Recently I was thinking about how the collapse of the American stock market in 1929 toppled the world’s financial and economic systems one after the other. Businesses, industries, and banks failed. Many lost their jobs, and millions were unemployed, which caused widespread civil unrest. While this has not occurred to such a widespread scale since then, there have been many lesser economic depressions or recessions that have caused financial turmoil.
So how can we have lasting security in a financially unstable world? The answer is faith and trust in God, who has promised to be with us both in times of plenty and times of scarcity.
There are many instances in the Bible of God’s miraculous supply and provision for His people. When He brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt and led them through a wilderness to the promised land, God provided food and drink for them. When they were hungry, He gave them food from heaven called manna. When they were thirsty, He brought water out of a rock.1 Their clothes and shoes weren’t even worn out after their long sojourn in the wilderness!2
Another instance occurred when there was a drought in Israel in the time of the prophet Elijah. God directed Elijah to live by a brook and even sent ravens to bring him food! When the brook eventually dried up because of the severe drought, Elijah was told to move to the town of Zarephath. When a widow obeyed God and shared what little she had with the prophet, God blessed her by making sure that her supply of food didn’t run out during the famine.3
Once, when Jesus, His disciples, and the crowds who followed them were in a wilderness area, it was getting late and they didn’t have anything to eat. The disciples made the logical suggestion of sending the crowds to nearby villages to get some food. Jesus, however, asked them to bring Him the only food they had found—five loaves of bread and two fishes. He then looked up to heaven, said a blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the people. Five thousand people had enough to eat, and there were twelve baskets of leftovers!4
The Bible instructs us to not put our hope in uncertain riches or earthly wealth, but to “hope in God, who richly provides everything for our enjoyment.”5 The world’s financial supply may run dry, as the brook did in Elijah’s time, but God can still care and provide for His children.