Some say the stock market has not just crashed, but that it’s snapped like a rubber band. An editorial cartoonist drew a nesting vulture on the iconic Wall Street sign to depict the current feeling of gloom prevailing at America’s financial hub.
In truth, the United States and the European Union are slowly drowning in seas of sovereign debt that may be impossible to pay off except through the type of hyperinflation that will make a roll of toilet paper worth more than a wheelbarrow full of currency. Investors are scared. The dollar has already lost 25% of its purchasing power since the year 2000. What can be done?
Well, our leaders are making comforting noises to try and reassure us. The U.S. Federal Reserve just announced a pledge to keep its interest rates at practically zero until mid-2013 to help keep the world’s largest economy from sliding back into recession.
Recession? U.S. unemployment remains stubbornly above 9% while underemployment is around 16.1%. An incredible number of Americans are dependent upon food stamps and government cheques to survive. Again, what can be done? What’s happened to the leadership of the Western world?
When the Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S.’s credit rating last week, the real issue was not the gross amount of debt, though that is a serious problem. The real concern was the American government’s inability to properly take care of the nation’s business. The U.S. Senate hasn’t even been able to pass a federal budget for the last two years probably because they’re fearful of the public reaction if the facts got out. Both Democrats and Republicans alike seem to take a perverse delight in “out stooge-ing” the three stooges before the eyes of the entire world.
In their comments about why they downgraded the U.S. government’s credit rating, S&P drily observed:
“More broadly, the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policy making and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges. The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policy making becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed” (Times-Colonist, “We’ll be hurt by U.S. decline,”Aug. 9, 2011).
In a word, America’s democracy is broken. I doubt it can be fixed. Why? Because the nation as a whole has turned it’s back on the only One who can help them. They say on their money “In God We Trust.” But for too long their actual “god” has been their dollar! The almighty dollar they used to call it. But like any sort of idolatry, the real God of the Universe will eventually destroy all false gods. America is a nation that makes a great show of being good, but in their heart far too many are like hypocritical fallen televangelists, who have turned their backs on the Bible’s God to satisfy greed and lust.
If you want some spiritual insight into what God is actually thinking about the good, ol’ U.S.A., read the first chapter of the Prophet Isaiah and substitute Washington for Jerusalem, and America for Israel.
So what can be done? What can YOU do? You need to prepare now to be, materially speaking, as self-sufficient as you possibly can be. Spiritually speaking you really should fast and humble yourself before God and pray for your family, your people, and your nation, America. The fact that this will sound so bizarre to so many is merely a sign that it is all the more needed.
Of course, this suggestion is not my original idea. Texas governor Rick Perry issued a call for prayer and fasting to seek God’s help for the United States’ practically unsolvable problems. The governors of Kansas and Louisiana said they would join him.
As America declines and fears rise, there will be only one effective, real Helper in the coming time of trouble. But to access this Helper, there is a tool you must pick up and employ in your life. This is the spiritual tool called fasting . Why fast? Why deprive yourself of physical sustenance for a 24-hour period? Because you are going to need God’s help in the near future like you’ve never needed it before. For any human being to approach God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son requires humility, recognizing that you are but dust. Consider this scripture as to why fasting and appropriate behaviour change is a key to building a positive relationship with your Creator:
6 The kind of fasting I want is this: Remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free.
7 Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives.
8 Then my favor will shine on you like the morning sun, and your wounds will be quickly healed. I will always be with you to save you; my presence will protect you on every side.
9 When you pray, I will answer you. When you call to me, I will respond. If you put an end to oppression, to every gesture of contempt, and to every evil word;
10 if you give food to the hungry and satisfy those who are in need, then the darkness around you will turn to the brightness of noon.
11 And I will always guide you and satisfy you with good things. I will keep you strong and well. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water, like a spring of water that never goes dry.
12 Your people will rebuild what has long been in ruins, building again on the old foundations. You will be known as the people who rebuilt the walls, who restored the ruined houses (Isaiah 58:6-12 Good News Translation).