Earthquakes, droughts and floods, Middle East violence, impending food shortages, and a lingering Japanese nuclear disaster—the news is bleak! Will our children and future generations survive the coming years? Is there hope for our children and for future generations? Yes, there is good news ahead!
In addition to wars and natural disasters, the global economy is trapped in a grinding crisis. European central banks warn of inflationary dangers (Financial Times, March 31, 2011). The United Kingdom predicts "wages rises falling far short of tax and price rises for at least another two years" with real household disposable income falling by "the largest annual decline since 1977" (BBCNews.com, March 30, 2011). Sadly, this mix of inflation and government welfare cutbacks will "hit children and elderly hardest" (Financial Times, April 3, 2011). In New Zealand, business leaders expect their economy to "deteriorate" over the next six months (BBCNews, April 4, 2011). And, in Portugal, economists fear a "lost decade" (Financial Times, April 4, 2011).
America has also suffered. But, United States inflation has actually been very subdued the last few years. For those who have found their household budgets stretched thin already, the unsettling fact is that as of February of this year, core inflation was only up a "modest 0.2%," and the consumer price index was only up 0.5% (USA Today, April 1, 2011). This is an extremely mild (and unsustainable) rate of inflation. Unfortunately, price increases appear to be on the near-term horizon. For example, Bill Simon; CEO of Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, warns Americans to expect "serious inflation in the months ahead for clothing, food and other products" (ibid).
Additionally, the world's food situation is reaching an unprecedented crisis situation. As crop output and inventories fall to "critically low levels," grain prices continue to "surge." Forecasts are that food prices will continue to increase as pressures on demand only intensify (Financial Times, March 31, 2011). And, drought, floods, and increased demand are only some of the many factors driving up world food costs. Violence is another factor, including even at the US-Mexico border!
In Texas, "drug cartel violence continues to plague the US-Mexico border" making Texas cattle raisers "concerned about how this issue will impact the Texas cattle herd." Additionally, border violence and budget cuts are making it increasingly difficult for Texas to adequately protect its cattle from "the spread of cattle fever ticks" that are increasingly infesting US herds (Texas Insider, March 23, 2011).
Sadly, these troubles are only beginning. Because of unrepentant sinfulness, the people have separated themselves from God (Isaiah 59:2, 18). So, there will be a time of national punishment, famine and war that will almost completely destroy Israel's modern descendants (Jeremiah 30:7, Matthew 24:21–27). But, thankfully God will have pity on His people. Isaiah reveals that in "wrath I struck you, but in My favor I have had mercy on you" (Isaiah 60:10). Then, Zion will be established on the earth (v. 14). Then, all nations and all kingdoms will help restore and rebuild Israel (vv. 10–14).
Scripture reveals the hope of future generations, when prosperity, abundance, and world peace will flourish and Israel will be a blessing to the nations. "Then the Lord will be zealous for His land and pity His people. The Lord will answer and say to His people, 'Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil and you will be satisfied by them … Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done marvelous things … The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil" (Joel 2:18–24). Then, all nations will learn peace and will learn to serve the Lord God (Isaiah 19:24–25, Zechariah 14:16–21)!
Beyond today's bad news is the good news of the coming Kingdom of God! Please read Armageddon and Beyond for more about this wonderful future. God speed that day!