What COVID and inflation reveal about us
Last updated 8/9/2022 at 1:15pm | View PDF
Clay Center, Kansas – When a society is used to living with a certain lifestyle, then suddenly it changes due to events beyond their control, it is revealing. It reveals the true nature of its people. The good life masks a lot of things, but sudden adversity reveals what is hidden.
There was once a wealthy farmer that had a bountiful harvest and sought to build bigger bins to store his surplus. He was so proud of his successful work that he said to himself, ". . . you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry." (Luke 12:19) However, God declared to him, "Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?" (Lk. 12:20) The man did not anticipate he would die after this great harvest, and not be able to enjoy its fruits. He faced the unexpected.
After Jesus told this story, He stated, "So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God." (Lk. 12:21) The farmer was only focused on laying up treasure for himself in this world, so when the sudden and ultimate crisis of death came, he was not ready.
America is paying record prices for food, fuel and other necessities. Millions of households are in a financial crisis. Costs have skyrocketed upward, while incomes remain the same, with no solution on the horizon. This crisis comes after facing a long two-year battle with Covid. Both inflation and Covid have hit our health and finances with a sledge hammer. Neither did we anticipate.
When these situations happen, it is an opportunity to examine who we are laying up treasure for. Ourselves or God? Nearly all of life is impacted by our health and finances, so when one or the other is on-the-line it is truly a sobering moment.
Americans are used to having an abundance of food, material goods, and enjoying the pleasures of entertainment and recreation as escapes from the pressures of life. We live with a "relax, eat, drink and be merry" materialistic attitude, like the farmer. So when something unexpected happens that threatens our health or finances, we panic.
This is not about good or bad planning, or even the crisis itself, but about who we are trusting in. Are we trusting in God or ourselves? Hard times have a unique way of surfacing this.
God wants us to be rich toward Him and trust in Him for all things; both spiritually and physically. Jesus once said, "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (Matthew 6:33-34)
When one lives this way, and the suddenness of life hits, they are prepared because they are rich toward God. They can face whatever is before them because they have supernatural resources. The indwelling power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the benefits He provides to those who love Him and walk faithfully according to His commands.
In the power of Jesus, they can face any crisis with peace and confidence. They can overcome the temptation to be fearful or anxious. They know their gracious and ever-present God will provide all their needs, even when things do not make sense. They also know that whatever they have been given is from God. Consequently, they do not hoard it for themselves as the farmer did, but are generous toward others, regardless of their own needs. Thus, their riches toward God increases evermore.
The situation in our world is revealing. What does it reveal about you? Where is your trust? Trust in Jesus with all your heart in these uncertain times. He is worthy of it.
A prayer for you – "Lord God, as our world continues to walk through a health and financial crisis, let us trust in you. Only you can provide for all our needs. No matter the causes, the situation is before us. Help us to trust in you for ourselves, our friends and neighbors. In Jesus' name. Amen."
Clint Decker is President of Great Awakenings. Please share your comment with Clint at [email protected] and follow his blog at clintdecker.blogspot.com.