GOD and the Financial Markets

We are like grass or wildflowers which quickly fade, yet You care for us perfectly. Through all seasons our trust is in You!

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011

 The ebb and flow of money is in the news and it can be frightening.  The stock market is down and then it is up again.  401(k) plans have lost value (or not).  Gold prices hit record highs.  Bond values are fluctuating. The reports make it sound ominous and with potentially dire consequences and we almost want to run through the streets as Chicken Little did when the acorn fell on his head and he was sure the sky was falling (and the world was ending).

And yet, we are still here and God is still on the throne. In fact, no matter what the value of our investments, God remains God and we remain His beloved.  Life will go on!

We need to remember our purpose.  The moment we become Christians we have a new purpose.  Instead of trying to amass the greatest amount of wealth on earth, or achieve the highest position, or become some type of celebrity for broad visibility, we inherit the Great Commission.

 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28:18-20 NIV)

God wants to use us so that all people would know Him. Not by our power, not by our wisdom, not by our strength, clever words, or good intentions, but by His Spirit at work in and through us as reflected through our lives.  As a good Father to His children, He give us “pictures” of what He means:  we are to be like amabassadors living in the world as if it were a foreign land, while representing His kingdom – living in the world but not of it.  We are to be like lamps which shine forth His Light (for we have no light of our own).  We shine the truth of His way versus where most people think priority should be placed.  As the moon has no light of its own but reflects the sun, we are to reflect the Son.  We were created to reveal His glory – to show the world the difference it makes in our lives when He is Savior and Lord.

God doesn’t promise us no problems, but He promises to walk through it with us and use all for good in light of eternity.  He promises that nothing will be our demise.  Though we may suffer and will eventually die, death is no longer the end for us, but a door into eternity with Him.  He promises He has a plan for our lives which is good and to provide enough to those who love Him to get from here to eternity.

He is God – that is, Superior, Sovereign and above all other beings.  Thus He commands us not to worry so we don’t need to.  This does not mean everything will go our way, but it will go God’s way.  If He is GOD, then He is GOD.  Either He is, or He isn’t.  If He is, then we have nothing to fear.  In all that we will ever face, we can rest in the fact: God foreknew; God has a plan.

It doesn’t matter whether or not we have investemtns.  If we listen for His instructions and seek to obey, we will end up with enough.  It doesn’t matter if our investments fall in value.  If we listen and seek to obey, we will have enough.  It doesn’t matter if things go temporarily (all things in this life are temporary) from bad to worse and we have to move in a way we didn’t think we wanted, because sometimes He allow to be moved from one set of circumstances to another, so He can use us as His Light and ambassador in another place.  (There are people He wants to reach in those places and how will they be able to see the difference He makes if there is no one there who knows Him?)

He never promised an easy path. Consider Jesus – born exposed to the elements, lived part of childhood in exile, rejected by his village, misunderstood, maligned, betrayed, condemned and executed though innocent.  Yet every step of the way, God was using Jesus for mighty, glorious, eternal purposes!  Even the Israelites whom God blessed in the Old Testament with the “Promised Land” still had to hunt, work the fields, and battle against enemies to secure the land.  Theirs was not a life of ease either.

This will remain earth not heaven.  There will be seasons of abundance and seasons of lack. What God does promise is to protect and provide “enough” for those who love and serve Him, for whom He is Savior and Lord, until He calls us home to heaven.  Do we believe it?

So in light of the sovereignty of God, do we choose to be gold-seekers or God-seekers?  Every person in every previous generation who sought financial wealth as their ultimate in life and/or answer to all their problems is dead (no matter how “successful” they were) – unless they bowed to Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord before they died.

God tells us that His Wisdom is the treasure we should seek about all else.  It is the most valuable asset of all!  The Amplified translation of the Bible describes His Wisdom as comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God.  He tells us His way is higher and better.  He tells us not to worry.  He says for us the beginning of His Wisdom is a reverential, worshipful awe and fear of Him.  In other words, our respect for what he can do for us in all circumstances is greater than our fear of what anyone or anything else can do to us.  Freedom from worry comes from fearing (respecting) Him.  Trust in Him is the antidote to fear of what might happen to us.  If He is God, He is worthy of our trust.  If He is not faithful (and thus not to be trusted), then He is not God.

When we let Him be Lord and choose to TRUST, He responds with a huge outpouring of His peace and joy into our inner-most being which remains regardless of circumstances.  We walk worry-free, because we have chosen to trust Him and let Him be God – resting in the fact that He is in control and we are not.  And then the world sees Him in our lives and the Great Commission goes into fulfillment.  “He says, ‘Be still and know I am God, I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.'” (Ps. 46:10 NIV)

Though we may invest in the financial markets, we do not put our hope there for these will toss and turn (as they always have).  We put our hope and confidence in the One Who can.  Let us seek His direction for each of us individually.  He will answer.  He is faithful.

SELAH [pause, and calmly think of that]!

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.  (Ps. 46:1-2 NIV)

3 Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed.  4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.  (Ps. 37:3-4 Amplified)

END

 PLEASE remember to view the new song, “ONE NATION UNDER GOD” on youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d593RguxQI8&feature=share  SHARE the link!  Let’s let everyone know that the USA is and remains one nation under God and be encouraged in how God values every individual.

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

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