SIX IMPORTANT TRENDS IN AMERICA THAT BELIEVERS NEED TO UNDERSTAND (Part 5 of 6)
(5) The gutting of the middle class . Did you know?
The number of Americans on welfare is higher than the number of Americans that have full-time jobs. 49.2 percent of all Americans are receiving benefits from at least one government program.
1.2 million public school students in the U.S. are currently homeless. That’s one out of every four children in the United States is enrolled in the food stamp program.
- A pproximately one out of every six Americans is now living in poverty.
Median household income in the United States has fallen for five years in a row . Median household income in 1967 was $43,000; in 1999 it was $56,000, and that in 2012 it was $51,000.
How are followers of Christ’s to respond to this crisis ?
In the Old Testament, and historically from the time of Christ to the present, God has used difficult times to discipline and shape his children into his image. “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” (C. S. Lewis)
Here are three ways we can act in response :
- Ask God to use the current catastrophe to shape our character and conform us into his likeness :
“…We…rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
perseverance, character … And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast ” (Rom. 5:3, 4; I Pet. 5:10 – selected). (See Rom. 8:18 – 30)
- View the crisis as a magnificent opportunity to minister to our hurting world through our compassionate involvement, that we may in time win a hearing for the gospel:
“L et your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). (See Eph. 2:10; 1 Tim. 6:18).
- Ask God to use the calamity to discipline our Nation and bring it back to God :
“ No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Heb. 12:11). (See Heb. 12:5, 6, 10)
This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.
R. Dwight Hill