Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Learning Lessons of faith during tough times (Part 1)

First, open your Bible to Mark 4:35-43...

Is it any secret that we are living in difficult times? While America is still the strongest country on the planet and while we are still the envy of the world, there are many in our nation who are struggling. Many arguments could be made as to who is to blame for the circumstances we are facing, especially economically, but arguing is not the issue. The real issue a Christian and for a church is how we respond and live in the midst of what many are calling “tough times.”

For many, these tough times are not a theory, but a reality. In 2008, the DOW lost 38%. This is the largest stock market decline and loss since the Great Depression 70 years ago. I personally lost 18.75% of the total cash value of my annuity retirement account just from October to December 2008. Jobs are being terminated, people are being laid off, and companies are choosing four day work weeks. Car lots are filled with new vehicles and new homes sit empty all over our city. The Bible would not call this “tough times,” but a “storm.” Read the words of Mark 4:35-43.

When you read this passage, Jesus had just given His disciples some important lessons and teachings about the Kingdom of God. To see if they had been paying attention, Jesus decided to give them a “pop quiz” or a practical test to see how much they had really learned. Paul tells us in Romans 10:17 that the hearing of God’s Word is intended to produce faith. You see it isn’t enough for we who are believers to just continually hear God’s Word. We must also be able to put God’s Word to practice in our lives through the exercising of our faith in the Lord.

In the coming days, I will be sharing with you some of these important lessons about how we are to exercise faith in the Lord during tough times like these.