain numerous strong warnings and hearty encouragements about it. One of the most sobering of these is found in Proverbs 22:7 where we’re warned . . . the borrower is slave to the lender.

Not all debt is created equal, either. Secured or collateralized debt, such as a home mortgage, is very different from unsecured, high-interest credit card debt.

Depending upon your specific circumstances, it may not be possible to completely eliminate debt, but whatever you can do to reduce your debt load now will strengthen your position when the next storm comes.

Naturally, you’ll be more successful in this endeavor if you don’t try to do it in your own power. Ask God for help. Ask for and receive a supernatural impartation of wisdom and instruction.

You may recall that when Peter came to Yeshua with the problem of a debt they seemingly couldn’t pay—the Temple Tax—Yeshua gave him highly unusual, very explicit instructions. Namely, go to the lake; catch a fish; look in the fish’s mouth; find a coin; and then use it to pay the tax for both of us. (See Matthew 17:24-27).

God not only cares about our finances, He is willing and able to bring supernatural help to those who hear His voice and follow His instructions. This leads us to our third key . . .

3. Embrace God’s Priorities

Finally, we are uniquely positioned to come through the severest financial storms when we align our thinking and our actions with God’s priorities. Clearly, God’s highest priority is redeeming lost souls. It’s why He sent the promised Messiah—“to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). But Yeshua also said His first and primary mission was to the “lost sheep of Israel” (Matthew 15:24).

The Word is revealing a key priority of God’s heart here.

Paul also proclaimed God’s divine order when he said in Romans 1:16, For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

Honoring this “to the Jew first, and also to the nations” priority sits at the heart of our mission here at Jewish Voice. And I’m convinced it’s the reason we’ve seen God open so many doors of opportunity for us. I believe it has invited God’s supernatural blessings and empowering upon us.

I’m not alone in that belief.

Pastor Robert Morris leads one of the largest and fastest growing congregations in North America—Gateway Church in the Dallas, Texas area. (You’ll find a powerful article by Pastor Morris in this issue of JVT magazine on page 8.)

Not only has Gateway experienced astonishing growth in its 12-year existence, it is renowned for its overall health and financial stability. In fact, Gateway launched the most ambitious building initiative in its history just as the financial crisis of 2008-2009 was unfolding. The campaign to fund expansion was successful beyond anyone’s dreams—in a season during which most organizations were hunkering down or cutting back.

Robert is frequently asked why he thinks Gateway has experienced such consistent, remarkable blessing—even in the midst of economic storms. His answer surprises most people. He points to one thing.

Early in the church’s history they embraced a “to the Jew first” priority in their finances and giving. Gateway is a generous funder of missionary and evangelistic outreaches. But the first of their giving every month is designated for outreaches like Jewish Voice that are effectively reaching Jewish People with The Good News that Yeshua is the promised Messiah.

I have personally seen this principle in operation in my own life and in the lives of countless others. There is something profoundly powerful that happens in our lives when we make God’s priorities our priorities.

Yes, an economic storm is brewing. But we, God’s people, can weather it in peace and come through strong, whole and victorious. Yeshua still comes to us walking on the water in the midst of the raging storm. His message hasn’t changed:

. . . “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid” (Matthew 14:27).

 

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