Thriving Financially in Time of Recession (I)
Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in His commands. Wealth and riches are in their houses and their righteousness endures forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor, their righteousness endures forever (Psalm 112:1, 3, 7, 9)
God controls time and season. “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease” (Gen. 8:22). He cannot be taken unaware by any situation. In the same way, He has his principles laid down for those who are His to manage every situation of life.
Recession is not a new phenomenon. In simple term, it is a time of temporary economy downturn, especially a lack of financial resources to meet certain basic needs. In Biblical term, it is called famine. The bible is replete with records of famines but especially of how the people of God triumphed and managed their financial life while the situation persisted.
Obviously, we are in a period of famine in our nation at the moment. Things are hard for several people. Basics things of life are very expensive and most of them are beyond reach for common man. Manufacturing sectors are feeling the heat the most. This is not a good season for many. But I still need to repeat that this is not new. It has happened in the past. In the days of Joseph of the bible as the prime minister in Egypt, there was economic downturn;it was a hard time. “And when the money was all gone in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptian came to Joseph and said, ‘Give us food, for why should we die in your presence? For our money is gone” (Gen. 45:15 NASB).That was a high level of inflation and that is the kind we are experiencing at the moment in our nation.
The good news is that in a situation like this, you must realize that God has a bailout agenda for those who care to give attention to biblical injunctions. God’s people have never been negatively affected by famine. God’s plan still stands and so must we pay attention to it: “May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, ‘The Lord be exalted, who delights in the well-being of His servant” (Psalm 35:27). God’s plan is that you will flourish like a palm tree and grow strong like a cedar in Lebanon (Psalm 92:12). The palm tree is an all-weather tree; drought has no effect on it.
However, every of God’s promise is premised on understanding and applying certain biblical principles. Principles are divine laws that deliver results anytime, anywhere. Principles are universal in nature and as long as you adhere to it, you are sure of getting result. Jesus called them the secrets of the kingdom of God (Matthew 13:11). At another time, He called them the keys of the kingdom (Matthew 16:19). Key guarantees access to where inheritance is locked up. Once you have the key then all struggles cease. Therefore, my goal in this piece is to share with you seven laws of financial management and abundance in a time of recession. For this part I, I will share three of those laws with you while I will be giving out the other four in part II.
- Law of Divine Direction
“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go” (Isaiah 48:17).
Divine leading is one of the trade secret people of God have employed from time immemorial to live triumphantly in times of drought. People are usually under pressure to get engage in all manner of things for survival in time of economic recession. But for God’s people, you must learn to wait on God to seek direction on what to do. God is very much interested in every aspect of your life including finance. He is your shepherd and He is interested in leading you to green pasture (Psalm 23:1; 100:3).
Isaac was a good example of an individual who survived a period of famine through the engagement of this law. “Now there was a famine in the land, besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So, Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech King of the Philistines. And the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘Do not go down to Egypt: stay in this land of which I shall tell you” (Gen. 26:1, 2). Isaac was to adopt the strategy his father, Abraham engaged to maneuver his own hard time but God had another plan. When Isaac obeyed this directive, he did not only survive the famine period, he eventually became a business mogul and was mightily blessed of the Lord: “Now Isaac sowed in that land, and he reaped in the same year a hundred fold. And the Lord blessed him” (Gen. 26:12)
Peter was another case study on point who, through the force of divine direction moved from failure to fame; he experienced 11th hour miracle because he heeded the leading of the master of all situation and circumstances. Peter was a professional fisherman; he was skillful in his business. But the tide was against him that particular day; his business went into recession. In his own word, he told Jesus, “Master, we‘ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything” (Luke 5:5). Recession time is characterized with much labour with little to show for it. But when he obeyed Jesus’ directive to launch into the deep, he caught so much fish that his net broke and he had to signaled to his partner to help him manage his exploits (Luke 5:6,7). This shows that God can create abundance for you in the midst of scarcity and wants so that when others are saying there is a falling down, you can confidently say there is a lifting up (Psalm 20:8).
- Law of Service
“Now Isaac sowed in that land, and he reaped in the same year a hundred fold. And the Lord blessed him” (Gen. 26:12)
Money is a reward for service. Money only flows to wherever service is provided; it is not a respecter of persons. When Isaac sowed even in a time of famine, he reaped a hundred fold that same year. Sowing and reaping is a spiritual law that holds, no matter the prevailing economic circumstance. The question is, what service are you providing for people around you? Do you have any business venture you are engaged in?here is a timely counsel from Solomon: “In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury” (Proverbs 14:23 KJV).This passage is simply telling you that you can command financial fortune by simply engaging in the art of buying and selling. You must be an entrepreneur. Jacob provided service to Laban and so he was rewarded financially for his service. “After Jacob had stayed with him for a whole month, Laban said to him, ‘just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be?” (Gen29: 14, 15).
You must realize that you are a solution to someone’s problem. And whenever a problem is solved, money is usually a reward that follows. I always admire (or probably envy) the vulcanizer besides my office. Every time I hear the sound of his machine, I know that someone has coughed out at least #100 as a reward to him because he had helped solved that person’s problem – to inflate his tyre. In the same way, a launderer solves people’s problem by helping them dry-clean cloths.
The question is, what service can you render to people that will command money from their pocket without you necessarily become a beggar? Some of you have more than one thing you can do at a time to generate multiple streams of income for yourself as Robert G. Allen suggested in his book, Multiple Streams of Income. Please see how you can deploy yourself instead of looking for an employment.
- Law of Personal Development
“Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank” (Prov. 22:23 NIV).
We are living in a competitive environment where multiple individuals are engage in the same trade, mostly for survival. To be on the cutting edge and command fortune, you must be skillful in whatever service you are providing for people. Crave for excellence in your chosen profession such that you can name your price for your customer with much negotiation. Search out for what is trending in your area of chosen profession and learn how to bring to fore.
You need to sharpen your skill for maximum output. “Knowledge alone is not marketable; it is skill that you market. Skill is not a function of the papers you carry; it is a function of the tactics, the strategies you engage in handling your assignment that will guarantee financial harvest” (David Oyedepo). That means you need to acquire up-to-date skills in order to maintain a leading position. The race of life is not a function of strength but of skill.
What gave Joseph a place in Egypt was his skill in interpreting dreams. His was preferred to the Egyptian magicians because he could unravel any enigma. “Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you” (Gen. 41:39-40 NIV).You can enhance your skill through reading and attending relevant seminars where you can access timely information about what is trending.
The Godly Brains Ministry