June 15, 2020
The following was written by Kerry Mallory, a Senior Private Wealth Advisor located in Ronald Blue Trust’s office in Atlanta, Georgia.
Over the past several weeks, we have shared our thoughts on concepts that are critical when navigating economic disruptions. These insights have been a part of our efforts to help our clients have clarity and confidence in their finances, no matter the economic season or what’s happening around us. While markets have recently reacted favorably to positive developments in the coronavirus pandemic, our economy is still facing headwinds. During uncertain times, I am guided by our firm verse, 1 Timothy 6:17-19, because it gives me hope and focus. In 1 Timothy 6:17, Paul tells his friend Timothy to:
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
Notice Paul’s command to Timothy: Avoid placing our trust in riches because they are uncertain and may ultimately fail us. Instead, we are to fix our hope on God, whose promises are always true. He is always faithful.
How can we fix our hope on God during trying times?
I believe that fear can be contagious. People are afraid for their safety, health, jobs, investments, lifestyle, and more. But amidst all the instability that we’ve experienced during the past several months, we have a divine assurance. Our Lord’s words are comforting, providing a much-needed perspective:
Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).
…we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:3-5).
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).
In 1 Timothy 6:18-19, Paul goes on to say:
Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.
Paul’s direction is timeless. He encourages us to do things that will store up lasting treasure in Heaven. In doing so, we will experience a taste of the life for which we were created.
What does “doing good” look like in today’s world?
Here are a few ideas:
- Reach out to friends who are in pain and listen well. Many people today are hurting. God calls us to “bear one another’s burdens” and that starts by seeking to listen well. Sincerely listening to another’s struggles can help them feel cared for and loved. They may have lost their job, lost a loved one, or faced injustice. Avoid offering your opinion or solution – have a spirit of humility as you listen (Ephesians 4:1-3). Hearing their pain can be the start of a healing dialogue.
- Take time to check on the elderly or others who are alone. Offer to drop off food or necessities they might need. Listen to what they are going through and offer to pray with them. These months have been an especially lonely time for many. A note of encouragement, a text, or a phone call could make a bigger impact than you will ever know.
- Pray for your neighbors by name. Drop off a note, telling them specifically how you’re praying for them and encouraging them to call you for additional prayer or help. Use this time as an opportunity to share the reason “for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).
- Pray for our leaders to have wisdom, discernment, and peace. The late Billy Graham said, “It is a great privilege, as well as our responsibility, to pray for our government leaders.” Our leaders need our prayers as they daily face decisions that impact people’s lives, health, and safety.
- Praise God regularly. We have so much to be thankful for. Try making a list each day of five things you’re grateful for. Share reasons why you’re thankful around the dinner table or on the phone with friends and family.
- Give generously to help those in need. Many local charities are struggling right now and need donations. Your local church may also have a benevolence fund that is designed to help people in need, such as paying a rental, mortgage, or car payment for someone who is out of work. Reach out to a local charity or talk with your pastor to see how you can contribute to these needs.
Jesus Christ is our hope, our anchor, our strength, and our peace. Rather than looking for hope in worldly possessions, let’s place our hope in Him. His promises are always true, and He is always faithful. Let’s share His love with as many people as we can and make each day count by doing something good for one another. God can use us. Fear isn’t the only thing that is contagious; love is too, and that is a reason to hope.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation.