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"Now therefore, let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man...and let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years....That food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land not perish during the famine."
(Gen. 41:33-34, 36)
Think about this for a moment: in one 14-year period, because of careful and diligent savings during seven prosperous years, Joseph was able to buy everything that could be bought in the land of Egypt over the next seven years of economic recession.

You don't have to read too many books on financial management and the majority of America's millionaires to find out that this same principle has helped many of them create their financial independence: save in prosperous times when others are spending frivolously, then when the economy stumbles, buy at reduced prices when others are desperate to sell because they need the cash.

Thus, the Joseph Principle is built on three key truths:
  1. There are cycles of prosperity and recession in every economy.
  2. During times of prosperity, surpluses should be saved and not consumed.
  3. In times of recession, that surplus can be multiplied into more wealth as it is used to help meet the needs of others.
There Will Always Be Economic Cycles
One of the things that the United States seemed to forget during the 1990s (and actually during the 1920s as well, if you study history) is that the economy, like the weather, comes in seasons and cycles.

The 1990s and the 1920s were the most prosperous decades in the history of the world, and while economists warned that it couldn't last forever, everyone seemed willing to risk everything to take advantage of the climbing stock market that defied the limits of all previous periods of financial success and the ready availability of credit.

During the 1990s, mutual funds were exploding and no analyst seemed to be able to make bad choices as the overall market for investments kept breaking its own records.

Yet, despite everyone's optimism and despite surviving the Y2K scare, the market took a nosedive in the early 2000s. Many of those who had ridden the stock market roller coaster to the top also rode it to the bottom.

As of this writing, it seems that every month a new record is set for the number of bankruptcies filed in the previous 12-month period.

Although the market now seems to be turning around again, events, from the attacks of September 11 to the corporate accounting scandals of Enron, WorldCom and others, to the war in Iraq, have created huge questions about the health of the U.S. economy.

During the 1990s, many statistics seemed to indicate that the economic boom would never end. However, the truth has turned out otherwise: the economy will always have ups and downs.

Economic cycles are inevitable, though hopefully not as severe as the two seven-year cycles that Joseph saw in his lifetime. Just as there is a time to plant and a time to harvest, there is a time to put more into our storehouses and a time where we may need to put in less.

There will also be a time to give out of our storehouses and a time to replenish them, or we may do a combination of the two. There is also a time to invest our savings conservatively, and a time God may instruct us to use it to build wealth more aggressively. Just as Solomon said in Ecclesiastes:
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away.
(Eccl. 3:1-3)
Or, as Jesus said:
"He [God] makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust....Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

"But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."
(Matt. 5:45; 7:24-27)
In other words, cycles of nature and circumstances don't only happen to bad people, they happen to everyone. Those who are wisely prepared for them are the ones who "weather" the storms.

Those who build their houses—in the financial realm as well as in the other areas of our lives—firmly on the Word of God and His principles will not only survive these storms but will often be stronger afterward.

Source: The Storehouse Principle by Al Jandl & Van Crouch.
Excerpt permission granted by CrossStaff Publishing.

Author Biography

Al Jandl
Web site: Living Stones Church
Al Jandl is known as a pastor's pastor and a visionary leader for the 21st century. From humble beginnings as a store manager for a major grocery chain, Al Jandl has become a nationally known pastor, conference speaker, and leader.

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