OpEd, Politics

Staying positive in the biting economic situation: a biblical guideline of managing the hardships

Rev. Ellie Sworo

 

In times of economic hardship, finding strength and guidance in faith can be a source of comfort and direction. We very well understand the economic hardship most average citizens are going through at the moment.

In such difficulties, it is not a sign that God is absent or not listening to the prayers of His children. These are times God wanted us to draw closer to Him and trust in Him. The book of James 1:2-4 clearly says Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you are involved in various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But you must let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”  Such difficult times are a test of our faith, and we must endure. Here are some Biblical guidelines that might help us navigate through the economic hardships.

  1. Look Upward: Focus on God rather than your circumstances. Trusting in God’s sovereignty and care can provide peace and a different perspective during tough times.
  2. Pray for Provision: Tell God your needs and ask for His provision, wisdom, and grace. Praying for revival and spiritual awakening can also be a powerful way to navigate through uncertainty. However, as we pray and ask God for provision, we shouldn’t sit back and fold our hands. We must work and the 10th point clearly mentioned diligence in our work.
  3. Learn Contentment: Recognize that God has provided everything needed for the present and trust that He will continue to provide in the future. Contentment comes from a heart that believes in God’s sufficiency. 1 Timothy 6:6 says “…godliness with contentment does bring a great profit.” We must be contented with whatever God has given unto us presently and do not envy others.
  4. Embrace God’s Purposes: Understand that adversity can reveal our hearts, purify us, and deepen our dependence on God. Hard times can be blessings in disguise as they turn our hearts more towards God.
  5. Reorder Priorities: Economic hardship often reveals what truly matters to us. It’s an opportunity to assess our lives and align our priorities with God’s will, focusing on a simpler, more meaningful lifestyle. Know your most essential needs and provide for them and let go of the lest important needs for the moment.
  6. Be Generous: The Bible encourages generosity, even in scarcity. Sharing with others can be a testament to your faith and can provide support to the community.
  7. Stewardship: Remember that we are stewards of God’s creation. This means making wise decisions with the resources we have, always considering the well-being of our neighbours.
  8. Scriptural Meditation: Reflect on verses that promise God’s provision and care, such as Philippians 4:19, which says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus”. Meditating on God’s Word gives us a lot of comfort and helps us to keep moving regarding of the hardship.
  9. Avoid Debt: The Bible warns against the dangers of debt. Proverbs 22:7 says, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” It’s wise to live within your means and avoid financial obligations that can lead to stress and hardship. Do not borrow if you are not sure of a means of paying back.
  10. Work Diligently: Colossians 3:23 advises, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Hard work and integrity can lead to better financial stability. Be good at the work you do and ensure that the work you do is a genuine one that doesn’t cause pain to others. Living at the expenses of others sweat can be dangerous. In James 5:4 the Bible says “Look! The wages that you kept back from the workers who harvested your fields are shouting out against you, and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of the Heavenly Armies.” The cries of those we cheat, rob, or unlawfully take from them in reaching the ears of God and we can never go unpunished. When you reach that chapter from the beginning, you will realize James started by saying woe to those who get riches in dubious ways.

These guidelines are not only spiritually enriching but also offer practical advice for managing economic challenges. They encourage a shift in focus from material wealth to spiritual richness, fostering a sense of community, support, and hope during difficult times.

 

Glory Baptist Church, Juba.

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