The more than 50 percent drop in oil prices in recent months is good news for consumers. But it is bad news for energy producers.
It is good for transportation companies, but bad for energy companies. Lower energy prices are great for oil importing countries, but difficult for oil exporting countries. In today's economic environment, prices will invariably move in dramatic and often unexpected directions.
Current supply and demand fundamentals suggest a greater chance that oil prices could move from around $30 a barrel to around $70 a barrel. But the Middle East is volatile. Europe has significant economic and political uncertainty. China, Japan, Russia and/or the United States could change the price outlook for oil quickly.
The future is uncertain and is almost guaranteed to be volatile. But we in the kingdom have a source of stability, strength, guidance, hope and supernatural help.
The kingdom-minded who happen to invest in oil companies will take advantage of the opportunities afforded by low oil prices. They will use this time to grow closer to the Lord by digging deeper into the Word, by fasting and prayer, and by following the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Who knows, but the Lord may use the opportunity to expand oil capacity at bargain rates or allow us to hire additional highly talented oil personnel who were previously unavailable, or to move us to another industry or career to which we were truly called.
The kingdom-minded are not controlled by the environment. God is their source and He is in control.
"We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Rom. 8:28).
When sold as a slave, Joseph received a position of trust with Potiphar. When falsely accused and put in jail, Joseph received a position of trust with the jailer until God's timing for promotion arrived.
Our relationship with the King of kings determines our future. Use trials to move closer to the Lord. Victory is assured. After all, we are sons and daughters of the Most High God. We have the Holy Spirit of the living God within us. All things are possible.
As ministers, let us ensure that our flocks are equipped to survive, prosper and honor the King in the current economic environment. We should ensure our flock is knowledgeable regarding:
1. The principles of the kingdom;
2. The duties, responsibilities and rights of citizens of the kingdom
3. Faith, repentance and the power of the Holy Spirit
4. The necessity of a vibrant and growing relationship with the King
5. The promises of God; and
6. The privilege of being the King's representative
"My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations, knowing that the trying of your faith develops patience. But let patience perfect its work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing" (James 1:2-4).
Dr. James Russell is a professor of economics and undergraduate chair of the College of Business at Oral Roberts University.
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