During the London bombings in 1940, the British people rallied behind the slogan, “Keep calm and carry on.” That’s an excellent call for us as well.
With a viral pandemic, the stock market bucking like a bronco and the media hyping anything that enhances doom and gloom, it’s hard to concentrate on much else.
But those of us who put our faith in our Heavenly Father have special reason not to despair.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
These are not just words but a way of life. When you realize that God, not we, are in charge, it takes away unnecessary anxiety. From beginning to end, Scripture repeatedly emphasizes God’s ownership of all things.
“To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it” (Deuteronomy 10:14).
God is fully aware of what’s going on and is not surprised by any of it.
At Timothy Plan, we take the long view, knowing that the only thing that lasts forever is God’s Word, “which shall never pass away.”
Trump Administration’s Efforts To Fight Coronavirus
We also believe that the Trump administration’s impressive, public/private full-scale partnership to fight the epidemic will limit its severity and duration and also mitigate the damage done to the economy.
In the next few weeks and perhaps even months, we will learn of more infections as more people are tested. It will be important not to give in to the panic mentality fostered by sensationalist media. We don’t know when this will end, but it will end, and recovery will begin.
“People sometimes ask me how I can stay so calm when the markets are in flux or something else out there is scaring everybody,” says Timothy Plan founder and CEO Art Ally. “It’s not that I’m particularly brave. I just know Who’s in charge. And it’s not me. If I do my part, He will do His part. It’s not that complicated.”
As believers, we find calmness, peace and hope when we put our full trust in the Lord.
We can also take some comfort in history, where we see that bear markets eventually and inevitably recover, and that investors who stay the course are glad they did.
Down markets can last anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of years. The bear market of 2007-2009 lasted 15 months. The S&P 500 was down by 50.9%. But the markets came roaring back as they always do.
Not Just Waiting It Out
As we ride out the current crisis, we can do a few things to enhance mind, body and spirit.
Cancelling many of our usual activities can actually be beneficial to our spiritual health, by freeing-up more time to read and study God’s Word, to pray more diligently and to listen to Bible teaching.
It’s also a great time to reflect on our current priorities in life—the things that consume our time, talents and treasure.
As for staying healthy, it’s helpful to watch updates from the CDC’s Coronavirus Task Force and to follow the practical tips for dealing with the situation.
We should take reasonable precautions to avoid exposure and prepare for any isolation periods that may arise. We should eat well and exercise, and maintain good physical health.
Keep Calm And Carry On
One thing we should not do is check our cell phones for bulletins or market levels many times during the day or especially before turning in at night. It won’t change a thing except to induce anxiety. It’s so much healthier to take the Apostle Paul’s advice on what to think about:
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
John Newton, who wrote “Amazing Grace,” issued this piece of advice about trusting God:
“Let us suppose the thing we are most afraid of actually to happen. Can it come a moment sooner, or in any other way, than by His appointment?
“Is He not gracious, and faithful, to support us under the stroke? And is He not rich enough to give us something better than ever He will take away?
“Is not the light of His countenance better than life and all its most valued enjoyments?”
America and the stock market have been through many crises, and it’s those with cooler heads who do the best in the long run.
So, with that in mind, let’s trust God, keep calm and carry on.