When we think chaos is coming, it’s easy to worry about the future. But how can we use the Bible to help us deal with hard times? We can’t control a lot of what’s going on in the economy and world markets, but we can still pray to God for wisdom and insight.
None of us can see the future, but we certainly know from the Book of Revelation that things look pretty chaotic. But if we look at it from an economic perspective, there are some great Bible verses that give a useful way of thinking about money and economics.
Alex Cook from Wealth With Purpose recently joined us on 20Twenty to help Christians with their financial journey by offering some practical advice. Alex thinks it’s important that we stay humble and pray to God for discernment in our decision making.
‘The Bible says a sensible man watches for problems ahead and prepares to meet them,’ says Alex. ‘The simple never look and suffer the consequences. But it also says since no one knows the future, who can tell someone else what is to come. Those verses may appear to be contradictory, but I don’t think they are.’
In economics, we can sometimes see certain things ahead. One thing Alex has been warning about for years is our level of debt. At some point we reap what we sow, and we will have to pay back that money. It’s an obvious long-term problem, and a sensible person makes decisions on how to navigate that.
‘It can be hard to know who to trust, so I try and read economists that are independent. If they’re not related to a large financial institution you can get more clarity and try and reach your own conclusion. Pray to God regularly for help, because we all need that in this in this economic climate.’
Share prices and bond prices are both going up and down at the moment. In general, markets tend to move around a bit, but they seem to be a lot more shaky now because of what’s going on in the world, particularly with the rise in inflation.
‘I’m not sure how easy it is to control,’ says Alex, ‘Politicians are under so much pressure to do something, that they sometimes make it worse. The environment is getting less and less predictable. And of course, we’re seeing a massive political polarisation around the world.’
Is Recession Coming?
Alex feels that in the near future, fixed loans will mature and people will end up on much higher interest rates. The clouds are gathering. It’s possible a global recession is coming, and in fact Alex believes many world economies are probably already in recession.
‘The world is so globalised now,’ says Alex. ‘China, for example is 30% of Australia’s exports. And likewise, an extremely high percentage of our goods come from there. So we have supply chain issues. But I think what concerns me in the U.S. now is it almost looks like a civil war at the political level. This utter hatred for the opposition is rising.’
Alex also believes that inflation and interest rates are a big issue, particularly here in Australia. In theory, central banks operate outside of government influence. However, they are subject to similar sort of pressures and don’t want to be blamed for inflation getting out of control.
‘The Australian Reserve Bank will be nervous about house prices because that has a huge flow on effect to the rest of the economy,’ says Alex. ‘If they get it wrong and house prices fall much more than they expect, we may see them reversing course. The reality is so many industries sit beside the housing market. Whether it’s construction or retail, those things are very much linked to consumption.’
But Alex says there is comfort to be found in God’s word. ‘It’s such an important time to reflect on God and who He is and His character,’ he says. ‘We’re talking about a God that’s all knowing, all powerful, who can get us through these seasons. We don’t need to worry.’
‘We have a supernatural God who’s on our side. So we need to think like that. We need to think biblically and we need to spend time with God. And the practical side is just to take sensible steps to become a good steward with what God’s putting our hands.’
Listen to Alex’s full interview on 20Twenty below, and for more resources visit our Vision Store.