Archive for July 28th, 2009

28
Jul
09

The Economic Crisis and 10 Reasons to Count Your Blessings

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks.”

We’re a few years into what most call our “economic crisis” and it seems that wherever we turn, or watch, someone or somebody is talking about how hard it’s been (for businesses, those with money, those without, etc.). Most interesting to me are those I interact with who really haven’t been hit by the crisis all that bad, yet actually feel as thought they have. In this season I certainly have been tested on several fronts where I stand with my faith level to trust in the Lord completely for provision vs. worrying about tomorrow. Therefore I submit the following points to ponder and suggest that we all have more blessings to count than we realize:

1. Has your income remained steady through this time?

If your income has remained steady, or even increased during this time, you are not in economic crisis…period. If you have other financial woes (such as investment issues) it could have happened in and out of this season. Count your blessings!

2. If you got laid off, were you able to collect unemployment compensation?

Many people who lose their jobs cannot collect if their employer does not pay or is exempt from paying unemployment insurance (non-profits included). This means that they not only lose their income, but there is nothing to replace even part of it. If you collected or are currently collecting unemployment compensation – count your blessings!

3. If you are purchasing a home, do you still live in it?

Many people have lost their homes in this season. I you still live in your home, count your blessings!

4. Are your credit cards/lines maxed out?

Without a job, income, or other financial support many people have to run up credit or taken all the equity out of their homes just to survive month to month. These people not only have regular expenses to cover, but they now need to dig out of additional debt to get back on their feet.

5. Did you apply for food assistance?

Better yet, were you turned down for State or Federal assistance when you applied? If so you should be rejoicing. You must not be that bad off if you can’t qualify for food assistance! To put it in perspective, do you have a roof over your head, food on the table at night, gas in the car, and a family who loves you? Count your blessings!

6. Do you have health insurance?

The self-employed, unemployed, and underemployed often do not have health insurance. They go many months and even years praying for supernatural health for their family and cannot get care for the smaller events that occur like strep throat or a rash. The emergency room is their only option. So count your blessings if you have health insurance!

7. If you have any type of retirement account like an IRA, Roth IRA, or 401k or other type of investment such as CD’s, do you still have money there?

Many people have been singing a sad song about the state of their retirement accounts. Yet there are those who have not only taken money from their retirement accounts, they have had to completely cash them out just to make ends meet in the short term (and to add insult to injury, they will pay a penalty to the IRS for removing it). If you still have an active account, it means you didn’t need that money just to sustain your lifestyle. That must mean you have cash on hand other than your retirement. Count your blessings!

8. Do you have cable, take the newspaper, have high speed Internet, use a cell phone, ever go out to eat, buy coffee at Starbucks or did you go on a vacation this year?

Many people do not have these optional things. They have had to cancel all plans for time away or vacationing, up to and including missing important family events that would force them to travel like weddings, funerals, graduations, etc. They also have chosen to abandon creature comforts since they simply cannot afford them up to and including things like soda and ice cream at the grocery store or renting movies.

9. Can you pay your bills?

Regardless of how you have been touched by this economic downturn, are you able to pay your bills month over month? If so, count your blessings no matter how you had to work to get that money (career change, minimum wage, multiple jobs, etc.). Many are working 2 and 3 jobs and still cannot make enough money each month to replace their former income and therefore are falling behind regularly. It is not uncommon to meet a former professional who is several weeks in arrears on their bills with no foreseeable upswing.

10. Did you experience a true crisis more important than money?

If not, you should count your blessings. You do not have a loved one with cancer, you did not lose your marriage, you did not lose a friend or family member to premature death, you are not dealing with abuse or betrayal, mental illness, etc. And I am only listing the things that I have personally seen people through over the last 6 months. People have had houses burn to the ground, husbands die in a fiery crashes, embezzlement, death of a child, disease, etc. If your life has pretty much stayed a steady course without a catastrophic crisis, you should count your blessings!

God has blessed us with many things not the least of which is a promise of eternal life and salvation through his son Jesus Christ. If you are struggling with fears or are in a personal crisis of your own, go to here and read some of the life-giving articles. Crisis is real, focus on what really matters, and let’s not allow the media and naysayers dictate where we find our joy!

James 1:2-3 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

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