The Confidence of Faith

Greetings and good morning brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series
where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years,
the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them
with you. This morning we will ponder our lives as we seek to understand the confidence of faith.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message. 

The Confidence of Faith 
"For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: As it is written, the just
shall live by faith." Romans, Chapter 1, Verse 17 

Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we share some further insights into spiritual faith. These
insights have been triggered by the economic difficulties that we are experiencing in the world, and
more specifically in our country. In revealing these insights we shall not only disclose the weakness
and fallibility of placing our supreme confidence in material reality: we'll also show the strength and
infallibility in placing our supreme confidence in faith. 

Far out in the ocean, a small storms begins. It is fed by the warm temperature and by the wind
currents. It gathers strength and becomes a large storm, gathering the destructive power to devastate.
It soon launches on its deadly journey, gathering speed as it travels over the warm sea, bringing
destruction to the land mass that stands in its way. As it hits the land mass, it creates chaos and fear
in the minds of those in its path. It also brings death. But it is a moving storm, and soon completes
its damage. As it travels tension from the land mass drains it of energy and it soon fizzles out. 
This economic storm started out in the warm seas of greed and selfishness, even the seas of
unrighteousness. Schemers sought to satisfy their greedy appetites by coming up with a way that
would help them accumulate more wealth. First, under this environment of loose regulator control,
financial insurance were put into place that would cover any risk. There has always been financial
insurance, but the insurance was always based upon a risk assessment. But the greedy predators
undermined the safeguard. They failed to assess risk in the loans they were making, knowing that
they would be covered whether the loaner defaulted or not. They came up with an ingenious method
for further exploiting the financial markets.
People have to have shelter. The American dream is to own a home. Because of economic
inequalities, large numbers of people cannot afford the long term mortgages associated with buying
a home. Generally when a individual or couple goes to the bank to apply for a loan to buy a home,
the bank assesses their liabilities and assets to see if they can afford a loan. In cases where the risk
of default on paying the loan is high, the application for the loan is turned down. In this way, the
insurance companies only have to deal with those aberrations where for some reason other than
expected the loan is defaulted. But since the number of people who default is so small in comparison
to those who pay their loan, the system accommodates those defaults and everything continues to
run smoothly. 

But under the environment of loose regulations, greed, and unscrupulous investors, the economic
storm gained momentum and began to hit the land of investors. Loans were made to people who
could not afford them. Speculators drove up the prices of homes. And because the loans were
insured, not very much checking went to verify that the person applying for the loan could actually
afford it. The results were predictable. The cost of the mortgages increased due to what was called
sub-prime loans. These loans were made to people who were unable to procure a standard loan. 
These loans were characterized by a higher interest rate but was arranged in such a manner that they
were initially low, with rates to increase considerably later during the life of the loan. When the
higher interest rates kicked in, mortgage holders could not afford to pay their loans and defaulted.
This caused the price of homes to fall, and the person’’s mortgage cost more money than his home
was actually worth, making it impossible to sell the house at a price valued as high as when
purchased. Usually under normal circumstances, the value of a home appreciates as time passes.
Now we were seeing just the opposite. The speculators being stuck with property that was worth less
than what they paid for it walked away from these properties thus adding more and more fuel to the
economic storm. 

In the mean time these mortgages had been bundled and sold to investors, who in turn sold them to
other investors in the stock market. People brought these stocks as well as the stocks in the
companies. When stocks are purchased, a small piece of a company's worth is procured. Worth
depends on performance, which impacts stock value. Over time and as companies continue to
perform profitably, stock value increases, along with the wealth of the stock owner. When these
mortgages began to default, the stocks became worthless, and the value of the companies decreased.
Couple this with an economy moving into recession, the stage is set for disaster: many lose jobs and
stop spending and investing. This unintentionally creates a downward spiral of worsening economic

The entire economic scheme of investment in based on confidence in the system's reliability. When
the confidence in the system fails, panic and fear takes over. Instead of having an orderly process
where wealth continues to accumulate as time goes on, the whole process goes into reverse, as
shareholders try to recoup their money by selling their stocks. When the majority of stockholders
sell, the value of the stocks rapidly declines and the investment suffers a loss. So we see that changes
in material values have brought about changes in the confidence of those participating in the
economy. When the decline in confidence reaches its peak, the whole system is in danger of
collapsing. Efforts are under way to restore this confidence by the government, which tries to
stabilize the financial markets by infusing billions of dollars into the system to rid it of its debts, thus
restoring profitability of and confidence in the system and its investors. 

Unlike confidence in material realities that are constantly changing, the confidence of faith never
falters. It always remains constant because it is based upon the absolute foundation of the goodness
of God. One who knows God by faith has absolute assurance that his investment will not only be
secure but will increase in eternal value. Jesus portrayed the profound surety of the God-knowing
mortal. "To a God-knowing kingdom believer, what does it matter if all things earthly crash?"
"Temporal securities are vulnerable but spiritual sureties are impregnable. When the flood tides of
human adversity, selfishness, cruelty, hate, malice, and jealousy beat about the mortal soul, you may
rest in the assurance that there is one inner bastion, the citadel of the spirit, which is absolutely
unassailable; at least this is true of every human being who has dedicated the keeping of his soul to
the indwelling spirit of the eternal God." 

Confidence in spiritual realities removes all fear and uncertainty from the faith holder, and the
removal of fear is directly proportionable to one's supremacy of faith. Faith in the goodness of God
and his absolute power to enforce the outworking of that goodness allows the faith holder to live
without serious concerns about the ups and downs of life. He knows that, though he must ride these
cyclones of material changes, neither he or his spiritual values are a bit damaged by them. Although
the confidence of faith is spiritual, there are some material consequences to it. 

For one thing, faith removes fear from decisions so that they are based upon reason, which is based
upon fact. And this guarantees a certain stability in material affairs. "Religion must become a
forceful influence for moral stability and spiritual progression functioning dynamically in the midst
of these ever-changing conditions and never-ending economic adjustments." "The religion of living
experience (faith) finds no difficulty in keeping ahead of all these social developments and economic
upheavals, amid which it ever functions as a moral stabilizer, social guide, and spiritual pilot." 
This concludes today's message on understanding the confidence of faith. We hope you find
something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day. 

Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry. 

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