All around the world, financial market news has been grim.
According to Reuters…
“S&P, Nasdaq notch biggest weekly losses since March”
“Asian shares slip after brutal central bank week, yen in focus”
“Bank of England halts run of interest rate hikes as economy slows”
Despite these headlines though, all the major indices around the world tracking the stock markets are up from this time last year (2022). Yes, in Asia, in Europe, in the U.S., etc.
We don’t know whether we’re coming or going.
Ever since the pandemic-related shutdown in 2020, there has been a lot of fear and economic uncertainty.
From a worldly perspective, it seems like the first thing we all would be privy to learn is how to best navigate the markets and safeguard our money. But while that might be beneficial, I believe the first thing we all should learn is contentment.
From a Kingdom perspective, whether the economy here on earth is up or down, God’s economy never changes.
That’s why His Word tells us to fix our eyes on what is unseen, not on what is seen (2 Corinthians 4:18).
When it came to fellow believers giving to the cause of the Gospel, the apostle Paul was in need of financial support (Philippians 4). However, as he shared in his letters, he learned to be content during those times and the times of prosperity.
Although it may not be easy, the best thing any of us could ever learn for ourselves is how to be content. But of course, this is MUCH easier said than done!
I recently had a conversation with two dear friends whom I met through Compass’ financial discipleship studies (which you can find and sign up for here). I shared with them that keeping faith has been challenging for me and that, although I continue to pray, I can’t seem to help but to try to take matters into my own hands, instead of truly giving it all to God.
Every day, when your thoughts start to reflect on what’s going on in the world, how much your investments have gained or lost, or whether you have enough money for the rest of the month or too much month and not enough money, remind yourself of Paul’s words, “I have learned to be content.”
Being content is learned.
We don’t come hard-wired to be this way. Which is why it is important to make a conscious effort.
I believe that learning the skill of contentment unlocks the door to walking side by side with Christ. Because we are not distracted by the cares of this world and can be in tune with God’s voice. We can be free to be Jesus’ disciples and love what He loves.
So, coming from someone who has to relearn what contentment means every single day, it’s okay if everything isn’t going according to plan. It may not feel okay, but it is. Because God will make it all right. Trust Him (1 Peter 5:7). He will supply ALL your needs (Philippians 4:19).
It’s okay to maneuver your way through and navigate your finances, changing course at any given time to account for the ups and downs.
It’s okay if you don’t get back what you are owed. Like our CEO, Brandon Sieben, said in his last article, maybe it’s a “moment to show someone the character of Christ… even when we’re in the right and stand to lose financially.”
It’s okay if you don’t know what tomorrow holds.
Every situation we face is an opportunity for us to put our trust in God. Because, even when you don’t know what to do or how to do it, He is the answer. For we can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13).
Melody Stampley, Managing Editor