Thursday, July 18 2024 - 6:53 AM

Sharing Scripture — March 18, 2023

Managing in Tough Times

 

For use: March 12-18, 2023
Texts: 1 Chronicles 21:1–14, 2 Chronicles 20:1–22, 2 Peter 3:3–12, 1 John 2:15–17, Revelation 13:11–17

 

Argentina’s inflation rate hits 102.5 percent, states Indec, and it doesn’t look like the consumer price index will drop any time in the foreseeable future. According to Lucinda Elliot, writing for the “Financial Times”, the price spikes are largely due to actions taken by the Argentine government, primarily through the Central Bank of Argentina (CBA).

In part to preserve foreign currency reserves and meet debts to foreign entities, complex import regulations via the CBA were instituted October 2022. These regulations make it nearly impossible for Argentine importers to receive and pay for imported goods.

In sum, everyday consumers and even business-to-business operations are struggling to buy and sell unless they meet a myriad of standards set by the government.

Sound familiar?

Revelation 13:11-17 speaks of a powerful beast which imposes limits on who can buy or sell.

While many Argentinians may feel like they are nearing Armageddon, these regulations and those like it have yet to fully penetrate the globe.

However, the dire financial situation in Argentina is cause for all of us to wonder how we should manage our finances in times of trouble. And unfortunately, John and Revelator doesn’t really provide an answer for how the saints are to deal with the beast’s restrictions.

The most basic and straightforward answer can be found back at the beginning of the Bible. The way we should manage our money, even in times of trouble, is through caring for others and furthering God’s kingdom. (Deuteronomy 14:28-29)

And the Bible in its entirety makes it clear that for those of us who trust in God, money should not be a cause for concern.

We often attribute money as the source for our basic needs, but Matthew 6:33-34 (NKJV) quotes Jesus stating otherwise: “‘But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.'”

 

For Reflection

 

Connecting: Why does the beast of the Earth in Revelation 13 attack people through buying and selling?

Sharing: What is your instinctual reaction when faced with financial difficulty?

  1. Panic!
  2. Turn to prayer and fasting.
  3. Cast blame on others (looking at you, CBA).
  4. Wonder what it was that you did wrong to deserve this harsh punishment.
  5. Squirrel away the remaining funds … and maybe go on the lam. …
  6. Other:

Applying: Brainstorm a way to explain to the worrier in your life (it might even be yourself) how to trust in God and not in your own resources. Refer to the Scriptures for references.

Valuing: Would you change any of your spending habits if you knew the world was ending at the end of the year, and what does your answer reveal about your relationship with Jesus?

 

~ Stefani Leeper

 

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