Contend Earnestly: God's Glory and the Stock Market

Thursday, September 18, 2008

God's Glory and the Stock Market


Many of you know, some may not, that my primary business is investments. I have been in the business since 1999 and seen many ups and downs. My father has been in the business since 1987. He actually started with Merrill Lynch a couple of months before Black Monday. What is interesting about the markets and my clients is that their joy and their happiness is ran by the stock market. Also, their love of me all depends on our returns. I have literally been told many times that I am a genius, and then when the market turned sour, that same client has said that they wanted to sue me because I am a moron. I admit that I am a moron, but please, don't sue me, because that just sucks.

Unless you have been in a cave, the markets have been all over the place because of our great administration that has allowed the biggest financial companies in the world to fall apart. You would think that they would have learned from Enron, Worldcom, etc. but it seems as though they have allowed the same mistakes to be made, just in different areas and in different ways. As of yesterday morning at about 9am, all the markets were down over 20% each for the year. Because of the downfall of the markets, you can only imagine how many times I have been called an idiot by my own clients...which some, because of their tone, have been told, "close your account, we will no longer service you." Which is the best part about owning your business. Instead of "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service" we stand by, "No Brains, No Tact, No Thanks."

The other side of the coin are those clients who ask, "How are you doing?" I have been asked by clients and others that know my line of business how I have been taking this down turn emotionally. This is the definite reason that God has placed me in this industry. My life is not determined by the Stock Market. My joy is not determined by the Stock Market. Is it difficult when the times are down? Yes, of course. Is it gut wrenching at times? Yes, of course. Does it destroy me and cause me to lose it in these circumstances?

Come on...remember...Jesus died for my soul. To live is Christ. Jesus is my prize, Jesus is my life, not my stupid job. Not money. Have I struggled with this concept? Yes, but like Paul said, I am dying daily in Christ Jesus (1 Cor 15:31). What does this mean? It means that if I am trying to prize Christ above all, then all his gifts to me are not the ultimate prize, he is. So, I die daily to health, wealth, friends, family and, of course, the Stock Market. If I die daily to these things, then when they are taken from me, I do not lose hope or joy, because my prize is found in Christ.

John Piper puts it this way:

When everything in life is stripped away except God, and we trust him more because of it, this is gain, and he is glorified.

So, when the Stock Market is up or down, God is glorified and He is good. When the Stock Market is down, it gives me the opportunity to tell those clients and those Christians who ask about my emotional state...God is glorified in this because He is my prize.

God designs that tribulations intensify our hope for the glory of God. Paul says in Romans 5:2 that we have access by faith into grace and “rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Then he tells us in the next two verses how that hope is preserved and sweetened: “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” (verses 3–4).

This hope that grows and deepens and satisfies through suffering is the hope of verse 2, the “hope of the glory of God.” We were made to see and savor this glory. And God, in love, will use whatever trials are necessary to intensify our savoring of his glory.
John Piper

This is the message that I get to show others through my life, especially when the Market gets ripped to shreds.

And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10



1 comments:

barrydean said...

Seth,

I had no idea. I suspected you were more of an extreme sports professional. This posting is very encouraging. It reminds us that more happens which way the wind blows God is the same and His grace is sufficient.

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