By Hal Lindsey
If you’re in the stock market, it’s been a wild few days. But even if you don’t own stocks, you know that big changes in US markets eventually affect everyone.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.”
And for many, big market swings spell F-E-A-R.
At the theme park, we want rides that take us high and drop us fast. But when we ride a rollercoaster, we know our car is attached to strong rails. The highs, lows, twists and turns are all part of the show. They feel spontaneous, but they were planned by the ride’s designers long ago. In many cases, millions of people safely experienced the ride before you.
The stock market is different. It runs along the edge of something we call “now.” And no human being has ever been here before. Next year, next week, even the next second, are always unexplored territory. We can examine a vast amount of data regarding the market’s past. We can study charts and numbers. But our direct human knowledge always ends at “now.”
A friend of mine was standing in the line (or “queue,” as they say) at Disneyland’s Space Mountain. A father and very young son stood in front of him. The child had barely been tall enough to meet the ride’s height requirement, and he was obviously nervous. With the sounds of the rollercoaster growing louder with every step, the boy’s agitation grew. At one point, he told his dad that he didn’t think he could get on the ride. It was just too scary.
The father said, “The scariest ride in the world is the one you’ve never ridden.”
It was an amazing piece of wisdom. You’ll notice that people who have been in the market a long time seem much less bothered by the recent swings than some of the newbies. The old timers have seen things like this before. They know that market corrections happen — especially after the precipitous ride up that preceded the recent drop.
They feel like they’ve been here before because it all feels familiar. They’ve seen other situations that looked similar. But the truth is, they never rode this particular part of the ride before now. The nature of being human is to constantly live in a place none of us has ever been before. We’ve been on this ride since birth, but we never know for sure what twists, turns, or dips come next. As the thing we call “now” moves along the forward edge of time, we’re constantly in a new place — new, that is, for us.
But for God, time is different. He doesn’t experience it sequentially the way we do. He lives above time.
Back in the 70s, I wrote a book called Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth. In that book, I explained it like this. “God is looking at our lives as a helicopter pilot would look down at a parade. If we’re standing on a corner watching a parade, we see the beginning of the parade, each segment passing by, and then we see the end of it. We see consecutively. But God, like the helicopter pilot, sees the whole parade at one time. That’s the way God sees your life.”
Isaiah 57:15 calls Him “the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity.” (NKJV) Some modern versions say, “lives forever” instead of “inhabits eternity.” But in this case, the King James and New King James give a better sense of the verse. He doesn’t just live forever. He lives in forever. He inhabits eternity — all of it at once. That’s consistent with His attributes of omniscience (meaning He knows everything) and omnipresence (meaning He’s everywhere at once).
We haven’t seen this part of the parade before. But He saw it from eternity past. Nothing surprises or panics Him. He knows that we are limited in time to “now.” But He promises to take care of us through all our ups and downs.
Hebrews 13:5 says, “He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.’” (NASB)
We can rest in Him. Regardless of the storm outside, He watches over us. An unstable stock market does not diminish His love or care.
In Isaiah 41:10, the Lord says, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.”
Think about the infinite power of the One saying those words, and realize that He’s speaking them to you. Don’t be afraid. Don’t let anything dismay you. Why not? Because the One who inhabits eternity strengthens you, helps you, and upholds you. What does He uphold you with? Not your goodness, but the strong right hand of His righteousness.