Some say the United States is being punished for "turning away from God." Others say that this is a sure sign of the end. These things may be true or they may not. I wonder if maybe God is finished with this country as far as blessing it and using it to bless the world. Many see these things as serious problems, and there are some who are even reacting in the same manner as those who put their trust in material things rather than God.
I do believe we may be in for some rough times in this country. What that will mean is left up to far wiser folks than me to figure out. What I do know is that the coming bad times, if they come, will present those who claim to follow Jesus the opportunity to put their money (or their houses, cars, or other possessions) where their mouth is.
One of the primary things said about about the early church was that there were no poor persons among them. If you remember, this was at a time when there were a whole lot of poor people around the Empire. The followers of Jesus, because they were devoted to Jesus Christ and to each other, were willing to go so far as selling their possessions in order to help those who were in need. How far are we willing to go?
Are we willing to sell something to give to a fellow Christian who has lost employment? Are we willing to change our routine and patronize a business on order to help a brother or sister in Christ? Are we willing to provide living space for someone who has lost their home? Are we willing to share possessions (clothes, yard tools, cooking utensils, etc.) in order to ease someone's burden? In short, are we willing to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters?
A friend said to me that she believed God was telling her that the time was short. While this could refer to the end times, I think that maybe it's our time as prosperous "American Christians" that is short. I believe that it may not be very long before those of us who claim to follow Jesus will have to put up or shut up.
God help us to be found faithful.