Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The economic pogo stick

So, today the Dow is up 300 points again, after suffering its worst single-day loss yesterday. What's going on??

I've been following the current economic crisis only from a distance - scanning headlines, reading an article here or there, and just trying to wrap my mind around this enormous and complicated subject. Like so many other Americans, I feel a personal sense of ownership and concern over the developments on Wall Street and Capitol Hill.

More than anything else, this is an important time for us to trust in our sovereign Lord. It's easy to trust in God and be content when the economy is healthy, home prices are rising, and our portfolios are expanding. But when stocks plummet, savings vanish, home values dry up, and the whole economy is in jeopardy, God finally has a way of getting our attention. Have we really been trusting in Him, or in our own financial security?

Jesus did, after all, tell us to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread" (Mt. 6:11). He did command us not to worry about food and drink and clothing, for "your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things" (Mt. 6:32).

What then, is our responsibility in this economic crisis? "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" (Mt. 6:33). Here are a few practical ways we should be "seeking first God's kingdom" in our present situation:

  • Ask God to grant wisdom to our political and economic leaders (1 Tim. 2:1-2)
  • Cast your own financial anxieties upon God, for He cares for you (1 Pet. 5:6)
  • Don't speculate about what might happen, and whether our nation is on the brink of an economic meltdown. Worry profits nothing (Mt. 6:27).
  • Don't resort to grumbling and complaining over political ineptitude (Phil. 2:14)
  • Even during affliction, continue to give to the Lord and His church as an expression of your trust in God and love for people (2 Cor. 8:2)
  • Stay informed and make wise financial decisions. Do not panic and act hastily. (Prov. 21:5)
  • Thank God that, if you know Jesus Christ, your eternity is completely secure with Him; you have "an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you" (1 Pet. 1:4).
  • Pray for those who have foolishly put their trust in riches (Prov. 11:28), that God will use this trial to draw many to Himself. Be sensitive to those around you that might be very burdened or frightened right now, and seek to minister the gospel to them.
We're witnessing a modern-day example of Proverbs 13:11: "Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it" (ESV). Only the Lord knows what will be the outcome of this economic crisis. Our duty is to trust Him and seek first His kingdom as we watch this drama unfold.

1 comment:

Monique said...

Great post! Thank you! I too have been following the headlines but haven't really understood everything. Darrin has been told to start looking for another job as his employer can't afford him anymore. Darrin has been and has encouraged me also with Mt. 6:33. What a great and very practical post! Thanks!