Key Attitude in Crisis, Humility

For there to be recovery there must be humility.

The prophet Joel is speaking to a people whose economy has been crippled by a bug. Wave after wave of insects stripped away the produce and profit of a growing season (Joel 1:4).

At the beginning of March, our economy was roaring. In the middle of March, our economy closed. A microscopic virus isolated us. Many have been furloughed, while others wonder if they have a business to go back to.

In the Book of Joel, God presents an incredible potential for His people. They can come out of crisis into a life better than its ever been before (Joel 2:18-32). The years that the locusts have eaten, God can restore (2:25). But before there is recovery from a crisis, there must be humility in the crisis.

Hear this, you elders; give ear, all inhabitants of the land! Has such a thing happened in your days, or in the days of your fathers? Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation.

Joel 1:2-3

Who are the elders? The elders are the older ones, but "elder" speaks not only of age but of responsibility. In our context, elders are those of us who take on greater responsibility in our community.

Elders are civic leaders, business owners, organizational heads. The elders are the mothers and fathers of our families.

Never Like This

And how many times since mid-March have we said, "I've never seen anything like this." Such a thing had never happened in their day, or ours. But now it has.

We may feel defeated and frustrated. No one would blame us for being scared. But are we not humbled?

A microscopic virus has taught us that we are not as big as we thought we were. We are not as in control as we thought we were. We were not doing as well as we thought we were.

We cannot return to the way we were.

At the beginning of March, we were busy. Not anymore.

What will we tell our children? When people are humbled, their values change. When the things we lived for vanish, we realize we need less of it and more of God. In humility, crisis creates a testimony.

Thirty days ago, we thought our schedule was important. Humility teaches us that we were wasting our time.

My grandmother lived through the Great Depression. She learned that she didn't need money; she needed God. Her humble life was a great testimony to me.

My dad survived a brain tumor. Before the tumor, my dad believed in God. After the tumor, my dad walked with God. The humble change in him was a testimony to me.

The key to our crisis is not recovery, but humility. Let's not just get through it, but get on our knees in the midst of it. What will be our humble testimony on the other side of a pandemic?

Bible Study

Read Joel 1:1-4.

  • What are the commands in this passage? List them.
  • What is the emotion of the situation the passage describes?
  • What are some principles to be applied from this passage?


Draw a scale on paper. On one end of the scale write the words "fear and frustration." On the other side of the scale write the word "humbled." Take three key areas of life that have come to a grinding halt in the pandemic. Would you consider your attitude in each of these areas closer to "fear and frustration" or closer to "humbled?" Draw it out. See it on paper. How would God have you bring those attitudes closer to "fear and frustration" closer to "humility?"

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