By Dr. Lawrence Butler, The Bridge Church, Pembroke
(1Ti 6:17-18) “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;” Clearly the Word of God instructs us to put our trust in the Lord and not in the things of this life. The uncertainty of this world has again been brought before us in the collapse of the stock market over the last few months, only to rebound.
Trusting in the riches of this world is to trust “in uncertain riches,” about which we are warned by the Apostle Paul. Our generation has been pushed into investing and saving for retirement and the days when we may not be able to work. We have been told for many years now that the Social Security system will not be able to sustain us in our old age. Company pension plans have all but disappeared and been replaced almost totally by the ever popular 401k savings plans, and IRA’s and Roths have become common terms. Recent months were not kind to these savings and retirement plans before the tremendous turn around.
One Monday of this past year saw the market fall more than 3.5 %, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was on pace for its biggest monthly percentage loss since February 2009. Over the last 6 years the investment markets have been up dramatically – the S& P 165% and the NASDAQ 275%. (S& P is Standard and Poor’s 500 is a listing of 500 of the large companies that have stock listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. The NYSE and the NASDAQ are companies that list and sell stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a stock market index of 30 large publicly traded companies based in the United States.) Some analysts are predicting another upswing in the market with more money to be made.
Others foresee a major “correction” or even an extended “bear market.” A bear market is when the value of investments fall over a long period of time. However, instead of a bear market, a “bull” market occurred, meaning that many people recovered lost money and gained much more.
But, enough of this talk. Money comes and money goes. Our focus should not be on uncertain riches. Now, let us remember the words of Jesus. “ Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Mat 6:19-21). Also, please remember the story of Luke 12:16-21.