In The Face Of A Crisis
In The Face Of A Crisis
We live in very troubled times which makes it even harder especially when we ourselves are facing a crisis, or those we love are going through things that seem too horrific to accept and endure, sometimes to the point of despair. But I can reassure you that even in the most troubled times we can be sure that God does love you and those whom we care about, and He does have a purpose and a plan.
11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."
God loves us - without condition
God loves us and He is there for us no matter what our circumstances are in our lives. Of course even people who serve God with their whole heart must face troubles in life. Even though we have served God faithfully for many years, we still have (most likely will) to face a crisis at some point.
It's quite common for those of us who care about our relationship with God while working hard on this relationship, we sometimes get the mistaken notion that we are somehow above or immune to such troubles in life. Not so, we will face difficulties regardless if we serve God or not. The difference, of course, will be that those of us who serve God will have a understanding and belief that help will always be available to us from God. We will also have the promise of His provision that is, the assurance that all things, including a crisis, will work together for good.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
We face our problems alone
Unbelievers and those who do not apply themselves to the things of God may have to face their problems alone.
15 Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.
God delights in helping us in the time of distress because when He does, it brings Him the honor that is due Him. Perhaps, more than at any other time, in a crisis we learn where our faith lies. In a time of crisis we need to refocus our fears, instead choosing to seek God.
1 Peter 5:7 instructs us: "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
There is also a crisis that can be personal - or someone close to us that we care about
Sometimes we can learn more about what we are going through or a loved one just by reading another person's testimony or their thoughts on it. We can take from it what will help, and leave what we may not personally agree on. Reading a lot has helped me understand more about some of my own personal crisis, and giving me the wisdom yet at the same time having an understanding of what a loved one may be going through.
Look In The Mirror - I did
When trouble comes to us we must learn solely to rely on God, by not giving in to the temptations of defeat and hopelessness. Some ways of learning to rely on the Lord is to spend some time alone with Him, reading the bible, and seeking Him. Stay in fellowship with other Christians, we need each other and cannot do it alone.
Some storms we encounter in this life are the result of living in an evil fallen world. At other times, the storms we experience are created by our own wrong choices. There are consequences for the choices we make in this life. We all have the freedom to make choices that will produce blessings, or we make choices that can create devastating storms. We can plant good seeds or bad seeds. God isn't to blame for some of the storms that come to us by our own free will, especially in our choices we make and/or have made.
For example if one drinks alcohol, takes drugs excessively, gambles away all of their money, or even repeated adultery. Clearly the storms that follow are of our own making, not God's. What about seeds of bitterness, selfishness, pride, unforgiveness, unloving attitudes, and especially cruel or negative actions? Some people wonder why all our relationships end up lousy, it's our own fault. These are the seeds we planted! There comes a time when you are in the midst of the storm and you have to look in the mirror and tell yourself that YOU created it! I brought this storm on myself!
God's Loving Discipline
Some storms are the result of God's loving discipline
"For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God's discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening-it's painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way."
God loves us too much to not discipline us when we stray. I believe that when tribulation and testing does come, He allows it to build within us strong character, and in the end teaching us to trust Him during these hard times.
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
The - Apostle Paul
The word of God shows us that many have endured hardships in both the old Testament and the new. I am going to share about one particular man who was far from God, and I believe in my heart that the Lord wants me to share his story. And this was the apostle Paul. Here was a great example of one that was far from God, he was the very one that went along beating and putting Christians in prison. However, the Lord chose Paul to be an Apostle to bear His name to the gentiles.
Paul did suffer in many ways for the sake of bringing the Word of God to the Gentiles. At one point Paul was beaten nearly to death, for his preaching against what the spiritual leaders of the communities wanted to hear. However, through all the hardship, Paul stuck to his guns and continued in preaching the Gospels, establishing churches, and leading the church. The Lord told Paul that he must suffer greatly in his calling.
"For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for My name's sake."
In the book of Corinthians the church was divided amongst the members, there were false teachers who accused Paul and questioned his authority and integrity. Paul therefore spent much of this second letter to the Corinthians defending his actions and his ministry. Paul didn't walk away from his calling, even under the most dreadful of circumstances, because he intimately knew that;
"the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort" [2Cor. 1:3].
It is my understanding that there were a few members who were obedient to Paul's instruction to Christian living, and there was trouble both within the church for those who were accusing Paul of false teachings. The Corinthians were splitting into different divisions, and claiming different men as their leaders rather than Christ, and that was also the reason for Paul to give this sacred doctrine and instruction to them.
It was much the same as the denominationalism that we still have today. The Corinthians were taking what they were pleased with in the Word, and leaving or disregarding the rest of the Word. Because of this Paul spoke very bluntly to them, and in a very stern manner. However, this book to the Corinthians was also written with Paul's deep love for this church. While Paul was in his ministry to the Corinthians, you can feel the anguish he must have faced by the division in the church.
2 Cor. 4:7-11
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body."
2 Cor. 4:16
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."
There are so many types of crisis - too many types
Worldwide or personal- here are some tools to read and learn about what is really going on. We may view and/or read it from the news (sometimes 'fake news'), even getting on the computer and seeing it as the first thing when we log on our computers, or turn on our television. These are written by people who took the time to write their experience or insight.
I believe that today we are facing a world wide crisis. This is not only with the economic side of life, but also climate change, deadly diseases, etc. But there is a serious condition of immorality even amongst the people of God. The Lord's name is used in vain everyday, language with no respect to his Holy name. Pornography has gone rampant. it is so easy to view it on the Internet, that even children under age have access to it. The list of immorality goes on and on.
Marriages (even among the Christians) aren't taken seriously any longer. Always hearing about yet another divorce, much to my anguish and heartache. I have seen that men aren't taking their role seriously anymore, bailing out instead of fighting for their families, meanwhile going out and finding a new replacement. Women are also doing the same thing. No one is willing to fight for their families or fight for their children! We are caught in this web of so many lies.
God said that there was going to be false teachers. We are in trouble people, in big trouble! It is no different today as it was then when the apostle Paul had to straighten the Corinthians out. There was so much division created by false teachers, and even within the church. Even closing their eyes to incest among the body of Christ. So like Paul it can be so difficult to walk in light, and to not close our eyes to what is going on around us, even in our own households. We are no different then when the apostle Paul had to straighten the Corinthians out!
Facing Crisis - Is something that we all will face at some point in our lifetime
What we determine is a crisis, someone else may not believe so.
God's primary call
To a people of crisis
Is to gather us together for:
God shows us exactly what we are supposed to do to receive His grace, mercy, and deliverance in all storms. It is simple...
He wants us to return to Him with our internal being and whole heart.
READ Joel 2:12-17