We only have to look around and we can see things in the world’s system are not going too well right now.  Unemployment is up, taxes are up, expenses are up, food prices are up, fuel prices are up, and we really don’t know what’s up, but we know we don’t like it.  You may be saying, “The bottom has fallen out of my bucket, and every time I think I’m about to make ends meet, someone moves one of them.”     Welcome to the world’s economy, sometimes it’s up, sometimes it’s down.  People who have worked all their lives have lost homes, retirement accounts, or their life savings, some have even ended their lives in despair. And one thing is certain, and that is nothing seems to be certain anymore, except death and taxes, that is, if you’re living in the world’s system.  But there’s another system that is recession-proof, and no, this isn’t some ad for a sure-fire investment scam or get-rich-quick scheme.  Interested?  Let me tell you more. 
   God has a system that will work, if you will work it faithfully, and I’m not saying, a little here, a little there, once in a while if you’re in the mood.  I’m saying, day in, day out, year in, year out.  You may be saying, “I’m TRYING to believe God, but it just isn’t getting any better.   I give to my church, and I’m still broke, and I live from hand to mouth year after year.”  Or you may be saying the same thing about a sickness you’re dealing with, and “the sickness isn’t going away….now what?” Well, for one thing, you don’t TRY to believe God, you just DO it.  You may TRY to ride a bicycle or water ski, and you may succeed, or maybe not.  In a worldly pursuit, if you don’t succeed in the space of time you think you should be able to, chances are, you will quit and walk away.  But you don’t do that sort of thing with God, because, whether you realize it or not, payday with God is not necessarily every Friday.  But there is a payday.
   Personally, I’ve been through the fire enough times to know that just about the time you’re ready to throw your hands up and walk away, your victory is really just around the corner, and the devil knows it.  Only problem is, YOU don’t know it.  I’m reminded of a story years ago when a man planned to swim across the English Channel.  It had never been done before, and this man was determined to do it.  He trained hard several times a week, enduring the rough waves and cold water, pushing himself harder each time to swim further, with a friend rowing a boat just in front of him, in case he had trouble.  Finally the day came he knew he was strong and ready, and he announced he was going to make the swim across the Channel.  The day arrived with cold winds and dense fog.  True to his training, he swam hard and fought the cold and the waves even though he could not see more than a couple feet away. The boat went ahead with a lantern on the back so he could follow close.  Hours later, with no end in sight, and his strength gone, he told his friend to stop and he crawled up into the boat just as the bow touched land.  Could he have swum ten more feet if he had known he was so close to land?  Certainly!  It wasn’t the cold and wind and the additional ten feet that stopped him, it was the lack of being able to see the finish line.  And likewise, so many of God’s children come to failure because they couldn’t see the finish line, and they just…gave….up…
   For some reason, God seldom tells us where the finish line is concerning whatever it is we are going through, except He promises He will not allow us to be tempted (or tested) above that which we are able.  Obviously, God has more faith in us than WE do, for sometimes it seems the trials just go on forever with no end in sight.  I know: “Been there, done that.”  However, God sees where the finish line is.  But that doesn’t mean He has any obligation to tell us where it is.  It’s my personal opinion, not “Thus saith the Lord”, that God is waiting to see who among us is serious about seeking Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.  And there is scripture to back up that statement, in Revelation 21:7, He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
   Take Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, for example. Their story is in Daniel, chapter three, and you just really have to read it all to get the grasp of the faith and tenacity of these men.  Basically, these three wrote God a blank check up to and including the cost of their lives that they would now bow down to a graven image, and they could see the finish line, and it ended at the King’s fiery furnace, and they were the guests of honor at the King’s barbeque.  The King gave them two choices; bow down or burn.  They could have said, Wow, I don’t think God would really allow me to go through something like that, but they didn’t.  They said, Our God is able to deliver us from your furnace, BUT if He doesn’t, we will STILL not bow down to your image anyway.  Like I said, the King gave them two choices, bow down or burn, but God didn’t like those choices, and had one of His own, that His servants Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego didn’t have a clue about.  Surely God has a solution for YOUR problem that you have not considered yet.
   Did you ever stop to think that this life is a lot like the man training to swim across the English Channel?  The other man in the boat was there to make sure he didn’t drown, and to cheer him on, but he wasn’t there to tell him when to quit.  That was the swimmer’s decision.  When you’re in the midst of trials, God will make sure the devil can’t kill you, even though the devil can sure be a pain in the “be-hind”, but only YOU can decide when you’ve had enough and want to give up and be a quitter.  God won’t decide that for you, so you can’t blame Him for your decision in case you quit.  You see, God gave you free choice.  FREE CHOICE!  That’s so powerful!  You can quit any time you want, or, you can be an overcomer!  It’s your choice!
   You may be saying, But what if God doesn’t come through for me?  Then, my friend, you have a problem indeed!  But that thought need never cross your mind, because if you will make up your mind to seek God and trust Him, no matter what it looks like, no matter what it feels like, and keep that grocery hole in your face in agreement with what God says in His Word, then you’ll be just fine.  “Trusting God” is not something you TRY, it’s something you DO.  It is doing what God’s Word says, even when it looks like it isn’t working, saying what God says about you, when it looks like there’s no way in heaven for Him to make it happen.
   How long do you have to do it?  Till you win!  How long is that? as long as it takes.  Being an overcomer is like that, you play till you win, and there’s no other option.  And God will see to it that you have the strength to overcome.  One day, you’ll be saying, “It was worth it!”, and God will surely smile.  Of course, He knew it all along….