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prosper

Can we prosper in the midst of pandemic pain, loss and sorrow?

When written in Mandarin, the word crisis is comprised of two characters. One character represents danger and the other represents opportunity. I believe a crisis always provides an invitation for us to grow, innovate, create, change and elevate ourselves. We can choose to Pivot or Panic, Grow or Grieve, Hope or Despair. But do we always choose to maximize these opportunities in crisis?

 

When facing crises, I remind myself that it’s not just an opportunity for me to just SURVIVE through it, it’s an opportunity for me to THRIVE through it. And if I want to GROW through crises, I MUST LEARN how to  “Expect the best, prepare for the worst and maximize what comes.” (Zig Ziglar). I believe the most important opportunity we can maximize during this crisis is the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with God.

 

Opportunity # 1:  Strengthen our relationship with God through connection

When we intentionally connect with God during a crisis, we can strengthen our faith (1. Pt. 1:7), develop our character (James 2:3) and learn to see things from a kingdom (spiritual) perspective (Is. 55:8-9).

When we connect with God through prayer, worship and the reading of His word, our faith increases, our hope rises, our joy is made complete and our peace is made perfect.

 

As we consider this Pandemic with all the death and fear surrounding us, if we are truly anchored in Christ, He will keep our minds in perfect peace because we trust in Him (Is.26:3). If we have fully anchored our lives in Christ, we can be strong and courageous in this storm because God is with us! When we can learn to place ALL of our hope, faith, trust, and confidence is in God, no matter what we read or see,  we can be at peace within our souls (Ps. 62:5).

 

Sheltering in Homes and Sheltering in God

I want to encourage myself and others to use this “sheltering at home” to draw closer to God. As you hunker down and take “shelter at home”, why not spend more time seeking the Lord who is your shelter and portion in the land of the LIVING? (Ps.142:5).

 

God is your rock, your fortress, and your deliverer. Let’s take refuge in Him. It’s His power that saves us. He’s our place of safety (Ps. 18:2). The peace we seek and need can not be found in the reassuring words or promises of any man or government. It’s only the peace of God, through Christ Jesus, that can reassure our hearts and guard our minds in times of stress and crisis.

 

I want to leave you with one more truth from God’s word to encourage your heart and it’s found in Gen. 41:50-52. There we read about Joseph who (if you’re familiar with his story) lost his identity, family, culture, and freedom because his brothers sold him into slavery. Here’s a man who lost everything. BUT GOD was with him. And even though he was a slave, God caused everything Joseph did to prosper (Gen. 39:2 AMP). No person, place, or experience could stop God from prospering Joseph. No trauma, imprisonment, familial rejection, or slavery. NOTHING!

Can we Prosper in Sorrow? 

Please hear what I’m saying. God caused Joseph to prosper in the land of his sorrow (Gen. 41:50-52). And as a way to remember God’s favor on his life in times of grief, loss, sorrow, slavery, and hardship, Joseph named his second son Ephraim which means Double Prosperity.

 

 

How wonderful to know that even in our seasons of sorrow, lack, loss, difficulty, sickness, and sadness, God is not limited in His ability to give us a double portion of prosperity.

 

Sold or Sent?

God is able to cause us to prosper, even in times of sorrow and distress! Now that’s a word I’m holding onto and you should too. But the key here is that Joseph had a spiritual perspective concerning his crisis experiences. He was able to forgive his brothers for the pain they caused him because he recognized that God used it to propel him to his destiny position. Joseph didn’t see his situation as being SOLD (into slavery). He saw it as being SENT to SAVE lives. Being SOLD represents pain, being SENT represents divine positioning and to SAVE represents purpose (which is about people). This is God’s kingdom agenda. To save people. 

 

If we can gain a god-perspective on life by which we can view all of life in light of God’s holy plans for us, plans to prosper us (even when we can’t see it right now, we choose to believe it), this is the faith that pleases God. When we can learn to see our pain as divine positioning👣 to accomplish God’s purposes (which has everything to do with PEOPLE), that’s when we prosper (become fruit-FULL and success-FULL) Gen. 41:52.

 

My prayer for you during this global pandemic is that you use this quarantine time to grow in your God-perspective. And my prayer for you is that “the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).” Friend, make the decision to believe that God is able to make all grace about to you so that in all things and at all times you will have all that you need to not just survive in life, but truly thrive (2 Cor. 9:8)!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES 

Be on the lookout for my next post where I’ll share the second key opportunity in crisis. And if you are looking for some financial advice on how you can best manage your finances during this pandemic, check out my part interview with small business owner and financial consultant, Daniel Haynes here. Until we talk soon, peace.

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