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How to prosper in a troubled economy
Third John two declares beloved I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health even as thy soul prospers. Even though true prosperity deals with more than just money, for the purpose of this article we are just dealing with financial prosperity.
A bad economy is nothing new because even in Bible times the bad economy was known as a famine. There was a famine during the time of Abraham according to Genesis chapter number 12 and verse 10 which reads and there was a famine in the land and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land. Egypt was a popular and wealthy place during biblical times and it is also symbolic of the world system where humanity lives. Because Abraham obeyed God we find in Genesis 13 that he had become very wealthy during the famine.
There are practical things that people do during bad times and these are great practices when consistently followed. One should consider paying themselves and putting those savings away to help establish an emergency fund. One should also consider using plastic surgery to credit cards and buy on a cash only basis. It is also a good idea for a person to only live within their means because one can never get ahead living beyond one’s means.
I purposely left out the most important strategy one can use in a bad economy, but to the average person who only relies on the world’s way of doing things…this can seem very foolish. The Bible says that the natural man receives not the things of God because they are foolishness unto him and God’s way of doing things always includes giving. To the average mind giving when there is not enough to give does not make sense, but God’s way of doing things is to give trusting him to add to what one has left over.
This is why a person’s soul which includes the mind will and emotions must be renewed by the word of God. According to Philippians we must put on the mind of Christ and this is done by reading, meditating and obeying the word of God. Words create images and the more a person reads the Bible, the more an image will develop on the inside concerning what is being read. For example the more that a person reads Philippians 4:19 which says my God shall supply all my need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus, the more this person will have an image on the inside of seeing their needs met. So we begin to see according to Scripture that God’s way of doing things in a bad economy is not for a person to save their way out, but to give their way out trusting God to meet their needs.
A few scriptures concerning giving are Luke 6:38 which says give and it shall be given unto you good measure ,pressed down, shaken together and running over shall men give into your bosom; for with the same measure that you meet it shall be measured to you again.
The Bible also says in Corinthians he that sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly, and he that sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully. In context this sowing and reaping principle applies to finance. This is the same principle that was also used in the life of Isaac Abraham’s son in Genesis 26.
The Bible says in Genesis 26:1-3a and there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went on to Abimelech
king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And the Lord appeared unto him and said go not down into Egypt dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: sojourn in this land and I will be with thee and will bless thee; for unto thee and unto thy seed I will give all these countries and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father.
The first thing we see in this text during the famine was that God told Isaac not to go down to Egypt but to dwell in the land. Everyone else was heading toward Egypt which was the wealthy economy again of that day, but God wanted Isaac to trust him and to do things his way and not the way of the world system. One would think how was Isaac to dwell or live in a bad economy, but God had further instructions for him and he obeyed God. Genesis 26:12 says then Isaac sowed in that land and received in the same year and hundredfold and the Lord blessed him.
Isaac did not keep everything to himself, but he was a giver during the famine and when everyone else became victims of the famine, he prospered because the Lord blessed him.