In uncertain times, what can you bank on?

Dr. David L. Chancey's picture

The Wall Street Journal online reported, as of Feb. 9, a total of 34 banks have failed or been taken over by federal regulators since early 2008. The credit turmoil and other factors contributed to “banks going bust.”

The employment picture is not pretty either. Over 2.6 million jobs were lost last year, according to, and 65,400 jobs were cut in one day, that January 26 the media labeled “Bloody Monday.”

The old Chinese proverb declared, “To predict is difficult, especially in regard to the future.” No one knows when the turnaround will come, or what this year holds.

Yet, even in uncertain times, there are a few tried and true standards we can bank on. One of these is the biblical fact that God uses adverse circumstances to help us grow stronger in our faith, and to turn our hearts toward Him.

If nothing else, maybe these conditions are driving people to their knees and turning hearts toward God. The writer of Psalm 119 was facing adversity (see 119:42, 51, 69, 78, 115, 122, 134, 143, 157 and 161). We’re not sure of the specifics, but in this longest Psalm, we can find some certainties.

In uncertain times, we can bank on God’s Word. The entirety of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous judgments endures forever (160). We can rely on the promises of God that are grounded in the very nature of God. God’s Word gives us guidance, comfort, strength, and assurance if we’ll just read it.

We can also bank on God’s goodness. Verse 68 reads, “You are good, and do good.” Verse 90 reads, “Your faithfulness endures to all generations.”

Today may be bad, but God is good. This illness may be bad, but God is good. The timing of this car repair may be bad, but God is good. This financial problem may be bad, but God is good.

Some days are not very good. You’ve seen those “you know you’re having a bad day when” statements ...

You know you’re having a bad day when you’ve been at work for three hours before you realize your blouse is unbuttoned or your fly is open.

You know you’re having a bad day when you call 911 and they put you on hold.

You know you’re having a bad day when you call your answering service and they tell you it’s none of your business.

I ran across some for pastors . . .

You know you’re having a bad day when the church votes to change your day off to Sunday.

... When you preach the same sermon two Sundays in a row and no one notices.

... When your church softball team puts you on waivers.

... When you ask a woman where her husband is today and she replies, “Right where you buried him last week.”

In uncertain times, we can bank on God’s teaching us new insights if we’ll be open to learning. In 119:67, the writer admitted that before afflictions came, he was drifting away from God. Then he wrote in 119:71, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn your statutes.” Afflictions can be good teachers.

Finally, you can bank on God’s comfort. When life’s hard times come, so does God’s comfort, encouragement, provision and strength. You can bank on it.

Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville. The church family gathers each Sunday at 352 McDonough Road and invites you to join them for small group Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at

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