Q. Like everyone else, I’ve been intently watching the headlines, wondering what’s next for our country, our world. I’m a pre-trib believer, but I’m also realizing that my family is not prepared for the “tough times” we’ll probably experience before the Lord comes for us. I’m wondering if you could give some advice, insight, references regarding what we can do today to make sure we are as prepared as we can be regarding finances, food, fuel, etc. Like many others, money is a little tight for us right now; but I feel like I could be doing more to prepare us for what lies ahead.
A. The best preparation for the times ahead is building a stronger faith. We haven’t been promised an escape from hard times in general, just the last 7 years of them. So the most important thing to do is to practice living by faith. That doesn’t mean going on as if nothing is happening and then trusting God for the money,etc. It means taking everything to prayer, and not doing anything that you don’t feel specifically led by the Lord to do. It also means listening to His voice more carefully and being guided by it. This includes everything from non-essential purchases, changing jobs or moving, to responding to His promptings in your giving and evangelizing.
In the financial sense, it’s critical that you reduce spending and eliminate as much of your monthly debt obligation as possible. In tough times cash is king. Do whatever you can to stop discretionary spending and use that money to pay off things like credit card and other debt with variable or high interest. The more of your monthly income is necessary for debt repayment, the less freedom you have to react to sudden changes in your lifestyle. Simply put, it’s economic enslavement. The fact that it’s of our own making doesn’t make it any less so. If you’re not already doing so begin tithing immediately, not out of a sense of duty or obligation but as an act of gratitude for all that He’s given you. God loves a cheerful giver and will bless you for your faithfulness.
I’m not an advocate of hoarding. I think it demonstrates a lack of faith. God has promised that He will see to our needs if we seek Him. (Matt. 6:31-34) Where I live, the nearest grocery store is nearly an hour away, and when it rains the roads are impassable, so we keep a little extra on hand, but in my opinion the idea of trying to stock up a year or two worth of supplies demonstrates a lack of faith in the Lord’s willingness to keep His promise.