Q. The U.S. financial situation really scares me. What can Christians do to secure their savings and retirement when all of us are in debt, many are losing their homes in this sub-prime mortgage blow-up, jobs are being lost and the future looks like the 2nd Great Depression?
Recession Sanctioned by News Media
It scares me sometimes, too. Even the news media admits we are in a severe recession now. It is similar to the "Economic Earthquake" that the late Larry Burkett wrote about to warn us back in the nineties. He was about 10-15 years too early. But, he was right about the consequences of our mindless spending in government and on an individual level.
Many of us saw the scary greed which had gripped our nation over the potential wealth to be made in housing. Several prominent Christians tried to warn others back in 2002 not to get caught up in this frenzy.
Pray&Memorize Relevant Scripture
Nevertheless, God doesn't want us to live in fear or to worry. So to help my worrying I try to memorize Scripture passages that address this spirit of fear.
Also, make prayer your priority. We must seek God with all of our hearts and minds to rescue us from ingratitude and to supply our needs.
Psalm 50 says,
"Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High, and call upon Me in the day of trouble. I shall rescue you, and you will honor me" (v. 14-15).
This is a wonderful promise that God will be there for us in our day of trouble. However, we must live according to biblical principles, too.
Principle: Power, Love,&Self-Control
One thing we must remember is that "God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control" (2 Timothy 1:7, ESV).
Principle: Get out of Debt
Another principle is to get out and stay out of debt as much as possible.
"The rich rules over the poor and the borrower is the slave of the lender" (Proverbs 22:7).
King Solomon advised people to "Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth" (Ecclesiastes 11:2).
In modern terms this means to spread out your risk among different asset classes. Think broadly. For example, don't assume you are "diversified" if all of your assets are at a brokerage firm in foreign mutual funds, bond funds, U.S. stock funds, and money market funds.
Why isn't this enough?
What if your broker goes "belly up?" What if there is another terrorist attack and banks or brokerage firms are closed for months? Rather, keep funds in several brokerage accounts, banks, precious metals and cash in safety deposit boxes. Think broadly.
Principle: God Will Supply our Needs
Remember that God will supply what we need. Philippians 4:19 says…"my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus told us, "Therefore…do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on" (Matt. 6:25).
Jesus went on to state that "your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" (Matt. 6:32-33).
Principle: Our Lives are in His Hands
God has something for you and for me to accomplish while we are here on planet earth. He will provide for us until He decides to take us home.
"My times are in Your hand" (Psalm 31:15).
We are Not Deists - Our God is Personal
We are not like the world. Nor do we have to worry as the world does. We do not believe in a God who wound up the clock of the universe and left. Our God is personally involved in every aspect of our lives. No matter what happens, God has told us that:
"God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).