Which is your King?
On this date, Oct. 19, 1987, 34 years ago a second “Black Monday” shook stock markets worldwide. The first had occurred Oct. 28, 1929, a part of the huge Wall Street crash which began four days earlier on Oct. 24, and resulted in a 24.8% drop in the Dow. It led ultimately to the Great Depression. But the 1987 crash was global! The Dow fell 22%, a shocking 508.32 points!
Other “Black Mondays” followed:
Sept. 29, 2008 – A financial crisis since 2007 and real estate bubble burst crashed world markets into the Great Recession.
Aug. 8, 2011 – Stock markets crashed due to a credit rate downgrade of the United States’ debt.
Aug. 24, 2015 – Chinese stock market crash. SSE Composite Index declined by 8.45%.
Sept. 16, 2019 – Federal Reserve interves in the repo market 5 months prior to 2020 stock market crash after overnight lending rate spiked above 8%.
Mar. 9, 2020 – Investor panic over COVID-19 pandemic and Russia-Saudi oil price war prompt worst losses since Great Recession. Mar. 16, 2020 – Larger falls than the week previous!
These were huge disasters for those whose trust was in money. Many fell into deep depression. Many found themselves penniless and without hope. Some committed suicide.
Nothing is secure in this world. But the Christian’s confidence is in Christ. He has chosen Christ, not cash, as King. Money may make the world go round but the Christian trusts “the God who made the world and everything in it” (Acts 17:24). This world is passing away (1 John 2:17) but the Christian trusts in a world to come. Paul writes, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (1 Cor. 15:19). But in Christ, Paul says, we are “…poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” (2 Cor. 6:10).
As I chat with homeless folk on our downtown city streets I uncover both the lottery playing hopefuls and the heavenward praying faithful. Regardless of social strata the distribution of trusters in cash and trusters in Christ seems about the same… and each of us will choose.
Christ drew the first line in the sand on this and pointed out the decision we each must make. “No one can serve two masters,” He said. “Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matt. 6:24). He pointed to the simplicity of faith found in His creation , “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matt. 6:26).
Ultimately we must all surrender everything. As Paul points out, “…we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” Chasing riches is always short-lived. “But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that,” Paul continues.”Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Tim. 6:6-10).
Choose God over money and He will see to the rest. He has given this promise: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matt. 6:33-34).