How to Flourish in Dark Times

By Hal Lindsey
No one is exempt from pain or discouragement. Humans have suffered these things since God removed Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. But some points in time are more difficult than others. Most of the world is now living through an especially tough period. Long ago, God told us how to flourish in dark times. His answer to our dilemma stands as a brilliant point of light—especially right now.
Recently, I wrote about the rising threat of nuclear war. Unable to fix the problem, most people push that concern to the backs of their minds. But even from the background, atomic fears loom over the world’s thinking, and cast a deep shadow across the planet.
In the last few weeks, supply chain issues have gone from an inconvenience to a potential catastrophe on several fronts. Young families wonder if they will be able to get the baby formula they need, or if they can afford to buy the fuel necessary to get to work. Renters are wondering how many rate hikes before they are left homeless. Older homeowners worry that rising tax assessments portend a time when their property taxes will evict them.
For the first time in a generation, Americans feel the dread of hyperinflation. They wonder how long the current rise will last and how high it will go. The city of Midland, Texas has been experiencing a 10% inflation rate for the last six months. But that’s good compared to the country of Turkey where the inflation rate is 70%, or to Argentina where it’s 55%.
Inflation frightens people because most can’t do anything about it. It makes them feel vulnerable. In 2018, Venezuela’s inflation rate exceeded 100,000%. At that level, forget about retirement funds. The money becomes nothing. Such thoughts often lead to despair.
Then there is Covid-19. The plague appears to have passed its peak. Yet for millions around the world, Covid lingers in the form of long-haul symptoms. Even medical experts don’t always take such complaints as seriously as they should. While symptoms vary, almost all long-haulers experience great fatigue. Imagine suffering from something you know is real, but your family and even your doctors do not understand. More despair.
And human despair is the devil’s playground. When I released Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth back in 1972, many Christians had forgotten that Satan even exists. Others saw him as a cartoon character with horns and a pitchfork. But the devil is real. He’s a person, and he is not alone. He and his hordes are the enemies of God and humanity. Like all smart thieves and terrorists, they enter at points of weakness. Their main weapons are fear and despair.
You might think scripture would emphasize such a spectacular villain. But while the Bible tells us what we need to know about the devil, he is not the main topic. We are in a spiritual war best fought on God’s turf. That means an emphasis—not on darkness—but on love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Those are the gifts of the Spirit. If you are in Christ, they are His gifts to you — gifts that Satan cannot steal. Ask Him for them and choose to receive them.
My prayer for you in this hour is the same as Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:18-19 (NASB). He wrote, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.”
God’s answer is to know Him. May all our hearts be enlightened to the breathtaking hope of His calling, the astounding riches of His glorious inheritance, and the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
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