<<disaster, emergency>>

A crisis may be the result of our sin, lack of forethought, inexperience by others or us. Natural disasters also produce calamity and fear in people (Lk 21:26).

During times of stress and calamity there can be a tendency to take our eyes off God to focus more fully on oneself and the immediate problems, allowing our mind to make mountains out of molehills and self-pity to take over.  Instead look to Jesus, “The

Turn to Jesus, not to the problem 

beginner and finisher of our faith” (Heb 12:2).  Remember that nothing is going to happen to you that God and you together can’t handle.  He has said when you pass through the deep water and the fire of severe testing He will be with you (Isa 43:2). David said, “Even when he passed through the valley of the shadow of death he did not fear for God was with him” (Ps 23:4).  Job had the right perspective when tragically struck – his faith in God remained intact and he still blessed God (Job 1:13-22). Don’t fight situations on your own but commit them to God.

God may not answer peoples direct questions but He offers relationship – look for these God moments. How you react shows what is in your heart. Is your faith anchored firmly on the firm foundation of Christ’s integrity, love and justice?  (Heb 6:19). Times of crisis (sometimes refered to as crisis of faith) are pivotal; people either cling tighter to Christ realising “He is my help in times of trouble” or reject and turn away from Him because of this intense period of testing and His seeming inability to help (Ps 46:1; Mt 13:20,21, 24:10).  Jesus said, “Blessed as the man who does not fall away on account of me” (Lk 7:23).

After the Israelites had left Egypt, the army chased after them and they were trapped between the mountains and sea.  They were very frightened and complained – both are natural reactions when a situation appears to be out of control.  Moses spoke to them, “Don’t be afraid, see the deliverance the Lord will bring you, He will fight for you” (Ex 14:13,14).  This needs to be our hope in crisis times too.  Often, as in this case, besides praying we must act – faith and works are both vitally needed (Ex 14:15; Jas 2:14-26). These situations don’t catch God unawares or unprepared but are designed to teach us to rely more fully on Him and walk in victory by focusing on His past faithfulness to us, and believe that He will complete the good work started in us (Phil 1:6).

Preparation and contingency plans help us to respond to possible calamities and enable people to cope better. Having a growing and meaningful relationship with God rather than just making acquaintance with Him in the time of trouble calling out “come and save us” is also significant (Jer 2:27). Times of acute difficulty, challenges and distress are part of life.  Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble but take heart I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). Satan would like to see us destroyed and scattered but a crisis can be a means of sanctification and joining together if we respond correctly.

Where is our confidence – do we fear the unknown or do we trust in God? We do not know what the future holds but we do know who holds the future. Even in a crisis acknowledge His lordship and sovereignty (2 Kgs 19:14-19). Jesus in His crisis prayed,

Who do I run to in a crisis?

expressing His desire to God, leaving Him to deal with the case as it seemed best to Him rather than telling Him what to do (Mt 26:36-42).

Continue to believe that God is still in control, even through this perplexing time of emotional upheaval, and will work out the situation for your good (Dan 3:17,18; Rom 8:28). Commit the situation to Him for His will to be done.

See also: calamity, challenge, change, faith/crisis of, foundation, panic, priority, test/testing.