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When The Stocks Tumble

January 2009

     Dow Jones has dropped dramatically. Oil prices have fallen to record lows. The auto industry is severely threatened. For some people this means their retirement funds have evaporated. Others are left with huge mortgages while facing the prospects of unemployment. Even if we do not own stocks or work for an auto manufacturer, we realize that we may all be affected sooner or later by the repercussions of economic instability and recessions that may follow?
     How does this make us feel? Worried? Frightened? Angry? Depressed? Or does it cause us to turn to God with a greater sense of need of Him than ever before.
     We realize that this economic upset is a direct result of society's faulty financial concepts - overspending, high consumer debt and greed. Yet in spite of these present uncertainties there are blessings and lessons that can be come out of this situation. We are reminded that material wealth and possessions are not of dependable value. Perhaps we were feeling too secure in the futures markets and had given little thought to investing in the eternal future. The Bible tells us to lay up "treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal" (Matthew 6:20). When our real treasures are spiritual and eternal we will not be overly dismayed if our earthly possessions are devalued.
     These financial reverses should also cause us to trust in His providential care. God has given many promises of provisions and care if we trust in Him. When our income flourishes we tend to feel we can provide for ourselves and no longer feel the need to pray God to "give us this day our daily bread." It is good for us to remember that all we have is from God.
     Another blessing that comes with tumbling markets is the reminder that all these earthly possessions will someday come to nothing. Chapter 18 of the Book of Revelation describes the judgement that the earth's inhabitants will face. In that scene all the delicacies and so-called riches will be liquidated into nothing within one hour.
     As we ponder economic uncertainties and losses, let us not be so alarmed about man's lack of control but let us see God - the One who has made us and holds the universe in His hand. In spite of these turbulent times He continues to be the Sovereign God whom we can cling to.

- Paul J. Zehr
   Bayfield, ON