2019 was a remarkable year for US investors. The S&P 500 delivered a gain of more than 28%. The Nasdaq did even better at 35% and the Dow was up 22%. Investors were thrilled by the $17 trillion gain in the global equity markets.
It’s easy to have bullish faith in a bullish market like 2019. It’s in our nature to praise God in the good times.
Fast-forward 10 weeks and an unsettling global pandemic – stocks are plummeting. The news media has made sure to report every scary chart, picture and figure possible because, well…scary sells. And understandably, people are frightened. It’s disturbing, to say the least.
But even while COVID-19 is new to us all, market volatility isn’t. Neither are viral outbreaks. They always have an impact on the markets. The good news is that they don’t last forever.
I came across this chart today, published by Capital Group. It put all of the current market news into perspective. Just look at the growth in global indices from 2001 to 2020. And along the way, SARS, Avian Flu, Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola, Zika and now COVID-19. Oh yes, and a global financial crisis in 2008/09.
The chart reminded me how important it is to consider this current moment in context.
It’s the context which shows that we suffer and then recover, grow and prosper. I take a deep breath and feel a little bit better.
And then I think about the even bigger context – about the one who holds our lives in his hands. God’s word says that in him we live and move and have our being. This situation is not out of control. He’s still on the throne.
I should have started there.
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
For I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
For to you I entrust my life.”
Be encouraged today. Get quiet for a moment and think about your context. Have peace and hope in the knowing that your God will be exulted among the nations and in the earth. He has not – He cannot – fail you. It’s reason enough to have bullish faith in this bear market.