You might not know this about me, but I'm a glass 'half-full' guy. I'm constantly looking for the silver lining and the hidden opportunity. That being said, it's hard to pretend that there aren't some serious economic problems just about everywhere you look. The problems are serious and they aren't going to go away quickly. Aren't you glad that God is not affected by a recession, depression or any other economic term that might be applied to what we are currently experiencing.
I've been thinking about Jacob over the last few days. You might remember that Jacob fell in love with a beautiful woman named Rachel and promised to work for her father for 7 years as part of the marriage arrangement. If you are familiar with the history, you'll also know that Jacob's father in law (Laban) substituted for Leah for Rachel at the wedding and Jacob didn't notice until it was too late. Because he really wanted Rachel, he agreed to another 7 years (that makes 14...) to pay for the bride he wanted. It sounds like a long time and it was especially because Jacob worked as a herdsman. What made it even longer is that Laban didn't believe in fair play so he kept changing the rules of the arrangement which made it difficult for Jacob to get ahead.
Eventually, Jacob gets Laban to agree on a deal regarding the herds that Jacob cares for. Laban will get all of the solid colored animals, Jacob can have all of the streaked or spotted ones. Laban's herd outnumbers Jacob's but God gives Jacob a strategy to prosper in spite of the obstacles around him. God tells Jacob to peel branches and place them in the water trough. When the ewes would come to drink and breed, the peeled branches would be directly before them. It made no sense in the natural that solid colored animals would produce streaked and spotted offspring, but that's what began to happen as a result of Jacob following through on what God told him to do. Jacob's herds grew to the point where they were larger than Laban's and Jacob was able to leave the unjust relationship.
Here's my point... I believe that God makes it possible for us to prosper and succeed, regardless of what the economy is doing if we do it His way. My encouragement to you is to not be fearful in the midst of what is happening around us, but to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and your ears open to the strategies and plans that He has for you.
'For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.' Jer 29:11