Hope In These Troubled Financial Times- Part Two

How did we get into this mess?

Last week we discussed the terrible financial times we are experiencing and how we Christians can respond with hope and faith that transcends difficulties all around.  Before you read this post go there and read about how to respond to our troubled financial times.

Welcome back.  How did we get ourselves in this mess?  I am talking about the mess we make of our lives when we try to live a life focused on the world.

When we try to create our future and control our destiny we fall into Satan’s trap.  That is exacty what he wants.  He wants us to frugally save our money and build portfolios that we will rely upon to retire.  In his game, we can build a safety net.  That way we are self reliant.

Satan wants us to create a nice home, raise a nice family and build a strong marriage.  We know if we do that, our future will be filled with warmth and fulfillment.  Our holidays will be joyful affairs with our extended families and our day to day lives will be filled with pride in our children’s accomplishments and satisfaction from meaningful friendships.  Satan knows that if we do these things well, we will place our reliance on them.

We listened in Sunday School and we know to avoid the traps of this world.  We gave up our drug use, mostly avoided porn, we only stole a pad of paper or two from the office and we never hurt anyone.  And, if we didn’t, we were able to rehabilitate ourselves and begin building “a life”.

And that was how we got ourselves into this mess, by working so hard to “build a life”, when God wants us to be working on eternity.

You see, none of those “life building” activities are really bad; except Satan is happy to let us turn those activities into self reliance.

I know it sounds cliche’ to blame the world’s problems on Adam and Eve but their defiance in the Garden was the first act of self relience. Not only did it separate us from God, but the curse gave Satan an opening in our lives.  Let me show what I mean from Genesis 3:13-17

16To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will (Q)bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And (R)he will rule over you.”

17Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;
(S)Cursed is the ground because of you;
(T)In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
18“Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
19By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you (U)return to the ground,
Because (V)from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”

I am about to speak in gender generalities.  I know in every generality there are many individuals who do not fit the mold and I respect that.  However, I stand by these next few paragraphs as being descriptive of most of us.  This is the genesis of our troubes today.

I will start at the end, with the men, and work back to the women.  To Adam and us men, God said in toil you will eat from this cursed ground that will be infested with thorns and thistles.  You will sweat to feed you and your family until the day you die.  Sounds like fun doesn’t it.

Man has spent the rest of history trying to overcome that curse.  We want to create the security of knowing if the ground does not respond to our toil we will have built up treasures on earth as a back-up.  We do not want to work until the day we die.  We must overcome this curse and build up a nest egg (treasure?) that will enable us to spend our later years in leisure.  The pursuit of this false security has caused these troubled financial times, but it has also caused the destruction of our planet and war after war after war.

Funny, it seems like God had generously provided for us but we had to do it our way.  It’s not working so well for us is it?

As a matter of fact, it works so not well, that Solomon, the wisest, wealthiest most respected man on Earth ended his treatiste on life with the wisdom that “all is vanity”.

Don’t think you ladies are immune, you have your own curses.  God cursed you with a desire for a man so strong that he will rule over you. Can anyone say “He Is Just Not That Into You”?  Women long and pursue for intimacy with men that causes them to subjugate themselves.  Even in this day of women’s freedom and self respect the cultural dialogue revolves around the desire for woman’s relationship man.  It causes so much promiscuity, heartache and abuse.

Finally, women are cursed with the  pain of bringing children forth in this world.  I am not speaking of the pain of childbirth, though that looks like it really hurts.  I am speaking of the pain of unrequited love for your children.  You feel all of their pain and sorrow.  You fight to make their lives safe.  You fantasize about the perfect home for them.  And they leave and they start their own lives and they do not share your love.  And you are left with a hole in your heart.

Their is no problem with working hard, living a frugal life, loving you husband and raising your children.

The problem is that we so easily fall into the real curse of allowing ourselves to be separated from God by relying on these worldly things.

In Matthew 6: 30-34 Christ tells us not to worry and not to fret but to rely on Him.  He tells us not seek our comfort in the worldly delusions of marriage, children andwealth but to seek His Kingdom and His Righteousness.

But how can we if we are living under the curse of Adam and Eve?

Christ created a path for us to transcend the curse and to live through these frightening times with peace, hope and faith.  Next week I will show youhow he did it.

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