President JF Kennedy once remarked that ‘when written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis; is composed of two characters. One represents danger, and the other represents opportunity.’ Every crisis, is, at the same time, an opportunity.
Listening to CNN and the reports on Hurricane Irma is the example of a both a crisis and an opportunity. I was astonished as to the fine detail and think through that the various disaster management agencies have to go through. Whilst they have lived through previous hurricanes this is an epic one and it is taking all their resources and pull together. It’s a time to reach out and share the love of Christ in a crisis that has rocked the lives of so many folk.
Back here in South Africa it might be a bit too remote for some of us and so bringing a crisis closer to home like a life threatening illness or a job loss is something we could consider. After all we don’t live in a hurricane belt. But as Christians there are some factors that we need to consider well about crisis situations. Many of us live with crisis and would do well to be on the front foot spiritually.
Responding to crisis
How do we respond in times of trouble, danger or great difficulty? Initially many of us go numb and deny the fact that anything has happened. We find ourselves in a whirlwind of emotions. Fear grips us initially and then we cry out to the Lord in prayer.
Run to the Lord in prayer — Run into the truth of the word of the Lord and begin by building yourselves in the word of the Lord and remind yourselves of the promises of His word.
Bring the impossible situation to the Lord — Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Deal with fear — Philippians 4:6-9 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me — practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Understand grace — So often we bargain with God and tell Him of all the work we have done for Him and surely that will count in our favour in this great time of need! Understanding that His grace is unmerited favour and we are His children and don’t deserve His grace and favour, regardless of whether we have been on a mission, laid hands on thousands of people, travelled the seven seas for Him; when we are in time of need, He is merciful.
Yet he was merciful, he forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them. Time after time he restrained his anger and did not stir up his full wrath (Psalm 78:38). So the truth is we are not worthy of God’s Grace or His help. None of us are. But it is God’s desire and God’s nature to freely offer His forgiveness, His mercy and His grace to us, Grace is God’s alone to give, and it is a gift, not something we can earn. He loves us unconditionally and there is nothing we can do to earn His love. If we accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour then that’s all that’s needed.
As it’s written in Hebrews 4:16 Lets us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Surround yourself with strong people — It is written that a man is known by the company he keeps. When a crisis erupts one should immediately consider who in your circle are reliable, faithful and supportive people. Who will remind you of the promises of God when the going gets tough? One needs wise folk who will help you walk the path of the Lord.
Prophecy — Look at the prophecies that you have been given over the years, the promises of the Lord. Use the prophecies to wage a good warfare for your future. Pray fervently into them and wrestle with them until you have inherited the promises of the Lord.
Finally let the peace of the Lord guard your heart, as you worship Him through and in your situation. Watch the prison gates rip right open and walk into your destiny that the Lord has promised.