WHAT CAN WE DO WHEN WE FACE CRISIS?

With the continuous threat of a major outbreak of COVID-19, what can I do to respond?

Last week, during our Metro Manila pastors meeting, Pastor Gilbert Foliente encouraged us from God’s Word. Sharing from Genesis 41, he presented principles we can glean from when the people of God were also faced with a major crisis which at that time was famine.

External threats are beyond our control. Romans 8 describes to us that the “world groans.” There is going to be a new heaven and a new earth. But in the mean time, what can we do?

Egypt, during the time of Joseph, had the threat of famine. The Pharaoh asked Joseph to interpret his dreams. What happened during that time gave us a template on how to respond when crisis hits.

1. TRUST GOD FULLY.

The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon. (Genesis 41:32, NIV)

All that happens in God’s creation does not escape God’s attention. He is sovereign and He is in full control. This means that nothing takes Him by surprise.

Because of this, we can trust that though we may not know what the future holds, we do know Who holds it.

Psalm 33:11-12 says, “The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.”

2. LEAD CONFIDENTLY.

“And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt.” (Genesis 41:33)

Every one of us are in some form of leadership capacity. We lead teams, families, units, corporations, organizations. At the very least, we lead ourselves. And as we lead, we can influence others positively.

Joseph was placed in charge over all of Egypt. And after that, he led with confidence knowing that it was God that was ultimately leading him. He wasn’t looking for a job. He was just there as a messenger. But God raised him up for His purposes.

In times of crisis, will we be the voice of faith or the voice of fear?
In times of trouble, will we be a beacon of hope or a source of unbelief?

Joseph trusted God to give him wisdom. We can do too.
Wisdom is being able to do the right thing at the right time.
Joseph had discernment.

And discernment is being able to distinguish between two options.
God has the ability to empower us with discernment to make the right decisions.

3. WORK IMMEDIATELY.

He was thirty years old when he began serving in the court of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. And when Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence, he inspected the entire land of Egypt. (Genesis 41:46, NLT)

As soon as Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence, he worked instantaneously. He didn’t take his sweet time. He went for it right away.

When crisis hits and danger is immanent, we need to be decisive and work swiftly because it can mean life or death.

The famine during Joseph’s time wasn’t coming until 7 years after his appointment as Governor. But he went to work right away.

4. PREPARE THOROUGHLY.

He was thirty years old when he began serving in the court of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. And when Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence, he inspected the entire land of Egypt. (Genesis 41:46, NLT)

As soon as Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence, not only did he work immediately, he prepared thoroughly by inspecting the entire land of Egypt. He studied, learned, evaluated, surveyed, supervised, worked. He did all he can to prepare for the famine.

We will believe God for the best.

But we will also prepare for the worst case scenario.
The important thing is to stay connected to the Holy Spirit so that He can give us clear instructions for what we need to do.

At the end of the narrative, we see in Genesis 41:57 that “… all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.” In the midst of crisis, Joseph, who represented the people of God, became a blessing to the world.

As we encounter crises, whether current or future, we can trust God fully, lead confidently, work immediately and prepare thoroughly. And as we do, the people of God, the church can be a blessing to the rest of the world.

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