11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Predictions are rampant this time of the year. Everyone has them. Some are gloom and doom and some are BOOM. Predictions have an interesting affect on human nature. We want to either believe them or fear them. For the BOOM predictions, we hang our hope on the prophets of Boom, our futures sometimes hang in the balance on those predictions being right. Then other times, we get a good stock tip and are drawn to how easy it is to make money. Just invest in this stock and you will make all types of money. AMG mutual funds recently published in their weekly statistics email this about a set of predictions. In the 12/31/17 issue of USA Today, writer Adam Shell wrote of “18 Stocks to Consider for 2018: All of the 18 names are seen rising +25% or more, according to analysts.” Instead 17 of the 18 stocks lost money in 2018, and an equal investment in all 18 stocks fell (LOST) 26.1% for the year (source: BTN Research). That was a consensus of prophets of BOOM for the year. OPPS, that didn't turn out so good. Then there are the prophets of GLOOM AND DOOM. They predict the worst of all outcomes. I could write a long list of every bad thing that is predicted to happen. There are two things that you have to remember about the prophets of GLOOM AND DOOM. First, they are almost always selling you the solution in the form of a newsletter or book by the time that you get to the end of their prophecy (hardly lends to their credibility). Second people who make forecasts depend on two things. Most people forget about those predictions and whether or not they come true. So rarely are people held accountable for their predictions. So if they don't happen, then no big deal. However, if they do happen, they can crown themselves as the second coming of the great prophets because they predicted something that came true. Of course, being correct 1 out of 100 times does not necessarily make you a prophet. As Christians, we build our confidence on the promises of God. Being successful with money is about relying on Biblical principles of stewardship and the overall promises made by God. Forecasts (that are not tainted by the selling of a newsletter) are useful and can help us formulate decisions going forward. Credible forecasts were never designed for you to make decisions on. They are a tool. Be careful not to place 100% confidence or hope in that prediction and remember that God has designed a better way for us!