What Can We Do When Faced with Crisis?

Paolo Punzalan

March 12, 2020

There is a continuous threat of a major outbreak of COVID-19. What can we do to respond?

The Bible tells us a story in Genesis 41 when people in Egypt faced an impending famine, which was revealed by God to the Pharaoh through a series of dreams. Being unable to understand the dreams, the Pharaoh called for a man named Joseph to interpret his dreams.

This story gives us a template on how to respond when crisis hits.

1. Trust God fully.

The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon.

Genesis 41:32 (NIV)

Everything that happens in God’s creation does not escape God’s attention. He is sovereign and He is fully in control. This means that nothing takes Him by surprise.

Because of this, we can trust that though we may not know what the future holds, we do know the One who holds it.

Psalm 33:11,12 says, “The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.”

2. Lead confidently.

“And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt.”

Genesis 41:33 (NIV)

Each of us has been entrusted with a certain degree of leadership capacity. We lead teams, families, units, corporations, or organizations. At the very least, we lead ourselves.

As we lead, we can influence others positively.

In the story, the Pharaoh couldn’t find any other men to trust, so he assigned Joseph to be in charge over all of Egypt. As soon as he was called to lead, Joseph led with confidence, knowing that it was God who was ultimately leading him.

In times of crisis, will we be the voice of faith or the voice of fear?

In times of trouble, will we be a beacon of hope or a source of unbelief?

Joseph trusted God to give him wisdom. We can do it, too. Wisdom is being able to do the right thing at the right time.

Joseph had discernment. And discernment is being able to distinguish between two seemingly good options.

God has the ability to empower us with discernment to make the right decisions.

3. Work immediately.

He was thirty years old when he began serving in the court of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. And when Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence, he inspected the entire land of Egypt.

Genesis 41:46 (NLT)

As soon as Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence, he worked instantly. He didn’t take his own sweet time. He went for it right away.

When crisis hits and danger is imminent, we need to be decisive and work swiftly because it can mean life or death.

The famine during Joseph’s time wasn’t due until seven years after his appointment as governor, but he acted immediately and wasted no time.

4. Prepare thoroughly.

He was thirty years old when he began serving in the court of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. And when Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence, he inspected the entire land of Egypt.

Genesis 41:46 (NLT)

As Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence, not only did he work immediately, he prepared thoroughly by inspecting the entire land of Egypt. He studied, learned, evaluated, surveyed, supervised, and worked. He did all he could to prepare for the famine.

We will believe God for the best, but we will also prepare for the worst-case scenario. The important thing is to stay connected to the Holy Spirit so that He can give us clear instructions for what we need to do.

At the end of the narrative, we see in Genesis 41:57 that “all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.” In the midst of crisis, Joseph, who represented the people of God, became a blessing to the world.

As we encounter crises, whether current or future, we can trust God fully, lead confidently, work immediately, and prepare thoroughly. And as we do so, we can be a blessing to the rest of the world.


Adapted from: http://paolopunzalan.com/2020/03/10/what-do-we-do-when-crisis-hits/

Based on Ps. Gilbert Foliente’s message during the staff convergence.



The Author

Paolo Punzalan

Pastor Paolo is the senior pastor at Victory Fort Bonifacio. He and his wife, Jenn, have four kids and together, they love to speak about marriage, family, and parenting.