The Good News shows how God makes people right with himself--that it begins and ends with faith. As the Scripture says, "But those who are right with God will live by faith."
-- Romans 1:17
In 2001, an ounce of gold cost less than $260. But just a dozen years later, that same ounce of precious metal goes for more than $1,600.
Why the difference?
With the headlines dominated by multi-trillion-dollar budget deficits, bankruptcies and foreclosures, many people have lost faith in what they once considered rock-solid. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) claims that it covers each depositor to at least $250,000 in insured U.S. banks. But 51 banks still failed in 2012. And with the unemployment rate and cost of living stubbornly high--and government spending out of control--many people have put their faith in gold and other precious metals to protect their wealth. They reason that economic crises come and go, but gold has always held at least some value. What's more, nations like China and Russia are dumping their dollars in favor of golden stability. So the price of gold has risen with its growing demand.
If it's not in our government or banking system, where can you put your faith these days? But before answering that, let's first consider what faith is. The Bible defines faith as "confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." And along our journey as Christ-followers, faith plays out in several ways: obeying God when we don't know where we're going, believing God against all hope...and trusting Him--even when the circumstances don't make sense.
And the circumstances don't make a lot of sense these days. Millions are facing unemployment or bankruptcy. For others, it's a chronic illness or the prospect of major surgery. Maybe your circumstances involve family or relationship issues like a divorce or the loss of a loved one.
In such an unstable and unforgiving world, we need to remind ourselves that we worship a God who's much greater than any economic reversal, natural disaster or political dispute. Ours is a God who literally spoke the universe into creation, formed great mountain ranges with His hands and parted the seas with a breath.
"Is anything too hard for the Lord?" asks the writer of Genesis, the first book of the Bible.
Let's take God at His Word when He tells us that through life's circumstances, He works for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose. We're not exempt from personal storms once we turn our lives over to Jesus and become His followers. But what does change is that we gain access to a Power Who helps us endure any difficulty--great or small.
Although it's hard to be confident in very much these days, let's remember that the problems that seem so great today will become laughably insignificant tomorrow. Until then, all our Savior asks is that we have a little faith.