In an atmosphere that is dominated right now by fear and uncertainty because of the Coronavirus, it is more important than ever that we as Believers in Jesus are filled with light and hope. When we receive this light and hope from God into our spirits, we can then share that with a world that so desperately needs it. The deeper the darkness and despair, the brighter the light and the more glorious the hope we manifest.
As anxiety-provoking as the health and medical implications of this virus are, what concerns me perhaps even more are the economic and financial implications of this global pandemic. I’ve recently read some very sobering articles on both subjects that are highly data-driven and insightful. Here is one of the best articles I’ve read from a medical/epidemiological perspective, and here is one from an economic/financial perspective
As a result, I am no longer perceiving and reacting to this evolving worldwide situation with the cavalier disregard I very recently had been. I now believe the concerns are real, and warrant a high degree of practical wisdom and proactive measures to be taken.
However, as true and insightful as many of these sources of information are, I can be easily overwhelmed by unmitigated gorging on this fear-provoking diet. At one point yesterday I had to physically force myself to stop reading the third one of these articles in a row. Even though this particular article was well-reasoned and written by an eminently credible author, I could literally feel fear starting to germinate within me. I find that I have to be very intentional at times in switching my focus as soon as that kind of feeling sets in.
Isaiah 26:3 (AMPC) says this: “You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You”. Faith is not the foolish denial of facts or earthly realities. Rather, it is a focus on God and His Kingdom. This focus then has the potential to invade our factual, earthly reality by subordinating it to Heaven’s higher and deeper reality. It is not that the factual, earthly realm is not real; it is that the spiritual realm is more real. The question is, which spirit(s) will we come into alignment with? Fear and despair? Or peace and hope? Our choice has a material impact on ourselves, as well as on the people and the world around us.
The situation can seem at times to be very dire right now. The truth is that there are amazing opportunities awaiting those with eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to believe. I once heard something I now still recite years later: “The most important thing for an entrepreneur to develop is opportunity recognition”. Many times, the greatest opportunities come wrapped in crises. As Warren Buffet (the revered “Oracle of Omaha” and demonstrably the most successful financial investor of all time) has said: “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful”.
So-called “contrarian investors” are those who do the opposite of what the crowd is doing: buying when the crowd is selling, and selling when the crowd is buying. In doing so, they are actually able to capitalize on calamity, and prosper during peril. Indeed, it’s been said that the vast majority of fortunes are created during times of the greatest economic downturn and upheaval. I believe this time is opening up investment opportunities we haven’t seen in years.
As true as this is on a practical and financial level, it’s even more true on a spiritual and relational level. When fear (as well as viruses) are contagious, the carriers of hope and peace provide the desperately-needed antidote. The deeper and more pervasive the darkness, the brighter and more conspicuously the light appears. To paraphrase prophetic minister Johnny Enlow: the people who have the most hope will be the greatest influencers on the planet, especially during times of crisis.
Many times, people seem to err on one opposite ditch or the other on the straight and narrow road of godliness. For me personally in this particular situation, it began as a flippant disregard of the risks–and failure to mitigate those risks appropriately. As I read up more on the issue, it then swung the other way into a fear-based emotional response. Andrew Wommack recently gave a message to the staff of Charis Bible College and Andrew Wommack Ministries that addresses this in a scripturally-informed and well-balanced way. You can access it at this link: https://www.awmi.net/coronavirus-response/
So, my encouragement for everyone is to be wise in observing sound hygiene practices and following the guidance of our earthly authorities. My personal opinion now is to take immediate and extreme precautionary measures briefly, as opposed to ineffective half-measures indefinitely. Hopefully, this will make this crisis shorter and minimize the cumulative negative effects over the long run.
In everything though, and above all else, I exhort everyone to tap into our supernatural source of peace and guidance through the Holy Spirit. As you receive the supernatural power of this God-breathed wisdom, hope and peace, it will make you both a recipient and a channel of God’s blessing.
In the midst of this darkness, let’s devote ourselves to being beacons of light and hope.
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