If you happen to have some retirement savings or other money invested in the stock market that you follow closely, you would have noticed that the past 20 months have been a wild ride. Stock markets crashed in March of 2020 as though people thought we were nearing the end of the world and then rebounded surprisingly quickly as people started realizing we were not nearing the end of the world after all.
In the months since the covid crash, the TSX and the Dow Jones did not just recover from the crash, but they soared far higher than they had even been before. Those who sold some investments when the markets crashed, fearing that the crash would get worse, are now kicking themselves for doing so.
On the other hand, those who invested more during the crash, hoping for a rapid recovery, are now patting themselves on the back for doing so. And this is just with the general TSX and Dow Jones in mind. Much more could be said about wild rides when looking at specific stocks like Zoom or Gamestop, or investments like Bitcoin, which, depending on when people bought or sold could be very profitable or could have been quite the opposite.
Though the general stock market has trended in an overall upward direction for the past 100 years and will likely continue to do so, there are also many downtimes, corrections and crashes, as well, meaning there are really no guarantees when it comes to investing in the stock market.
But there is one investment recommendation that I have for you that does come with a guarantee. And the guarantee is 100 per cent because it comes from Jesus Christ Himself.
Jesus says in Matthew 6:3-4 that when you give in secret to the poor and needy, “Your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
Giving so that others see you and praise you and slap you on the back does not get rewarded by God. But giving secretly does.
The reward may not be given in this life, but rather in eternity. But that’s actually a good thing because this life is short compared to eternity, so eternal rewards are better than rewards in this life.
This does not mean that giving to the poor and needy grants you eternal life in Heaven – certainly not. The Bible repeatedly teaches that eternal life in Heaven comes from faith in Jesus Christ, trusting that He died on the cross to pay for your sins.
Good deeds such as helping the poor can’t get your sins forgiven – only faith in Jesus can. But once you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ, helping the poor leads to being rewarded by God the Father. It’s a guarantee.
Investing for retirement in the future can be fine and good and wise, but there are no guarantees from stocks or bitcoin. But there is a guarantee that investing in God’s Kingdom by helping the poor and needy will be rewarded by God Himself.
Later in Matthew 6:20, Jesus says that giving to God’s Kingdom, including helping the poor, is like laying up treasures in Heaven.
People in Greater Sudbury are known to be very generous, helping those in need in many ways including through the Pregnancy Care Centre & Infant Food Bank, The Sudbury Food Bank, The Salvation Army, The Samaritan Centre – which includes The Elgin Street Mission, The Blue Door Café, and The Corner Clinic, and so many more I can’t list them all.
May we continue to be generous in the future, with both our time and our money, to help those who are hurting, homeless, and hungry. And if you haven’t already heard of a new initiative in Sudbury that provides long-term solutions to homelessness, be sure to check out Raising The Roof (raisingtheroof.org/reside/) because they have a proven track record in other cities and it is great that they have just started in Sudbury this fall because the more people and initiatives to help the poor, the better.
God cares deeply about the poor and when we invest time and money to help them, there is a guaranteed reward – first the reward of feeling good about doing good, and also, for those who have faith in Jesus, a further reward directly from God according to what Jesus said to His followers in Matthew 6:4.
So the best investment we can make is to invest in helping those who are poor and needy.
Rev. Mark Smith is the Lead Pastor at Lansing Avenue Baptist Chapel in New Sudbury