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In Great Tragedy We Win

article by Janet Treadway

God says our hearts are where our treasures are. Therefore, it is important to choose our treasure wisely.

In the news a few years ago, it was reported that Bernie Madoff stealing $50 billion dollars from those who invested in his company. There were more than 4,000 victims – and it was not just the rich and famous that lost. There were many regular people who lost everything.  There were many who lost their entire life’s savings, retirement, everything they had worked for their entire lives. They trusted the person who advised them and then he ripped them off. It is a very, very sad story.  You can’t help but feel for these people whose lives were altered permanently. Some who were retired had to go back to work. One couple was stranded and could not get back home from their vacation because their money was gone overnight.

If you have ever been stolen from, or lied to, it is devastating!  Around that same time, our own family had to deal with such a tragedy.  A very cunning operator stole my husband’s inheritance. This non-family member also took personal items, such as family photos that my mother-in-law possessed. It is hard to just pick up the pieces and keep going after someone has stolen from you. The families whose life savings were gone overnight from the Madoff scam made our situation nothing in comparison. 

Yet, as sad the story is of their loss, you could not help but be inspired by the response of some of the victims of the ponzi scheme. Some said: “We’ve lost everything, but we still have one another. We still have our family.” This is the same message that you will hear over and over again when people lose their homes to fire or floods. That “We still have each other. We still have our health.”  There is a message here for all of us, no matter what we are facing in life. That you get back up and keep going.  But it will still be difficult to rebuild their lives as it once was and they may never get back to where they originally were.

There is so much bad news, but no matter what your circumstance are, you’ve got a future! As God’s children, we must always remember we are in His hands.  God is the One who holds the future. We can never place our security in savings, a 401K, or even in an inheritance or in investments! Yes, we should be wise and save for our future, while always keeping in mind that it could be swept away in a moment just as it did for all those people in the Madoff scam.

We must live our life through faith. Yes, the outlook for a bright future can get discouraging at times by everything we see and hear. It can all seem so dark and dreary. We all stand on our tiptoes, so to speak, just to hear a little positive news, especially with the downward turn of our economy. We have all been affected by it in one way or another, but as God’s children, we should not fear, because we place our hope in Him. We know the outcome of our future! “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:9)

Keep your eyes on God, not on the temporary things that can never compare or measure up to what God has in store for you, for all of us. It will help you get through some of the most trying times. It did our family. No one can steal your hope in Christ, or the promise that God has for us beyond this physical existence. No one! After all, no matter how many tragedies or setbacks we may suffer through, in the end we win!

For information, request the free booklets Managing Your Finances and Transforming Your Life: The Process of Conversion.

©1995-2019 United Church of God, an International Association

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Keywords: tragedy treasure hope ponzi scheme priorities 

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