Better Times?

We've now gone through a few years of economic hardships, and we are making it through. Yes, times are hard for most of us; harder than we've ever known or experienced. It's true it is not over, but there is hope and we're going to be all right. Trust me. Trust God.

We all know the housing market and the values of properties have plummeted. Some have regained value, but not all. The banks have been full of troubled loans, and foreclosures are everywhere. Money is really tight, and it's nearly impossible to refinance. No one can afford as much as we used to. A lot of stores are closing. Bankruptcies are rising. Unemployment figures are still high and assistance lines are growing longer and longer. This is happening in many places in the world -- no one is alone, no one is immune. It has happened before in various degrees. Restoration and renewal happened before, too.

Somehow, we are making it through. Many people are making ends meet, and bills are getting paid in spite of the mess. There may not be much extra at the end of the month, but most families are above water and OK. If you are not in that category of solvency, there is still hope because there are possible actions to take that will help. Change must happen, and we will get through.

It is hard to know what to do, much less actually do what we must. So we seek solutions and take things step-by-step, day-by-day. We seek counseling and advice from those with experience in crisis management in difficult times. We have had to take a different perspective. It's really hard to spend less money but we are making do and doing it. Even harder for us to make more money to make the ends meet, but somehow we are closing the gap. We're stretching funds: we're tightening or foregoing luxuries in favor of paying down debt. Lifestyles are changing: We are getting what we really need and not what we merely want anymore. It's tough, but we are too.

Despite hardship we are making drastic changes, so fast, so big, and we are going to make it. Why? Because everyone is in this together. It is not an option to not make it through these tough times. We must and we will survive and continue. We are all working together, and pulling each other through. First step, say a prayer to your Higher Power, to God (as you see Him) for guidance and relief from the failed ways of the past.

I am convinced that although times are still stressful and tough, God is still with us in these troubled times, and is guiding the way. Yes, it is clear that our ways of the past cannot continue. We must shed the mistake, the illusion, the lies that we've been told and sold that we are all rich and can have whatever we want. We all must make changes and now truly be exactly what God wants us to be. We must all rely on what we have, instead of craving what we don't have. We must now get real, very real, and live within our means -- right in the middle, right exactly in an affordable position, right with what is possible and right with God.

When you think you cannot go on, go to God. When you have no more credit available, remember what the word "credit" means, it's from the original Latin word "creditum" or "creed," which in English means trust, belief or faith. When you have run out of financial credit and must close the monetary gap, when you have again been cheated by putting your faith in material possessions and empty promises by false prophets who seek only for profit -- ask God the Ultimate Banker for some spiritual credit, the faith and the hope that you can and will survive, by His Grace alone. Then take action on that faith; put your creed into your life, and credit it with thanks, to God. Trust that hope remains. Keep the faith that this too, shall pass.