Hope Emerging in the Midst of Economic Fears

We are in some uncertain times and that has many distressed. Angst, high blood pressure, and panic fill many Americans in recent days. Many are in fear with the economic uncertainty we are living in and how our government will respond or not respond. Political elections draw near and the world is watching. People are extremely fearful of their future, investments, and security. Who knows how the current events will unfold. These are times that demand we inwardly examine our own hearts and also see opportunities to offer hope to others.

The late pastor and author, A.W. Tozar, wrote, “God’s address is at the end of one’s rope.”

When people’s lives or the world around us unravels, we seem to be shaken to our core of identifying what is the foundation of our hope, future, and identity. Throughout history, many have found Christ in the midst of hardship, pain, and disappointment, no matter from what circumstance. In global conflicts and wars, refugees always respond to the gospel openly no matter how resistant they have been in the past. If we are honest, we may see that our hope and security lies more on Wall Street or our government than on God and the voice of the Spirit that brings rest and peace. I think for us who are followers of Jesus Christ and investors in God’s work, we need some honest reflection and time to set aside to be still and pray.

I would encourage you to look to Christ as the source of your strength and foundation, and further, see opportunities before you to minister to others in their fears and worry.

17 of the 38 parables of Jesus are about possessions. Possessions are mentioned 2,172 times in scripture “three times more than love, seven times more than prayer, and eight times more than belief. Jesus had much to say about our treasure, money, and the soul. Indeed, we live in a culture that values highly possessions that come in many forms.

We need hope renewed in our hearts. Hope emerges when we see our future that is in eternity with Jesus Christ and a Kingdom that He came to announce and embody. In Christ we receive life abundant (Jn. 10:10). This does not mean we dismiss the problems and injustices of this world but we run to them and seek to transform them. Jesus was so active in the multiple spheres of engaging with others in their problems on a personal level and a systemic level. The good news should be good news for the rich as it is to the poor. This good news gospel is transformational and should touch and change the hearts of twisted, greedy Wall Street bankers and politicians as well as those in the slums around the world. Our hope is in God. He is our refuge and source of peace. We do not trust in riches or other people but in the Lord.

Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:19-21).

John Wesley wrote, “Surely then, to trust in riches for happiness is the greatest folly of all that are under the sun! Are you not convinced of this? Is it possible you should still expect to find happiness in money or all it can procure? What! Can silver and gold, and eating and drinking, and horses and servants, and glittering apparel, and diversions and pleasures (as they are called) make thee happy? They can as soon make thee immortal!These are all dead show. Regard them not. Trust thou in the living God; so shalt thou be safe under the shadow of the Almighty; his faithfulness and truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Do you believe in God through Christ? Do you trust in him as your strength, your help, your shield, and your exceeding great reward? as your happiness? your end in all, above all things? Then you cannot trust in riches. It is absolutely impossible you should, so long as you have this faith in God.”

May God sustain you and give you wisdom as you look to Him to use your time, treasure, and talents towards what is eternal.

Joel Vestal
October 2008

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