October 1, 2008
The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows those who take refuge in Him. Nahum 1:7
Yesterday's top story on the BBC was the U.S. House of Representatives had voted down the bail-out bill.
Reuter's banner headline read: "U.S. bailout rejected; fear seizes markets."
The Washington Post carried two stories, which topped the others. The first was this: "Lawmakers Scramble to Figure Out Next Move in Financial Crisis." The other was this: "Dow Suffers a Historic Drop, Falling 778 Points in Single Day".
But I'm not telling you anything you don't know, am I?
You are fully aware global markets are close to a panic, and Washington leaders seem confused as to what should be done, or what should not be done.
Now, I am not an economist and am incredibly ignorant in matters of global finance, but there is one thing I do know: the purpose of these Daily Devotions is to let the Lord speak to uncertain times. That is what He does through the reassuring words shared by the Old Testament prophet, Nahum: "the Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble."
Those words came at a time when God's people had just found out they weren't as wise, as self-sufficient, or as in control as they thought. The unexpected arrival of the cruel and seemingly invincible Assyrian army had them despairing of their future.
In that dark moment, Nahum spoke the truth: human arrogance and greed -- not God -- was the culprit that had undermined their situation. To troubled minds, hearts, and souls, Nahum held out inspired words of comfort: "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble."
The Holy Spirit says the same to us who see our tomorrows as being grim and gloomy: God is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble.
He wants us to remember that even though the stock market might be bouncing around, His goodness is constant. He wants to reassure us that trust in Him is more secure than any stock. He wants us to believe that His Son, who came to save our souls, remains ready to be our fortress when financial institutions are failing. The risen Redeemer stands as the stronghold of hope to all who come to Him in humility, repentance, and faith.
At the beginning of this special devotion, I said I was not an economist. That is true. I am also not a prophet. Even so, I believe this financial crisis will be a theme touched upon in the weeks and months to come. If this proves to be the case then I, like you, should be thankful. Thankful about what? Thankful that when the headlines scream gloom and doom, we have a God who "is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble."
THE PRAYER: Dear heavenly Father, the leaders of finance said, "Trust us, we know what we're doing." Apparently, they didn't. Now, people who had no part in big-business-boardroom decisions are paying the price. Today, I pray damage might be minimized and individuals may not give in to despair, but may be turned to You. Help us know that You are "good, a stronghold in the day of trouble." I pray this in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries