June 23, 2016 is a day the world changed, as British voters shocked the world by deciding to leave the European Union (Brexit). In the days leading up to the vote, polls were showing that it would be a close vote, but Britain was likely to stay in the EU; markets were higher as a result. But, the final vote was 51.9 percent for leaving the EU, and 48.1 percent for staying.
Reasons for the surprise Brexit vote are many and varied. Frustration with recent immigration flows mandated by the EU was important. Younger voters tended to favor staying in the EU, while older voters wanted to leave.
Voter turnout was higher with older voters. Another factor was rain and flooding. Southeast Britain, which tended to support staying in the EU, received the brunt of the torrential rains which lowered total voter turnout about 10 percent from expectations. Breitbart News printed an article the day before the election which read "An intense 'Act of God' storm system is set to favor a vote for Brexit by bringing a month's worth of rain in three hours on voting day."
Stock markets moved sharply lower in response to the vote. Stock indices in the U.S. were down: Dow Jones Industrial -3.39 percent; the S&P 500 -3.59 percent; and the NASDAQ -4.12 percent. British stock prices were down more than 3 percent, German more than 6 percent, French more than 8 percent, and Japanese nearly 8 percent. Banking stocks around the world were sharply lower with European banking stocks experiencing a record drop. Gold prices were up nearly $70 per ounce. The British pound had the largest drop in history. The Euro was weaker. The U.S. dollar and U.S. treasuries were sharply higher. Volatility exploded.
Expect the coming days to be filled with uncertainty and market volatility. The mechanics of leaving the EU will take two years of negotiations. David Cameron, Britain's prime minister, will step down in three months. Identity of the future prime minister is unknown. Will other countries have a referendum on leaving the EU? France, the Netherlands, Finland, Austria and Hungary are possibilities. Will Scotland leave the United Kingdom? Will any banks or financial firms fail? What will be the details of the final agreement between Britain and the EU? Long term, the Brexit vote could be positive or negative, but expect volatility in the interim.
In times of uncertainty, we should remember that God is in control. Scriptures are filled with examples of His power and faithfulness.
Israel had the most powerful army in the world bearing down on them and the Red Sea was in front. God was in control.
A widow was preparing her last meal with her son before they died of starvation. She followed the instructions of the prophet Elijah to share her meal. God was in control.
A widow was losing her two sons to creditors. All she had was one vessel of oil. She followed the instructions of the prophet Elisha and saw the oil multiply enough to pay her debts. God was in control.
A shepherd boy with no armor and a slingshot faced a heavily armored, experienced soldier who was more than nine feet tall. God was in control.
A woman had a hemorrhage for 12 years and had spent all she had on physicians with no results. She touched the fringe of the Master's garment and was healed. God was in control.
A group of 4,000 men, plus women and children, were hungry. They had spent three days listening to Jesus. The only food they had was seven loaves and a few little fish. God was in control.
A group of men were on a boat during a great storm. They were in danger of perishing. They asked the Lord to save them. God was in control.
Regardless of the turmoil in the economy or in life, our God has the solution. He is more than capable of helping us be victorious in everything. He has proven that He is more than willing.
Dr. James R. Russell is professor of economics and chair of the Undergraduate College of Business at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Dr. Mark Rutland's
National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)
The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!
FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.
The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.