The stock market opened this morning with the Dow dropping as many as 1,100 points. To put this into perspective, the Dow has never closed down more than 800 points in a day!
I briefly turned on a financial TV channel to see what the financial gurus were saying. They were obviously struggling to explain this huge loss. Unlike their usual self-assuredness, they were unable to clearly articulate why it was happening and what was going to happen.
As we’ve been sharing with our MoneyWise listeners for the past couples of years, when any market has six straight years of amazing growth in value and is at or near record highs – we need to be cautious! So, we’ve been recommending no more than 25% of an individual’s investments in the stock market. And we’ve encouraged investors to do their homework and invest in solid companies that have little or no debt and pay a dividend.
The two passages that give us the clearest guidance when it comes to investing are Proverbs 21:5, “Steady plodding brings prosperity; hasty speculation brings poverty.” In other words, be a consistent investor even if you can afford just a few dollars a month.
The other passage is Ecclesiastes 11:2, “Divide your portion to seven or even eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur upon the earth.” In other words, it’s wise to diversify and not to put all of our investment dollars into one basket.
One final thought. When we face major financial challenges that are global and beyond our control, remember what 1 Timothy 6:17 tell us: “. . . don’t fix your hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.” All riches are uncertain. Stocks, real estate, bonds, and gold go up and down in value. There is only one thing on the planet that is certain and that is the Lord Himself. He told us in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.”
The past week has been a rollercoaster of emotions for my wife, Bev, and me: surprise, concern, tenderness, and faith.
A quick review. In August 2012, Bev was diagnosed with breast cancer, and a double mastectomy was performed. Six months later we discovered that the cancer had spread to her bones, and she experienced excruciating pain a year. Thankfully, seven months ago the cancer went into remission, and she has been largely been pain-free.
Last Monday during a visit to her oncologist, they discovered that the markers in her blood work were elevated – really elevated! This indicates that the cancer could be out of remission. She has a full body scan scheduled for the 10th and a CAT scan on the 14th.
We thank the Lord Jesus Christ that He has proven His consistent, faithful love and care for our family for more than four decades. We love the Lord’s precious promises in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you, nor will I ever forsake you.” We also know that He is able to do anything, As Jeremiah said, “Nothing is too difficult for Thee.” And our God is in complete control of this challenge, “We adore you has being in control of everything” (1 Chronicles 29:11).
I want to thank the many of you’ve prayed for Bev during her journey with cancer. We would be incredibly grateful if you join us in specifically praying that (1) the cancer has not spread, and (2) that the Great Physician would heal her completely.
During this Christmas season, may we all appreciate the time with our family and friends, and focus on Jesus Christ – Emanuel – God who lives in us!
This past week has been a mixture of challenges, sweetness, and continuing the journey of trusting the only One worthy of trust.
Although my wife, Bev, has been feeling great for the past six weeks, her oncologist discovered that her blood “markers” were elevated indicating that her bone cancer was growing. So, they conducted a bone scan – she was so radioactive that Bev couldn’t hold the grandkids for two days!
Her oncologist called her at night with the results: the tumors along her spine are growing. He told her to stop the medication that wasn’t working and try a new one that he prescribed. Although we admire her oncologist, we asked to see a breast cancer specialist at MD Anderson for a second opinion. He gracious agreed, and helped to schedule it.
What are we learning? Several things.
First, we’ve been reminded that for those who know Jesus Christ personally, we’re pilgrims just spending a short time here on earth before going to our permanent home in heaven. Pilgrims see their earthly possessions for what they are: useful for kingdom purposes, but far too flimsy to bear the weight of trust. Our complete hope is in Christ alone. Jesus is enough.
Second, it’s a huge blessing not to go through a crisis alone. To have a loving spouse, family or friends is a wonderful source of encouragement and support. To hear from so many who are praying for Bev’s healing is an overwhelming encouragement.
Last, there is no substitute for spending time reading God’s word and for praying. The Lord promised us, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Only when we gain God’s perspective as revealed to us in the Bible, and walk closely with our heavenly Father, can we experience the peace and even joy He has for us, regardless of the circumstances.
Love in Christ,