December 8th

Risk Management 

6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. 8 They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.  Psalm 20:6-8 NIV  

1 Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all who live in this world, 2 both low and high,
rich and poor alike: 3 My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the utterance from my heart will give understanding. 4 I will turn my ear to a proverb; with the harp I will expound my riddle: 5 Why should I fear when evil days come, when wicked deceivers surround me- 6 those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches? 7 No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him- 8 the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough- 9 that he should live on forever and not see decay. 10 For all can see that wise men die; the foolish and the senseless alike perish and leave their wealth to others. 11 Their tombs will remain their houses forever, their dwellings for endless generations, though they had named lands after themselves. 12 But man, despite his riches, does not endure; he is like the beasts that perish. 13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers, who approve their sayings. Selah 
Psalm 49:1-13 NIV 

I was talking to a man the other day who worked in the financial industry and he mentioned the idea of “risk management” in relation to insurance and investments.  Those words stuck with me and I thought about how risk management might affect our relationship with God.  Naturally, we have the desire to avoid pain and unpleasantness and preserve whatever comfort level we have in life.  Isn’t it true that we like having the ability to control or minimize the risks of losing what we have?  The problem can be, however that when we’re always comfortable and in control, we tend to forget our need for God.   

The insurance industry appeals to our desire to minimize the risks of life.  Insurance sales tactics often tap on our fears associated with life – the fear of loss, death, calamity, sickness, poverty, discomfort, etc.. I recall sales lines like, “What if you were suddenly crippled in a car accident and couldn’t provide for your family?” or “What if you get cancer and can’t pay the hospital bills?” or “What if your house burns down and you have no money to rebuild it?”  The implication in such questions is that God won’t come through for us.  For a nominal fee, we can buy assurance that money will be there to save us from calamity.   

I’m really not anti-insurance, as my house, car and health are insured.  There are certainly times when insurance is not only prudent, but required by law.  Though I’m not ready to cancel my insurance, some times I wonder if true faith would do just that.  The Bible tells us many accounts of extraordinary miracles that happened when people trusted in God for help, deliverance and healing.  The healing of the Centurion’s servant (Matt. 8:5-13), the birth of Abraham’s son Isaac (Genesis 17 & 21), the resurrection of the ruler’s daughter (Luke 8:40-55) and the woman healed from the 18-year hemorrhage (Luke 8:43-48) all occurred because people trusted and believed God.  When Jesus was faced with financial need to pay taxes, God provided the funds in a fish’s mouth! (Matthew 17:27).  Just as God came through for those persons, so will he come through for us when we trust in him.  

We would be wise to take a heart check every now and then to be sure that our trust is fixed on God and not on wealth, possessions, government or anything else.  Granted, we are called to be good stewards of what God has given us, but we should remember that in the end none of it is going with us.  God is our protector, provider and healer.  Money is a tool that God gives us to accomplish his purposes and to meet our material needs.  If we can always keep our eyes fixed on the Lord instead of the provision, we’ll be best prepared for whatever challenges we may face in life.  

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord God, please forgive me allowing the worries of life to gain any foothold in me through fear or pride.  Please teach me how to shift my complete trust to you and be a good steward of the resources, talents and position you have given me in life.  Help me to have an eternal perspective on this world and my life.  When the enemy comes to steal, kill or destroy my faith, please remind me Lord of your love and faithfulness.  Please strengthen me to resist doubt and to continue standing in faith.  Thank you God, for being my healer, provider and protector!  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”