Has the cost of living got you down?
Right now, the cost of living has reached unprecedented levels here in the United States. Inflation is higher than it has been in years! Everything from fuel to electricity to meat to baby formula is in short supply, or unavailable altogether.
While the price of almost everything is going up, wage increases are simply not keeping up. Many people have not gotten a pay raise in the past few years even as the “free money” being given out by Washington D.C. has long since run out. Americans are experiencing an economy not seen since the dismal days of Jimmy Carter.
What is a person to do?
Well, first, it is important to keep everything in perspective. As bad as things have gotten, we are still far from the economic calamity that America and the world had endured back in the 1930s. Just look at the money spent on luxuries and leisure activities and you’ll realize that people still live as if they have excess cash.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that some people are strapped. Some parts of the world are strained already and looking at food shortages that are far more threatening than rising produce prices. Large swatches of the globe will see widespread hunger and starvation if the current trends continue, and that will lead to unrest and violence on an epic scale.
And, two, wherever you are, stay thankful for the provisions the Lord has given you. Agur the oracle prayed, “Keep deception and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches” (Proverbs 30:7-9). He wisely recognized that either extreme would tempt him to either profane the Lord by stealing or to deny the Lord in his self-sufficiency. Jesus taught His disciples to simply pray day by day for their daily bread while being confident that the God who provides for the birds of the air will supply all of our needs (Matthew 6:11,26).
And, three, it is also helpful to keep an eternal perspective. If you think the cost of living is high, have you considered the cost of dying? Without Jesus Christ, every person’s death sentence is eternal damnation — unceasing separation from the love of God. So, for those who do not trust Jesus as Savior, no matter how tough life is, death will be infinitely worse. As the Clint Eastwood character, Josey Wales once said, “Dyin’ ain’t much of a living.”
Jesus has endured the unbearable cost of dying for all who put their faith in Him. He suffered a painful and dishonorable death while enduring the wrath of God and separation from the Father. For the Christian, death not only has no sting nor victory over us, but it also represents a great gain, because when we die we are immediately ushered into the presence of Christ (Philippians 1:21-23).
So, while we are still here, “hard-pressed” as we might be, we engage in fruitful labor, not for our own sake, but for the sake of others and the glory of God (Philippians 1:22-24).
Finally, if you ever feel downcast, just heed the words we often close with on our Christ in Prophecy television program: “Look up and be watchful, for our Redemption, Jesus Christ Himself, is drawing near!”