I recently drove to the supermarket to buy a dispenser bottle of water but I was greeted with a paper by the sales assistant. She smiled as she tried to explain the content of the paper and how the dollar has caused a sporadic rise in the price of my shopping item. Everyone obviously seem to be blaming the inflationary pressure experienced across the country on the unfavorable exchange rate. The same dollar rhetoric is usually recited by every commodity provider in the country even if the dollar has zero bearing on their goods and services.
‘Before, we were suffering and smiling but now, you have taken away our smiles’.
I can also vividly remember a somewhat funny but tearful scene. I once saw a grown up man crying profusely. It wasn’t a bereavement for the demise of a loved one but it was for the loss of a scarce and now expensive commodity called petrol. He had mistakenly poured away four liters of petrol belonging to his boss or his “oga” as fondly called in Nigeria. This was just after the pump price of petrol was hiked to N145 amidst protracted scarcity all over the country. He sat on the floor, crying and yelling ‘Petrol, petrol, “Aye mi re”. Rhythmic but void of melody. The scene paints a graphic picture of a post I recently came across that reads – ‘Before, we were suffering and smiling but now, you have taken away our smiles’. The writer of the post was obviously trying to juxtapose the former and the current political administration in Nigeria. Definitely not saying I agree or disagree with the post but the words echoes the very heart-cry of a sizable proportion of the citizens in the country.
A major reason is that the policy response to fixing a contracting economy is counterproductive to curbing inflation and vice-versa. So policy markers usually have to choose between fixing economic contraction and unemployment or tackling inflation.
These are obviously interesting times in the life of the ‘giant of Africa’. The nation is grappling with a conflicting economic condition were the economy is contracting and things are also getting more expensive. As if that is not bad enough, unemployment is also on the rise, as employers cut cost in a bid to stay afloat. This economic condition is called stagflation. Not a pretty word, not a pretty condition, not a place most countries would love to find themselves. A major reason is that the policy response to fixing a contracting economy is counterproductive to curbing inflation and vice-versa. So policy markers usually have to choose between fixing economic contraction and unemployment or tackling inflation.
I just want to draw a parallel between what we see today and similar situation in the bible. I also believe as children of God, nothing should take away our smiles because our sufferings have permanently been obliterated
My intention is not to bore you with too much economic jargon. I just want to draw a parallel between what we see today and similar situation in the bible. I also believe as children of God, nothing should take away our smiles because our sufferings have permanently been obliterated. In bible terms, period of intense scarcity and hardship is usually referred to as famine while in economics, this situation is referred to as recession.
In addition to recession, the other three economic cycles are peak, trough and recovery. However, in the kingdom of God the trajectory is only northwards and not sinusoidal.
In economics, a recession is a negative economic growth for two consecutive quarters. It is also a business cycle contraction which results in a general slowdown in economic activity. In addition to recession, the other three economic cycles are peak, trough and recovery. However, in the kingdom of God the trajectory is only northwards and not sinusoidal. The bible makes us to understand that the path of the just is like a shining light that shines brighter and brighter until the perfect day. This does not imply you would not face adversity but it guarantees that all adversities will be surmounted and you will come out better at the end of the day.
The mind boggling truth is that God’s children are to prosper even more in periods of economic recession (Isaiah 60: 1 – 2). However, this is not the case for all of God’s children. I think most times it as to do with the posture we take during the crisis. Truth be told, it’s easier to build before the storm than during the rain. Easier to prepare buffers for famine than to save during period of economic insufficiency. It would have be less dire for Nigeria if lots of savings and investments were made during the oil windfall. This would have provided necessary fiscal buffers for the country. However, the reverse was the case as oil fell from peak to trough and the nation’s revenue which is highly correlated to crude oil price mirrored the same unfavorable script. However, the beautiful thing is that it is never too late to make a right decision with God. I believe lots of people will profit from this recession, and my questions is, why can’t it be me or you? Recession is usually a period of wealth transfer as we saw with Joseph
Releasing our faith is the way to maintain the economic cycle of the kingdom. I would also like to stress that it is fail-proof even in the most difficult of economic situations.
The bible gives a depiction of what children of God are to experience in periods of natural economic recession. I will highlight a few and also mention the posture to take to surf the tide of the recession.
- You will laugh at violence and famine, And you will not be afraid of wild beasts. (Job 5:22).
- In famine he will deliver you from death, and in battle from the stroke of the sword. (Job 5:20)
- To deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine (Psalm 33:19)
- God’s Love
- Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Romans 8:35
- Wealth transfer
- So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. The Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them. The land became Pharaoh’s. Genesis 47:20.
- In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty. (Psalm 37:19)
In the natural, the economic watchers try to respond with expansionary fiscal and monetary policies. An expansionary policy is a macroeconomic policy that seeks to expand the money supply to encourage economic growth or combat inflation (price increases). One form of expansionary policy is fiscal policy, which comes in the form of tax cuts, rebates and increased government spending. In the kingdom of God, our response should be faith based policies. Releasing our faith is the way to maintain the economic cycle of the kingdom. I would also like to stress that it is fail-proof even in the most difficult of economic situations. The following mindset and posture will aid Christians in prospering during periods of famine or recession.
How Christians Can Prosper during this period
- Do not hold back your giving – Most people usually try to hold back when their purchasing power is dwindling, expenses are on the uptrend and outlook appears bleak. However, God expects us to emulate the Macedonia church that gave even in extreme poverty and financial difficulties. (2 Corinthians 8:1 – 7). It is our seed that assures us of a harvest not the state of the economy. (Ecclesiastes 11: 4 -6)
- Use your economic capital – Faith is the currency of heaven. It is what brings the unseen realities into manifestation.
- Don’t be passive – I like the story of the lepers in 2 Kings 7:4. The lepers decided to leave their comfort zone and risk their life for a better future. We should not allow the wave of recession blow us a way but we need to get our surfing board and surf to our desired destination of financial increase.
- Be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit – In the days of Abraham, when there was a famine, he went to Egypt. (Genesis 12:10). When a similar famine arouse in Isaac days, he contemplated making the same decision but God told him to stay in Gerar. He obeyed and the rest is history. The key factor is sensitivity to the leading of God. (Genesis 26:1 – 6).
- Do not be afraid: Fear gets the devil on the scene the same way faith gets God on the scene. Fear, doubt and unbelief are associates and they choke the faith process. The truth of the matter is looking at the natural circumstance can make someone fearful. Peter drowned when he shifted his gaze from master Jesus and observed the wave (Mark 6:30). As Christians, we need to make a conscious decision to elevate God’s word far above what we see in the natural. This comes by meditating and focusing our mind on the word of God. (2 Corinthians 4:18)
- Give thanks: This acknowledges God has one’s source as opposed to seeing one’s career or the government. Giving thanks also helps stir up faith as one focus shifts away from lack to the all sufficient one. Jesus gave thanks when he was going to feed the multitude with a little boys lunch. (Mark 6:41 NIV)
- Look out for Investment and business opportunities: People usually search for substitutes or the cheaper alternatives when they experience a decline in income level. If you are entrepreneurial, this might be a good business opportunity for you execute that business idea. It is also important to seek investments that can outperform the inflation level. This is not the time to squander but to spend on necessities.
- Be a solution provider: Joseph got the wisdom that transformed Egypt during the crisis. I believe has Children of God, we can believe God for the wisdom that will transform the company where we work, our nation, our church, our family and everywhere we can exercise influence.
It is my firm believe that the following mindset and posture will help us experience the wealth transfer during this period of natural economic difficulties. Remember, we are insulated because God’s kingdom is superior.