As I write this, stay-at-home mandates due to the COVID-19 pandemic are still in force across much of the country. The resulting economic turmoil has caused worry, with many wondering how much longer this can, or should, go on. But even if these problems linger, Christians and Christ-honoring ministries like ICR can rest in God’s promises to never forsake us and to always supply our needs (Hebrews 13:5; Philippians 4:19). Indeed, the benefits of God’s faithfulness to us are inexhaustible, far outweighing the present challenges.
Financial difficulties occur for all of us from time to time. Remember the Great Recession of 2009–2010 or the collapse of the technology stock market in 2001–2002? Times were tough then, and ICR certainly felt our share of the financial pressure. But while the world views these seasons as bad, God doesn’t necessarily see them the same way. God’s Word is filled with examples showing that times of stress can actually be a great benefit to His people. Consider David’s song of resting in the Lord in Psalm 37 or Paul’s encouragement to the believers in Corinth in 2 Corinthians 8. God uses trying times to deepen our faith in Him and focus anew on our efforts to point people to Christ.
No matter how dark things might appear, God is with His people. As believers in Christ, we can find joy and contentment even in the worst of circumstances—and our responses should show it. Here are just a few gleaned from God’s Word.
Be thankful. Christians, above all other people in the world, have countless reasons to be thankful. Reflect on the blessings and assurances we have in Christ and take 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to heart by giving thanks “in everything”—including the hard times.
Trust God. When resources run low, remember we are only stewards of the portion our Creator allows us to manage. He still owns “the cattle on a thousand hills” and “the earth…and all its fullness” (Psalm 50:10; 24:1). We can trust Him to provide what we truly need.
Rejoice always. When the world reacts in fear and panic, believers can be a powerful witness because our security doesn’t rest on our bank accounts. Our treasure is in heaven (Matthew 6:20), which no earthly crisis can touch. “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). And let others see your joy.
Pray continuously. Paul commanded us to pray “without ceasing,” as he himself did (Romans 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 2 Timothy 1:3). Prayer should be an integral part of our lives, especially during times like these. Paul reminds us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplications, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). Like the old hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” says, “Take it to the Lord in prayer!”
Give generously. Times of financial hardship provide abundant opportunities for generosity. We see this in the Macedonian churches who, “in a great trial of affliction” and “deep poverty,” gave “beyond their ability” in response to Paul’s call to help the suffering believers in Jerusalem (2 Corinthians 8:1-4). This same spirit of Christian generosity lives today, and the current times give even more occasion to “do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). Look for them, and respond as the Spirit leads.
If ICR has been an encouragement to you, we welcome your gifts to support the unique work God has called us to do. Visit ICR.org/donate to see a variety of ways to show “the proof of your love” for our ministry (2 Corinthians 8:24). We’ll put those gifts to good and effective use for the cause of our Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ.
* Mr. Morris is Director of Operations at the Institute for Creation Research.