Wonder why the global markets have been gyrating lately?
Wonder why the global markets have been gyrating lately? The answer really isn’t that complicated at all. It has to do with public and investor confidence. When traders are feeling secure and confident about the economic and/or political future of their nation or other influential nations, they invest their clients’ capital in the markets. But when investors become worried or uncertain over developing trends (economic or political or sometimes even ecological), rather than purchasing shares in national or multinational corporations they instead sell off their clients’ stocks. And massive sell-offs fuel plunging stock markets, as we’ve witnessed in the global marketplace (from Shanghai to Wall Street) over the last two weeks. And while economic theory is certainly more complicated than my simple rehearsal here, the fact remains that human confidence is the powerful variable that fluctuates our global markets. Which begs the question: What is it that fuels your confidence and mine? What are our securities based upon? Let’s be honest. There are times—many for me—when the pit of our stomachs feels like the freefall of a roller coaster ride—just as scary as a stock market plunge! When there seems to be nothing to grab on to, when everything around you has gone over the edge with you. What then? A friend gave me Derek Kidner’s inspiring two-volume commentary on the Psalms. And as I’ve been reading a psalm each morning, Kidner’s comments have helped me realize how incessant is the psalmist’s (usually David’s) cry for security, and how frequently he confesses that he has found but one saving confidence, one trustworthy security: “[God] only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved” (Psalm 62:2). And that from a man whose life story invented the word “roller coaster,” high and heady with his triumphs and plummeted by his defeats, a life the rest of us can find a modicum of comfort in today. Which is why David’s confession of confidence in God alone segues into his passionate appeal to us: “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us” (v 8). Even when all we can pour out is, “God, I choose to trust You—have mercy on me”—over and over again. But as David’s gyrating life still testifies, He will (have mercy on us), even as we do (choose to trust him). And remember, when that inevitable edge does come, over which we must plunge, the good news remains, “ . . . underneath are the everlasting arms.”