While most have almost forgotten the scare of the first mortgage crisis, there is a small group of bankers, financiers, and government officials that are carefully following a mortgage crisis that is potentially more threatening. Many of the Alt A, Option Arm mortgages that were signed at the peak of the housing bubble will be reset in January of 2011, and the majority from September 2011 to January 2012. Around 50% of those mortgages are in the state of California which escaped the major carnage of the last crisis. But this time what took place in Miami and Phoenix will hit LA, San Francisco and other major Californian centres. And with a struggling economy and a State that is carrying an immense debt load there are no clear answers for what is coming. The result again, will be that millions of homes will have a mortgage worth that is far greater than the actual worth resulting in another major wave of foreclosures equal in value to the first crisis that brought so many banks, mortgage corporations and even the economy to the brink of disaster. Considerable investment by world governments, particularly in the US postponed the inevitable with hopes of a major recovery in time to stave off the second wave. Has the recovery been enough? Only time will tell. But it is unlikely that the US government will have the funds to do another bailout. To this point foreign investors have stabilized the housing market, buying up what they perceive to be good value residential property. However, once that support is gone, and the second wave hits, the impact could be beyond the first mortgage crisis, with the potential to effect economies far beyond the US. The question in such crisis scenarios is where one should look for security. Some say gold and silver. The Chinese government is buying up gold and silver at 5 times the rate of previous years. As the world’s second largest economy they are obviously concerned about the future of the world’s largest economy – the US. If the US dollar tanks, what will be the impact on world currencies? Prior to the second world war when China was still ruled by the Chiang Kai-Shek and the nationalist party the chinese currency was devalued to the point where just to buy a few groceries one arrived at the store with a wheelbarrow full of bills. Life savings disappeared overnight. The memory of some of China’s elder leaders is still sufficient to remember those days. And they are taking action. But will gold and silver be the answer?
Jesus is clear in the sermon on the mount that the tests are coming. The storm clouds are building. Everything in which humankind has put its confidence to deny God will be shaken. Jesus was clear that where we build our house is critical (Matthew 7:24-27). And when he spoke of our house, he was referring to our convictions concerning our value, safety, security and future. If we build our lives on the changing circumstances of this world, trusting our material wealth, then we will be shaken along with the things in which we have put our confidence, and they and we will fall. However, if we build our lives on the unshakable reality of God’s promises and plan for our life in his Word, then we will stand firm in Christ when the shaking comes. The Apostle John declared: that “the world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17). The Apostle Paul wrote: “Everything that can be shaken will be shaken, so that what cannot be shaken will remain” (Hebrews 12:27). There is a housing crisis that is coming that is much greater than any mortgage crisis. It has to do with the house of your life. Make sure that your life is being built in such a way as to be on firm ground when the shaking comes. While the majority will be in utter shock and trauma when every form of their material security disappears, you will discover that your life is firmly founded on your faith in Christ. Then you will have a security to offer to others that is certain.
The message in the prophet Haggai guides us to a correct focus for the theme of the housing crisis. There the Lord speaks through the prophet and asks the question: “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? This is what the Lord of heaven’s armies says: Look at what’s happening to you! You have planted much but harvested little….Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes! …Now go up into the hills and bring down timber, and rebuild my house” (Haggai 1:3-6,8). The key to our security is to return to rebuild and repair the house of prayer. Jesus said: “My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations” ( Mark 11:17). Prayer has been all but forgotten as the priority of believers coming together. In a survey of pastors across North America only 5 percent listed prayer among the top five activities in the ministries of the local church. It should be the top along with the teaching of the Word. Peter said: we will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:4). The promise from God is this: “If my people who are known by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). The housing crisis is only a sign of the true housing crisis that has to do with the house of God, the house of prayer. Its time we focused on the repairing the house of prayer. Then we will experience true security, healing and blessing for our land.