The stock market crashed this week. Granted, it was not as bad as some crashes over the years. However, it was painful. Anyone who had money in the market lost. Experts indicated that this was brewing for some time. They indicated it was a combination of the market being overinvested, the Chinese market collapsing, and the threat of interest rates increasing that prompted such a downward turn of events. Most certainly, there are many people going home depressed tonight. My heart feels for those that lost a bundle this week, especially those approaching retirement that were banking on this income.
Reflecting on this financial roller-coaster, I am reminded of some biblical passages.
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
- The focus of our lives should not be the accumulation of wealth but the pleasure of our Heavenly Father. There is a natural pull for us in this consumeristic world to attach our identity to our bank account, stock portfolio, or the retirement plan. Granted, we need to prepare for the future. We need to save and invest. God gave us a mind to approach the future wisely and responsibly. However, we are warned against putting our hope in such things.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matthew 6:25-27)
- There is a great deal of anxiety as a result of the crash. Immediately, we begin to think about the future. It is a natural if we lost significant money in the market. A person would be irrational if they were not concerned. Yet, our minds should not remain in that place. God is sovereign. He controls the future, not Wall-Street. We should continue to put our trust in Him to provide for our needs.
10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:10-13)
- Contentment can only be found in Christ. We can have moments of peace and happiness through our own efforts. However, a person can only have lasting contentment if their strength is grounded in God. Paul’s secret is quite simple: look to God in moments of unrest. Investors oftentimes rely on their own wit and economic prowess. It is easy to depend on formulas, investor advice, or sheer luck. Yet, it is a shaky foundation. Security can only be found in the One who holds our lives (and the markets) in His hands.