The instability in the US and Asian stock markets is creating uneasiness around the globe, and fears of recession seem to be growing greater. While the actions taken by the Federal Reserve on Tuesday to reduce interest rates in some areas have helped, few would doubt that this is a time when prayer for the national and world economies would be welcome.
One thing that has helped me a great deal over the years in times of national crisis – such as right after 9/11 when the financial markets were also shaken – is this statement from the book of Isaiah: "Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the Lord is his treasure" (33:6).
To me, the wisdom and knowledge the Bible speaks of have their source in God, the one divine Mind, who knows and loves each of us. This Mind is wholly good and exists to bless, never to harm. As the children of Mind, each of us expresses the qualities of God – intelligence, honesty, integrity, love, patience, peace, spirituality.
Bringing these and other qualities to bear on our mental and physical environment makes a huge difference. Such influences help spread calm in the midst of confusion, displace fear with love, provide intelligent guidance through complex issues. Affirming our oneness with divine Mind gives us security against doubt. If there is only one Mind, then no knowledge can be withheld from it. And, if we listen, Mind will guide each of us to the steps needed to find a permanent and good solution.
The second part of that verse from Isaiah may not sound so friendly – speaking of the fear of the Lord as a treasure. But the word "fear" there refers to awe toward the Lord, a recognition of God's all-powerful intelligence. So being aware of God's all-power, all-intelligence, and goodness would be a wonderful treasure to have. It is a consciousness that can be totally fearless.
To build our personal and national security on the divine intelligence provides great strength and stability. Jesus brought this out in a parable he used in his teaching. He told of one house that was built on the sand (see Matt. 7:24-27). When the floods came, the house collapsed because its foundation was easy to undermine and wash away.
But he also described another house – this one built on rock – that is able to withstand the storms with ease. This is the house where fear has no dwelling place, and because of its firm foundation, it remains standing even after the winds and storm buffet it.
This is the house where we would want all people to be, a fearless place that is safe and where we can all unite in working toward solutions, each in our own way – and yet united in the desire for good to prevail. Such unified desire for good is especially important. It helps break through the sloth of apathy or the self-centeredness of pride. It leads to fear-free decisionmaking because the thinking reflects, even if only to a degree, the one divine Mind's intelligence and goodness.
Many commentators and writers have analyzed how the mortgage crisis and other situations arose and led us into these stormy waters. But what's more important now is to understand that God, divine Mind, can lead us out of them and bring us to peace and safety.
Mary Baker Eddy, referring to unity as "the bond of perfectness," wrote: "This unity is reserved wisdom and strength. It builds upon the rock, against which envy, enmity, or malice beat in vain" ("The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany," p. 164).
Whatever issues may be uncovered as people work and pray for stability in individual and national economic conditions, a united front – committed to finding true solutions that benefit everyone, not just a few – will free each of us from our individual fears and even our mistakes. It will also unite the globe and ensure that none of the good in our lives can ever be lost.