51% of the Fortune 500 companies began in a recession (according to the Kaufmann Foundation). This partly explains why Clayton Christsensen, a Harvard business school professor, has claimed that the recession “would have an unmitigated positive impact on innovation…The breakthrough innovations come when the tension is greatest and the resources are most limited. That’s when people are actually a lot more open to rethinking the fundamental way they do business.” In other words, scarcity can be an opportunity, a boon rather than a bane.

That’s a truth in the spiritual realm as well, and provides the flip side to yesterday’s post about the risk of catastrophic victory. There is the possibility of a blessed “defeat” for the Church or the Christian. We would not have Psalm 51 without David’s spiritual recession. We would not have Paul’s letters to the New Testament churches without their divisions and disasters.

I’ve seen churches lose half their members and prayer meetings come alive. I’ve seen pastors leave churches “in the lurch” but “coasting” elders transformed into leaders. I’ve seen Christians lose their income and grow in grace. I’ve seen Christians lose loved ones in tragic circumstances and grow in love to God. I’ve seen a murderer sentenced to life imprisonment find true freedom in Christ. Spiritual recession, scarcity and loss provide us with opportunity for spiritual breakthroughs and for fundamental re-thinking of our spiritual lives. How can you turn your defeat into a victory, your bane into a boon, your recession into prosperity?

Picture: 2006 © Michael Zysman. Image from

  • Don

    David, I’ve been a non-commenting reader of your blog for quite some time now. Your posts are always very thought-provoking – thank you.But this particular post stands out for me as a real encouragement. God is blessing our new church whose genesis grew out of a heart-wrenching realisation that we had been lulled into tolerating an apostate ‘gospel’. The decision to withdraw to form a new church was a matter of prolonged prayer over months. At times we felt like we were truly wandering in the wilderness. And even now, at times, we struggle to know God’s leading. But we are seeing His faithfulness in many ways – answers to prayers we at first find contrary to what we think God wants – but as we are obedient, discover they are answers far superior to the question we asked.We are learning to do without the trappings of the contemporary church and learning that it is in the wilderness that we can appreciate the marvelous nature of God’s almighty grace.

  • David Murray

    Thanks for your kind words, Don. I’m so glad that you’ve received encouragement through this post. Your testimony will be a help to others, I’m sure.