Truth in Troubling Financial Times
This past month has been one of the most turbulent months in the history of the financial markets. From a new record high in the S&P 500 on February 19th to a nearly 35% plunge just one month later, this past month has created a lot of angst for a lot of people. The answers offered in the past just don’t feel sufficient in the present. This time it feels different.
With people worried and fearful about what tomorrow will bring, there is a great search for assurance and comfort. Where can people find hope in today’s financial world? Fortunately for us, the answer to that question hasn’t changed and will never change. Assurance, hope and comfort will always come from the same place: the Word of God. So, let’s look at some timeless truths from the Bible that we can anchor to through these uncertain and troubling times.
The following five truths were laid out by Matt Bell and Mark Biller of Sound Mind Investing:
1. We know we need not fear. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love and of power and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). One of God’s most comforting attributes is his sovereignty. Knowing that God is in control and is not surprised by the things that happen provides great comfort amid any circumstance.
How can you focus on God’s sovereignty to help you conquer fear?
2. We know God is always with us, always for us, always loves us. See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! (1 John 3:1). No matter what happens around us, no matter how difficult things appear, no matter how fearful we are, we can be sure that God cares for us. God is always working for our good and his glory. Knowing this, I can wait on God’s goodness.
Where have you seen God most clearly in this crisis? How can you keep your focus on those places?
3. We know God is aware of our needs. God also promises to provide. So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:31-33). God promises to provide for our needs. He will care for us in greater ways than we can imagine. Whatever fear of the future exists, rest in the assurance that God knows your needs and he promises to care for you.
What is the need that gives you the most fear? How can you lay that need at his feet?
4. We know God’s Word teaches us to be patient. Come what may in the financial markets, we know that God’s Word teaches us to be patient, to take the long-view. Steady plodding brings prosperity; hasty speculation brings poverty (Proverbs 21:5). If history tells us anything, it’s that instability in the financial world is always cyclical and never lasts. Whatever trouble we see today, our best course of action is patience. When we look to the future and most importantly to eternity, we can view today’s trouble as an opportunity to patiently wait for the promise of eternity when these cycles cease to happen.
What discipline can you adopt to look consistently to the future?
5. We know God has a purpose for every trial. God uses all the trials we experience to mold our character and draw us closer to him. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). God is working. Even when we can’t see it today, we can be sure we will see it sometime.
How can you find purpose in these times? How can you view these times as an opportunity to draw closer to God?
To learn more about finding truth in troubling times, see the following resources:
Bell, Mark & Biller, Mark, “What We All Need to Know,” March 25, 2020 in Sound Mind Investing.
Message from Ron Blue on our response to this financial crisis
Financial contributor: Michael Blue serves as the executive director and general counsel for The Ron Blue Institute for Financial Planning.
Executive editor: Russ Gunsalus
Curator of content: Dave Higle