Hoped you might find this a gentle word on God's direction in hard times like I have. May God continue to provide for you and your family! Taken from a contributor to John Piper's Desiring God blog (I've heard there's a great full-length podcast on a similar subject...lo, I have no ipod).
God is sovereign over all finances. Any economic recession—global or personal—is never less than recession-by-divine-design.
When the economy plummets, God has his purposes—perhaps thousands upon thousands of purposes. Some of these purposes he has made known in his Book.
At least 5 of them are:
To expose hidden sin and so bring us to repentance and cleansing.
To wake us up to the constant and desperate condition of the developing world where there is always and only recession of the worst kind.
To relocate the roots of our joy in his grace rather than in our goods—in his mercy rather than our money, in his worth rather than our wealth.
To advance his saving mission in the world—the spread of the gospel and the growth of his church—precisely at a time when human resources are least able to support it. This is how he guards his glory.
To bring his church to care for its hurting members and to grow in the gift of love.
2 Corinthians 8:1 2 might be the clearest "recession text" in the Bible. Itdescribes the roots of the joy of the Macedonian believers in their"recession." In their "severe test of affliction" and "extreme poverty,"their abundant joy "overflowed in a wealth of generosity."
Their generosity didn't come from prosperity but from God's grace—and thisgrace rooted in "our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9).