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Gerard de VosCreated by Gerard de Vos
on 31-10-2008
Category: Faith related
Should a world wide financial crisis frighten a Christian?

It is interesting how the Bible shows itself accurate in every day life. For example, God warns: ‘Do not love the world or anything that is in the world.. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives for ever’ (1 John 2:15-17). The last two months we witnessed that the world, and especially the financial one, can change very quickly. Therefore the words in Revelation 18:10 ‘In one hour your doom has come,’ do not seem that preposterous anymore. 

Doubtless, many Christians will be directly or indirectly affected by the present economic world-wide down turn. But there is an old adage: ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’; they carry on and persevere regardless of what happens. So we can say to believers in the Lord Jesus Christ: when the going gets tough, tough faith in God is still going strong. Sometimes faith fades a bit when the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and we are cruising contented on life’s river. Yet, when the storm clouds gather, and the sea becomes turbulent, we wake up to reality: our problems seem as insurmountable as the storm was for the disciples when Jesus was in the stern of the boat, asleep on a cushion (Mark 4:35-41). After rebuking the wind and waves, He reprimanded them for their lack of faith.

What is necessary to weather a storm?

  • Insight to call on the Lord for help. Though the disciples lacked the faith to still the storm, they knew the source of salvation - Jesus Christ.
  • Faith in God’s words. At that time, Jesus calmed the storm with His authoritative words (He is the Creator and Lord of nature).
  • We do not have the benefit of being in Christ’s presence, but we do have a veritable collection of God’s words at our disposal. God spoke his powerful words in various situations. In Psalm 9:9-10 we read: ‘The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.’ We might be tempted, thinking that it is only the words that David wrote. He did write them down, but they were God’s words. In Acts 4:25 we read: ‘You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David...’ - in this case it refers to Psalm 2. We can accept that God is giving us a principle: He is the ultimate Author of the Bible, not the human writers who wrote down His words. Why would men’s words be of value in times of danger? When we are guided by the Holy Spirit to a certain verse or verses, we can confidently declare those words of God, knowing that they have the power to help and change people, situations, or problems, and do whatever we have need of.

We proclaim God’s powerful words, always reminding Him that He said: ‘As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth, and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth; it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it’ (Isaiah 55:10-11). If God says that He is our Rock and Refuge, an ever present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1), and we declare it in faith (we know it is God Himself who uttered those words which remain for all eternity), then it will happen as the Bible states. God’s words can never fail.

Just as Jesus’ words were authoritative in the storm, so the word of God calms our storms, with the proviso: it must be His words (by that we mean from Scripture), and they must be spoken in faith. The sad tragedy for many is that they pray and plead, but it is not in faith (Hebrews 11:6).
Here are some examples of the words of God we can use: Jeremiah 17:7-8, ‘Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.’ What does a year of drought signify? Is it not also financial pressures and problems? What is God’s powerful word advising us to do? Put our faith in Him for help. Faith is the pivot around which victory revolves. Faith comes only from reading (hearing) the Word of God (Romans 10:17). There is no other way: a closed Bible is not the way to faith, but to failure.

Conclusion: a global meltdown of the financial system might be God’s way of reminding us about His wisdom, power and provision for His children.

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinth 1:27