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Unemployment, financial loss are blessings in disguise?

(Courtesy of Tim Crawshaw)
(Courtesy of Tim Crawshaw)

With mandatory isolation and record number unemployment, most people are
making life changing decisions they never had to consider before. How might people's worldview change now that their work identity is taken away and they have general uncertainty in their life? 

God wants to use the loss of people’s work identities, self worth and finance as opportunities to find Him. Secular society conditions people into falsely believing that their work identity is who they are. People are also falsely conditioned to believe that their worth is derived from their performance and status. Christians should know that
their true identity is who they are in God.  With the layoffs by companies as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many people will be asking themselves, "now that I've lost my job and can't work – who am I"? 

Part of the answer can be found in the gospel of Mark 10:17-31, where Jesus responds to a rich man, who is symbolic of the secular world, who asked him what he has to do to receive eternal life and enter the spiritual kingdom that Jesus is teaching about. Jesus tells the man, "go sell all that you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me". Jesus knew that everything that the rich man built his identity, self worth and life on was temporary and not of God. Jesus knew that unless the rich man got rid of everything that was blinding him from knowing God, he would be kept in bondage forever and never be able to see God and know his true

The treasure in heaven that Jesus talks about is having salvation and a relationship with God while alive on Earth and eternally in heaven. With this treasure we experience His presence, love, peace, salvation, supernatural power and many other things. Unlike physical treasures that depend on external factors that can be lost or taken away due to circumstances beyond people's control, Jesus promises that everything that he gives
spiritually can't be taken away from people.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” - Matthew 6: 19-20

Unlike the rich man who Jesus gave a choice to exchange everything worldly to gain everything spiritually in his kingdom, people who have lost everything worldly due to coronavirus were forced into this situation. Jesus, however, is giving them the choice to make the most of the situation by giving them an opportunity to gain everything spiritually through him by seeking God. People who have lost everything financially are actually in the best  position to find and know God. Jesus said:

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"Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God" - Luke 6:21.

Jesus promises them:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” - Matthew 7:7

There are numerous promises that Jesus makes to his people who are worried about not having their physical needs supplied that are best reflected in Matthew chapter 6, verses 25-34.

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” - Matthew 6: 31-34

The decisions that people make during forced isolation will either lead to life or destruction.  Everything that God wants people to learn in relationship with him through Jesus is about giving them abundant life (John 10:10) and freedom (2 Corinthians 3: 17). On the other hand, Satan, who Jesus says has come "only to steal, kill and destroy" (John 10:10) is busy tempting people into starting new addictions.

Media reports indicate that alcohol and porn access have risen dramatically during forced isolation.  Satan knows that he can control people with addictions and that it is much harder for them to obey and follow Jesus in bondage. This can ultimately lead to a person’s destruction in their life now and the one to come.

But God always provides a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13). Temptation is part of the free will that God gives us so we can decide if we belong to Him or belong to the world. God needed to give us free will so He can know that our relationship with Him would be genuine and not forced. 

Free time is not just free time. Small decisions that people make now can
have eternal consequences. Will those choices bring life or destruction? God wants everyone to choose wisely by receiving Jesus and building a relationship with him that leads to eternal life. Many people will acknowledge that if the coronavirus pandemic did not happen, they would not have found God. It is unfortunate that many people will only seek Jesus when they have lost everything and are broken because they have been deceived by the illusion that they don’t need Him. Once the pride of life is taken away, people are in more of a position to see that they are in fact completely dependent on God and that He has always been there waiting patiently like a loving father for them to come home.

Tim Crawshaw is an advocate for Christianity to move back to it's supernatural roots from religion into relationship with Jesus. He runs a wilderness ministry in Tasmania, Australia, called "The Bay of Fires Walk For Spiritual Seekers"  which gives participants an opportunity to authentically and supernaturally encounter God in some of the most beautiful isolated beaches in the world to receive restoration and life changing spiritual growth. Contact Tim through the walk website here

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