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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes With Pastor Lutzer.” I want to tell you I am so pleased that you are joining us for these sessions. I hope that you take the time to tell your friends. We are trying to give some instruction and encouragement along the journey of life. If you were with us last time, you know that we continued the series, entitled, “Making The Best Of A Bad Decision” and today we want to continue on the topic of a bad financial decision. Many of you, perhaps, have experienced that. All of us I’m sure have made investments that have not turned out favourably and we ask ourselves where do we go from here?
Well, today what I want to do is to just give you some encouragement. That God is even able to take care of His children when they are in a desert of all places. You might find yourself there today, and by the way, if you are in debt be sure to get a counselor who can help you because dirt, devil and debt are all related. But what happens when you’re in devastation? The devastation of the desert. Well, in the 26th chapter of the book of Genesis it’s very interesting. Now let me back up and say that you remember that Abraham, when there was a famine in the land of Canaan, went into Egypt and in Egypt he got into trouble and he had to come back. That was a bad decision. God brought him into the land. He should have stayed in the land. But as I mentioned, we’re in the 26th chapter of the book of Genesis, where Isaac does not make that mistake. Now, the Bible says that there was a famine in the land even as it was during the days of Abraham, but God said, “Isaac stay in the land and I will take care of you right there.” And God did take care of him right there. He began to plant and he even grew a crop in the desert. Isn’t God gracious?
You know there is a lesson I think that we have to learn and that is that when we’re in a tight financial place often times we want to make a snap decision. Well, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t change jobs—that you shouldn’t try something else. That might be a point of wisdom, but at the same time don’t make quick decisions because wherever you are God will and can sustain you. Of course, all of us know that in the desert, when Israel was in the desert, God gave them manna every single morning and he sustained them there. If you’re in a difficult place remember this: God may be wanting to prove His grace and His sovereignty even in the midst of a desert.
There’s a passage of scripture I want to read. This is from the 17th chapter of the book of Jeremiah—”Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord”—”whose trust is in the Lord. He is ike a tree planted by water that sends out its roots by the stream and he does not fear when the heat comes for the leaves remain green and nor is he anxious in the year of drought. For he does not cease bearing fruit.” What God is saying is in the midst of your desert there can be a hidden stream. That stream is God’s faithfulness. It is God’s presence. It is God there giving you wisdom to continue on your journey, to do better, to learn from the past. But to also know that He is faithful all the way to the end.
Walter Payton was a running back for the Chicago Bears, the football team. Now in his legacy and in his lifetime, I want us to think about this very carefully, Walter Payton gained, on the field, 16,000+ yards. Now, I figured this out on a pocket calculator. Thank God for pocket calculators, by the way, because I’ve always said that as long as I’m right 90% of the time, who cares about the 5%. But let’s continue. Walter was only about 5‘10.” The people who wanted to throw him down—those men all of them about 250 pounds. If you multiply it out 16,000 yards is approximately nine miles. He was thrown down to the ground every four yards. Figure it out and you’ll discover that he was thrown to the ground by men who were stronger and heavier than he was 3,600 times. You can hardly believe it. A newsman said to him, “Walter, how did you do it?” He said, “I just kept getting up.” Well, that’s my word to you today. You may be in a tight financial place. Trust God, there is a hidden stream and above all, just keep getting up and as for today, just go with God.