Rising unemployment rates, a volatile stock market, low consumer spending and ridiculously high gas prices are just a few of the signs that have led many experts to believe that our nation’s economy is headed into a recession. Simply put, a recession is a period of slow economic growth that usually lasts anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. The US Economy experiences pretty regular intervals of growth and then decline, so recessionary periods are nearly inevitable…it follows the whole “what goes up must come down” theory. Overall, our country has been blessed with long term prosperity unlike any other. That’s because, although we have experienced periods of decline, there have been many more times of growth.
I think that, in most cases, the same can be said for our spiritual growth as well. Once you become a Christian, your faith will most likely have times when it grows and times when it recedes. And, just as it is important for officials to keep a watch on the economy to see how it’s doing, we need to know the signs that our sprits are headed into a recession. Dr. David Jeremiah¹ suggests looking at it this way… if you were asked to give a testimony about the Lord’s work in your life and your ministry for Him, you should have some things to talk about that have happened within the past 2 weeks. If you don’t, your faith is probably not in a period of growth.
Fortunately, just like there are things the government can do to try to turn around a shrinking economy; you can take measures to revive a withering spirit. Start by praying that God will open your eyes to his presence. Ask him to point out any sin in your life that you may be currently unaware of. Commit to spend time regularly in his word. And, if you are not regularly attending church, now is the time to find a church home…fellowship and worship with other believers is so important for a healthy faith. Listen to the advice in 1 Timothy 4:15 “Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.
Finally, don’t be discouraged when you find that your faith has been stagnant for a while. God hasn’t gone anywhere…he’s ready and waiting for you to recommit and refocus.
1. Dr. David Jeremiah, “Take the Road Test,” Turning Points Magazine and Devotional (August 2007): 24