When flying, we are continually reminded to buckle our seatbelts. The seatbelts are there for our safety and allow our bodies to remain in the seat during turbulent periods. The wise person will take advantage of the seatbelt, since some turbulence is unexpected.
There are four sources of air turbulence. Mechanical turbulence occurs because of friction between the air and ground (common with irregular terrain such as a mountainous region). Thermal turbulence occurs on warm days when the sun heats the earth's surface irregularly. Frontal turbulence occurs with friction between two opposing air masses. Wind shear occurs when there is change in wind direction and/or speed over a specific area.
For the current situation, turbulence is a fitting metaphor. Air turbulence is caused by opposing air forces and/or masses. Today's turbulence is a spiritual battle between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness, righteousness and evil, and liberty and coercion. Our heritage and the heritage of our descendants depend on its outcome. Fortunately, kingdom citizens already know the winner (Dan. 2:44).
Today's economy is facing significant turbulence. The unemployment rate is a very low 3.7%, but we are experiencing labor shortages. The labor force shrank, over the last year, by more than four million people when adjusted for the increase in population.
Inflation is at a 40-year high. The Fed has been slow to act. To control inflation, the Fed must play catch-up. However, Fed policies will slow the economy. It is now more likely than not that we will see a recession within the next couple of years.
Instant information and misinformation are adding to the turbulence. Ukraine is a major food-exporting country, which will cause challenges to the world's food supply. Russia is a major exporter of fertilizer, which will cause very high fertilizer prices in the U. S. and elsewhere. COVID lockdowns by China will create shortages of some manufactured goods. In the U. S., spot shortages of specific items may exist, but the largest challenge will be higher prices.
Like air turbulence, surprises are likely to occur. The surprises could come from geopolitical factors, domestic political events, natural disasters, pandemics or even war. However, like air travel, citizens in the kingdom of God have alternatives designed to provide for their safety.
Kingdom citizens can have peace, joy, righteousness, guidance and protection in a world of turmoil. We are the sons and daughters of the Most High God. Our King is the King of kings, the Prince of Peace, eternal Father, and Wonderful Counselor (Isa. 9:6). Is there anything our heavenly Father cannot do? Some of the principles to experience our kingdom benefits are listed below:
- Provision is provided when we focus on His kingdom and righteousness first. Don't be distracted. "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you" (Matt. 6:33, NASB).
- As we focus on the King, the fruits will be righteousness, peace and joy as we allow the Holy Spirit to empower us. "For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 14:17).
- Remember the Lord is your strength, and He will make you sure-footed and set you on high places. "The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like deer's feet, And has me walk on my high places" (Hab. 3:19).
- Remember the divine power to which you have been given access. "For the kingdom of God is not in words, but in power" (1 Cor. 4:20).
- Pray with faith, and you shall have your request. "And whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive it all" (Matt. 21:22).
In these tumultuous times, we have been given the ability, we have been given the means, we have been given the capacity to demonstrate the kingdom of God with its love, power and hope to a hurting world.
"And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age,'" (Matthew 28:18b-20).
Dr. James Russell is a professor of economics at Oral Roberts University.
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