If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14, NIV)
A challenging environment where people cannot gain what they have worked for is not God’s intention. God created the heavens, the earth, and the sea, and many beautiful things, and He gave man the authority to rule over all those things. God also created a beautiful paradise, the Garden of Eden, and He wanted to supply what we need and have a deep fellowship with us there. However, after Adam and Eve sinned, man was driven out of Eden and had to work in an economic environment where scarcity existed. To make matters worse, people have lived in the stressful situation that God has not initially intended. They cannot gain there as much as they have worked for after committing the sins of murder, sexual corruption, idolatry, and disobedience.
Such a circumstance has existed not only in the Bible but also in the present. Before and after 2010, we have suffered from severe financial crises such as the US mortgage crisis, European bank bankruptcies, soaring unemployment rates in many countries, uncertain political status, conflicts of understanding among countries, dangerous terrorists, and so on. However, the Lord has given us the way to overcome those macro risks and difficulties. God, who has created all things and has made something out of nothing, is also able to heal the wound and fix the problem. The Almighty God can show the answer that humans cannot find. He can also overturn all irresistible catastrophes that people cannot escape. The Bible shows us the way.
After Solomon had completed building the temple of God, he glorified, worshiped, and prayed to God there. The prayer included an economic problem. He asked the Lord to bring down rain again on the ground if people realized what they did and left their sins and prayed to Him when God did not give rain and the economy was in trouble because of their sins. Solomon, the king of wisdom, knew that God was the ruler of the economy. The Lord responded to Solomon’s prayer with the Word of 2 Chronicles 7:14:
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
What the Lord wants is our sincere repentance. If we do that, He will restore people, nations, and all the broken things in the world. The Word of 2 Chronicles 7:14 can be divided into three stages.
First, we must humble ourselves.
It means to acknowledge that our sins have made our ways difficult. We must have the willingness to repent to the Lord when the economy is in recession, when our hard work is in vain, and when we face stressful situations with unexpected events.
Second, we need to pray and seek His face.
We must confess our sins to the Lord and sincerely seek forgiveness. Also, we must ask Him by believing that God, the Creator, has the power to solve all. He will reveal its cause if we do not know how we have sinned and why we are in trouble. David prayed to God when his people suffered famine for three years. Finally, he realized that the famine originated from the fact that Saul killed the Gibeonites. When David knew the cause and resolved it, the famine stopped in Israel. Likewise, the Lord will let us know the cause and how to tackle it if we pray like David.
Lastly, we must leave our sins.
True repentance is to admit our wrongs and not do them again. God said He would forgive our sins and heal the earth after hearing our sincere repentance. No matter how complicated the situation, no matter how irresistible the factor, the Almighty Lord will fix and restore all. Then, we will reap what we sow because of the rains that God brings down timely, and we will live in a vibrant and sufficient environment again.
Joel 2:13–14 also teaches that our repentance is the only way when we are in recession or when we face many other macro challenges. God said that He would withdraw the calamity He had caused because of our sins and then bless us if we sincerely repent and live in obedience to His Word. That is possible because God’s grace and mercy are amazing, and He slows anger with His heart that loves us. Only repentance can be the way of solving the complex political, military conflicts that a country has with other countries, and the right way for the economy to recover and to find what it has previously lost.