No Matter What

Even when you lose money, you can hold on to certain Biblical principles. #BibleLoveNotes #Financialloss

My husband and I aren’t savvy investors... 

When my parents died, I inherited some money. It gave us an opportunity to do volunteer Christian work overseas after my husband retired from the military. My husband’s military pension paid our living expenses if we were careful, and my inheritance from my parents who had passed away paid for the extra expenses.

But we'd never invested my inheritance and decided we weren't being good stewards. We prayed about what to do and felt like we should put the money into some safe investments. Our only condition was that the investments be morally and financially conservative. So we made the investment and flew back to Budapest.

That was a month before the stock market crash in fall 2008. Our hearts sank as we sat in our Budapest flat and realized we’d lost a huge hunk of our future. We didn’t know what to do, but everyone told us to hold on…things would get better. But they didn’t. Our retirement savings just kept dropping…and dropping…and dropping.

Even when you lose money, you can hold on to certain Biblical principles. #BibleLoveNotes #FinanciallossWhen we came back to the States the following year, we felt it was time to do something. If we kept losing money, we could jeopardize our retirement years. We were in our late fifties and we’d been out of the job market for quite a while doing mission work. So we prayed again and felt we should remove what we had left in the stock market. This meant our loss was permanent, but we felt we couldn’t gamble anymore.

A few months later the stock market started to recover. Eventually it recovered to the point where we would have had much smaller losses had we left our money in the stocks. 

I've had my share of difficulties and trials, and I wish I could say that they never faze me, that my immediate response is to trust the Lord. But sometimes I get stuck for a while in unbelief and self-pity, focusing on circumstances instead of on God.
Sometimes I still get a little sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about the chain of financial events during that time, but I’ve let it go for the most part, trusting that the Lord knows what is best for us, and He can use any circumstance for our good.

Maybe we hadn’t heard the Lord when we’d prayed about investing and/or removing the money. But as the years have gone on, I've begun to feel that maybe God wanted us to experience this loss to refine our faith (1 Peter 1:1-9). We don't know for sure, but we know God is good. And He has blessed us financially in so many ways since this happened.

I memorized the final half of Habakkuk 3 when I was a new Christian, and I’ve always had it “hidden in my heart” (Psalm 119:11). I tend to fret when something difficult happens, but eventually the principle in these verses impacts my thoughts and my heart, and I realize how incredibly blessed I am to be loved by the Lord.

I believe God has helped to give my husband and me a good attitude toward money, and I explain a bit more in It's Not for the Money.

My husband and I lost a large amount of money while serving the Lord...But God Comforted us!

I pray that I will always remember—no matter what happens in my life—that I can rejoice in my Savior for He is my strength and my joy.

“Though the fig tree does not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vine,
The produce of the olive fail,
And the fields yield no food,
Though the flock be cut off from the fold
And there be no herds in the stall,
Yet will I rejoice in the Lord,
Yet will I rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation,
God the Lord is my strength!”

(Habakkuk 3:17-19 paraphrased in a 1970 praise song)

If you'd like to read other devotions about money and material possessions, check out this ARCHIVE of 1-minute devotions.

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  1. Hi Gail ~ I'm so sorry for these losses. We've had similar experiences - though not involving the stock market - where the "nest egg" we thought we had for the future or a rainy season was gone overnight. It is such a struggle - choosing to trust even when the head says "no!"

    Thank you for your example of making that trust choice! And for sharing your struggle in getting and staying at that place.

    1. Thanks, Tim and Richelle. Life is so full of many lessons! : )
      I'm so glad we have God's Word to filter them all.

  2. This reminds me of a couple of situations from my life that I still don't understand why God allowed to happen. Of course, I learned a lot of great lessons from those times, but it still doesn't "seem" to merit the loss that God allowed. But as you've said, Gail, I know God is good and I don't question Him or His way of working in my life. After all, there are countless times He has revealed and continues to reveal His purposes in my life. I really am blessed. Thanks for this reminder that sometimes life doesn't make sense, but that God is still so very good!