It’s no secret that the world is crazy right now… but what does God say about it? How does He tell us to prepare for difficult times?
Before we look at the ways in which the Bible instructs us to prepare, let’s rest in the peace that God promises to provide all that we need.
Matthew 6:25-34 says, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
So remember, through even these uncertain times God does not call us to be anxious. Matthew 6 is an important reminder that God has created the Earth to yield everything that we need for sustenance. We see plants and animals all over the Earth thriving and growing through God’s provision, so we should not worry about God’s ability to provide for His greatest creation (us!).
Also notice what the Bible says about anxious thoughts. God directly states that sitting in your anxious thoughts will not add even a single hour to your lifespan. The Bible is showing us that stressing, worrying, and thinking about the burdens of this temporary world will not help our situation.
At this point you may be wondering, did God call us to ignore what is happening in the world and just assume everything will turn out alright?
Although God directs us to not worry and not let our mind be consumed by anxious thoughts, that does not mean there will not be times that require us to prepare in advance.
Let’s look at how God warned Pharaoh and the people of Egypt about seven years of famine through a prophetic dream.
“God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe.” - Genesis 41:28-31
God’s warning begins with seven years of abundance. These extra provisions could be used in two ways: they could be wasted away or stored to prepare for the coming seven years of famine. Luckily, Joseph took God’s warning seriously and knew that they must prepare. Pharaoh appointed Joseph to handle the preparation for the seven years of famine by taking the extra food and storing it in each city throughout Egypt.
“The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food. When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.”
When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.” - Genesis 41:53-57
Because of Joseph's preparedness, all of Egypt was saved from starvation in the following seven years of famine. While all the other lands had nothing to sustain them, Egypt was prepared with enough to not just feed themselves, but people from all over.
So how does this apply to today? How can we use this story to help guide us to prepare for what’s coming?
Ezekiel 38:7 says “Be ready and keep ready, you and all your hosts that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them.”
Ezekiel shows us that it is important to pay attention to what is going on around you and how that may affect those under your care. The Bible says to “be ready and keep ready” which means to prepare yourself and your family for the known dangers of this world.
As you begin your journey, consider this 5-step approach to preparation as God has instructed throughout the Bible:
- Become aware of the future threats to your family's safety and security
- Pray for peace so that you do not become stuck in anxious thought patterns
- Create a plan to prepare your family for the coming shortages
- After providing for your immediate family, extend your preparation to your relatives and community
- Continue to seek God throughout the process to help guide you
What is God showing you through these passages? How are you preparing for your family while still trusting in God to provide?
P.S. Stay tuned for next week's blog post where we will be looking at the first step to preparation in more detail. Use this link to sign-up for email reminders about future posts!