We’re all watching the markets this morning after a tumultuous weekend of economic news. Today’s Wall Street Journal reports that finance officials in Europe have tried to finalize another bailout, but public opposition from Germany and other strong economies threatens their plan.
According to this morning’s Financial Post, the global economic slowdown threatens Canada’s export-driven economy. Critics in Great Britain are escalating their pressure on government leaders to make strategic changes. A growing number of economists are worried about a default in Greece. Some hoped China would buy debt from troubled economies in Greece and Italy, but Chinese officials made it clear over the weekend that they would not risk their growth rate, currently at 9% a year.
Are you worried about your financial future? How does faith help?
Yesterday it was my privilege to worship with Cliff Temple Baptist Church in Dallas. Their pastor, Dr. Brent McDougal, delivered a very insightful message on the subject of fear and the future, quoting 1 John 4:18: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” What does “perfect love” have to do with “fear”? In thinking about that question, this analogy came to mind.
Perhaps you’ve seen a climbing wall, or tried one yourself. This is a high structure with footholds and handholds placed at strategic points from the ground ascending to a deck at the top. Before you start up the wall, you strap on a safety harness attached to a climbing rope that is threaded through a pulley at the top. An instructor on the ground takes the other end of the rope. If you come off the wall, the person holding the rope will keep you from falling.
I’ve been on walls that were designed in such a way that only one pathway leads to the top. The others included holds that would spin under my weight or lead me to a dead end. My instructor on the ground shouted instructions as I climbed, leading me up the right path. On occasion I had to jump to the hold he wanted me to use, when another hold was much closer and seemed much safer. Given my dislike for heights, this decision was not easy. If I didn’t trust the one guiding me and holding my rope, such risks at considerable height would be frightening. But I trusted my instructor, and he led me to safety.
The King of the universe sees you on your wall this morning. He has a “good, pleasing, and perfect will” for your climb (Romans 12:2). He promises, “surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). No one has the power to snatch your rope from his hand. No one, that is, but you.
Have you given your rope to Jesus today?