Fresh Hope – 8th April 2020

It is in times like these where we should turn to the Bible to see how biblical characters handled similar circumstances. 

I recently listened to a podcast by Bill Johnson where he outlined different famines in scripture and the unique responses of people involved. 

Let’s start with Isaac. In Genesis 26 we see that famine hit the land. People were worried, scared, scrambling and holding onto whatever they could. Similar to what we see happening at Tesco at the moment! 

Yet scripture tells us that during this desperate time Isaac ‘sowed in the land’. This is the equivalent of opening up a new business venture while the whole country is losing their jobs during a health crisis! It seemed ridiculous and untimely. Well, welcome to the kingdom of God! 

You see, Isaac saw the famine with a different set of eyes. He was making some future investments for himself. 

As the narrative unfolds, we see that Isaac reaped greatly from his investment during the famine. 

Note, that this wasn’t about generosity (giving to others). This particular story is about investing in your personal self today, for the reaped reward tomorrow. Isaac’s strategy was actually a business and financial act of faith. 

Today, in the midst of a crisis, let’s take the Isaac approach. 

Use this season to invest when it seems like we should be grabbing and holding on to what we can. Sow as an act of faith! You will eat the seed you sow today, tomorrow. Invest in your business, invest in yourself… read a book to challenge you, take up an online course, create a fitness routine … do something for YOU in this time… sow some seeds, that you may reap the reward tomorrow! 

There are many more examples of how biblical characters handled crisis, but let me end with one more example. In Acts 11, famine again was faced in the land. When the church heard of this, the very first thing that they did was take up an offering. How counter cultural! Everyone else was grabbing and keeping, and the church’s response was an offering! 

Generosity towards others in times of personal need should be the mark of the church (the church is you and me by the way, not just a meeting on a Sunday). 

As the church in Acts silenced the voice of the famine, let us now silence the power of this virus and sow aggressively into people’s lives! In the midst of a crisis, let’s be found being radically obedient. The seeds of generosity you sow in these times are powerful. They are power-packed with harvest. The seeds you sow in this current climate are once in a lifetime kind of seeds. Don’t sow sparingly. Act in the opposite spirit, even if your feelings are saying something different.

‘Compassion for one another silenced the voice’ (Nehemiah 5).  

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.