Last week I received the following frightening e-mail message:
“Due to recent budget cuts, high unemployment and the rising costs of food, electricity, gas and oil, as well as current market conditions, and the overall state of the union, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.”
Only a few days earlier, my computer screen had offered an entirely different view of tough economic times. This one given by Thomas Edison during a deep recession (or depression) now long past:
“Be courageous. I have seen many depressions in business. Always America has emerged from these stronger and more prosperous. Be brave as your fathers before you. Have faith! Go forward!”
What gave Edison light during those dark days?
And this wasn’t the first time he had voiced his confidence in God when facing difficulties.
When this great inventor began developing the phonograph, he grappled with many problems. The high tones were harsh and the low tones muffled. He hired an associate to help solve this dilemma of unsatisfactory sound but after working for two years on the problem the man became discouraged and was ready to give up on the project.
“Go back and try a little longer,” said Edison. “I believe that for every problem God has given us, He has a solution. We may not find it but someday someone will.”
Faith provides an alternative.
Fear causes us to cower.
Faith releases God’s power.
Faith wins and fear loses.
On the darkest day, God makes a way.
What was the reason for Edison’s great faith?
The answer may be found in the following tribute he wrote to his mother:
“I did not have my mother long, but she cast over me an influence that has lasted all my life. The good effects of her early training I can never lose. If it had not been for her appreciation and her faith in me at a critical time in my experience, I should never have become an inventor. My mother was the making of me. The memory of her will always be a blessing.”
I believe people of faith are placed in our path to influence us and build our faith for times of difficulties that await us. Often I find myself giving thanks for the country church I attended in my youth and for the pastors and others there who by word and example equipped me to face the future.
Economic conditions are constantly changing so our best hope is to rest full faith in the unchanging One. Most of us won’t be wealthy but we can be rich in faith, imparting hope to those in the bondage of fear. Security doesn’t rest in the numbers of the Dow but in trusting God now! This enables us, in Edison’s words, to have faith and go forward.
Roger Campbell is an author, broadcaster and columnist who was a pastor for 22 years. He can be reached at email@example.com