"Are you not much more valuable than they?" (Matthew 6:26b)
Economic hardships often reveal much about the fortitude of an individuals faith in God. When we can see God's provision leading us into prosperity, we are encouraged. When we are swimming in abundance, we are often complacent. But when we are at the point of maximum need, we finally understand that we are always dependant upon His provisions--even during those periods of overflowing. As a former financial advisor, I am aware of the many different types of people that this economic recession will negatively impact. The retirees' interest income is reduced from the dropping interest rates, the nearly retired are having to hold off from their retirement plans in hopes that their 401(k)s and their 403(b)s can recover quickly, and everyone in between struggles to continually watch their hard earned investments take such a nosedive into the red.
When push comes to shove, though, the believer has a certainty about his situation that others simply do not have. That certainty comes from an unmatchable satisfaction that our Father in Heaven sees our needs. He cares about our circumstances. He notices when we hurt. And, he is able to provide for us in our need.
I am reminded of the great testimony of George Muller--a 19th century English missionary. Muller never drew a salary. He was absolutely convinced that God had led him to build the many orphanages he had built in Ashley Down, England. Yet Muller never knew how he was going to provide for the hundreds of orphans that relied upon him daily for their needs. He admitted the many days in which he was discouraged and overwhelmed with the responsibility that was upon his shoulders. He had to provide for those children. He also felt his own financial situation grow extremely tight from time to time.
Years later, when his ministry was finished and he had passed on his responsibilities to another, he told the secret of his success. Years back, during one of the most difficult financial hardships of his ministry, he made a sign and placed it on his desk. The sign read, "It matters to Him about me." Simple, yet powerful. He relied on this message during the often tough times. And when all was said and done, God had never let him down. It is good to be reminded that God cares. He doesn't turn a blind eye. He doesn't delight in our misfortunes. He genuinely cares. He is interested. He is concerned. It matters to God about our struggles. Our pains. Our sorrows. Our financial need. Even down to the clothes on our backs (see Matthew 6).
When we hurt, we can take comfort in the fact that it matters to Him about us.