“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are protected” (Prov. 18:10).

Since COVID-19 has redefined our lives, a lot of folks have been quoting the many references to God as our shelter and fortress. And why not? It is certainly true. It has always been true, but since the other “shelters” we’ve relied on have been taken away, we become keenly aware of where our true shelter is.

While I don’t like this topsy-turvy world we’ve entered into the last month, I hope it will cause more and more people to see that there is only one shelter we can rely on.

  • It’s not the economy.
  • It’s not a job.
  • It’s not the government.
  • It’s not our 401K. 
  • It’s not the assumption that Aisle 17 will always have toilet paper when we need it.

Find your shelter in Jesus Christ. When we rest in Him, we experience contentment—even in the worst of circumstances.

We’ve had a prosperous economy for years. For most Americans, life has been good. But our prosperity is fading—and it’s fading quickly. Please don’t write me off as a pessimist. I really want things to turn around, and I pray they will, but I also pray that our current situation brings this truth home: our happiness and contentment are not tied to any level of prosperity.

There is no connection between prosperity and happiness. At least not like we may think. If there is a connection, it tends to be a negative one. 

In a fifty-year span (1950-2000), our economy grew six-fold. Even when we adjust for inflation, we make twice as much as we would have in 1950, but research indicates we’re not any happier than we were in 1950. In fact, depression has become an epidemic in our American culture.

It’s not just an American thing. South Korea’s prosperity has dramatically risen over the last 30 years, but so has its suicide rate. Their suicide rate is four times what it was in 1985.

If that’s the case with prosperous countries, it must be worse in poverty-stricken countries, right? Nope. It’s just the opposite.  Countries like Haiti, Peru, Ghana, and the Philippines struggle with poverty and economic instability, but their suicide rates are half of what they are in prosperous countries like France, Switzerland, and Japan.

So if you want to be happy, don’t look to your bank account or any hope of a prosperous economy. I’m not opposed to having money or even being financially prosperous. But that is far from a reliable shelter. Contentment comes from Jesus Christ, not from whatever level of comfort and security we feel from our bank accounts, pantries, or the economy as a whole.

I truly believe that. I am discovering what Paul discovered. He learned contentment whether he had a lot or a little.

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Phil. 4:12). 

The “secret?” Walking with Christ. As Paul said in the very next verse:

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (v. 13).

Jesus Christ was Paul’s strong tower and shelter. Jesus should be our shelter too. As we shelter in His protective and gracious arms, let’s pray for an end to COVI-19, a return to work, and a good economy.

Most of all, let’s pray others would join us in the joyous shelter of God’s protection.

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are protected” (Prov. 18:10).

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