Saturday, September 20, 2008

Speaking Good News in Financial Turmoil

This week was an especially tough one on Wall Street. The demise of Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and AIG headlined news for most of the week. Even if you don't make your living in the financial industry, you'll feel the effects of its turmoil. Your nest egg might look just a little smaller this week or perhaps your company might be cutting back spending. If you're looking for a new job, it might seem just a little harder going. Or maybe you're doing just fine but your neighbors aren't.

How do you deal with tough financial problems? What tempations do you experience in such times?

Anxiety, perhaps? It's not uncommon for some of us to be tempted in this area. In the midst of mounting bills without corresponding income, we can be tempted to anxiety. How we can sustain such financial drain, we wonder?

How about unbelief? I remember when I was out of work in 2001. It was the post dot-com bubble era - it seemed like companies were shutting down every week and employees were being laid off daily. After several months of not finding work, I began to wonder if I'd ever get another job again!

A couple of weeks ago, I heard a message on Sunday by CJ Mahaney about how many of our struggles stem from spending much of our time listening to ourselves, instead of speaking to ourselves. Sounds a little confusing, doesn't it? The point of the message is that we spend much of our time, listening to our own negative, sinful thoughts -anxiety, unbelief, anger, etc... instead of actively speaking God's truth and promises to our own souls.

Here's how it might be applied in times of personal financial turmoil - instead of passively listening to our own thoughts of anxiety ("we'll get crushed by this mounting bills") or unbelief ("I'll never find a job"), we can actively proclaim to our own souls, God's unfailing promise to provide what we need -

"Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and 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." Matthew 6:31-32


"Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing." Psalm 34:8-10

Speaking good news - that's what we need in the midst of any turmoil.


Ted M. Gossard said...

Good thoughts. This reminds me of the psalms when the psalmist whose soul is cast down (depression can be one form of that) speaks to his soul, telling herself/himself to trust in God.

I'm also reminded of Psalm 46. The point there being that God himself IS our refuge and our strength, an ever present help in trouble. So that we will not fear (I wonder if the psalmist meant there a resolution of faith), no matter what happens- even if not just the financial market, but the entire earth gives way.

Thanks for the challenge over at my blog on my post on "balance". Both to you and OD. I'm not used to that, and it's good for me, and makes me think that I need to rethink what I was thinking about there. I tried to explain myself a bit better in a comment back, over there.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

So, what do you think of this bailout proposal - good or bad?

Every Square Inch said...

Ted - thanks. I did actually think of Psalm 46 as well.

Susan - I'm not sure. I guess I don't know enough of the details. On the surface the bailout doesn't seem good for taxpayers. On the other hand, if it helps the credit crisis to a "softer landing" (crash?) I guess it's necessary. Sometimes, when you're already in a crisis, the best you can do is to manage your way out of it - perhaps that means a bailout,,,