Points to Ponder: How's your crisis coming along?
Points to Ponder
How's your crisis coming along?
We all have them. You may be in the midst of one right now; a crisis.
The term crisis has its Greek origin in the root word for "decision", or to decide. You could call it a moment or event that demands a decision. The Chinese language expresses the word "crisis" with two separate characters, put together; one is danger, the other is opportunity.
Imagine if you looked at what you perceive to be a crisis as a situation full of both danger and opportunity. A crisis is a moment in time or event in life that requires a decision; however, the attitude you take in approaching the matter will greatly influence the decision you make. If you approach the challenge by recognizing the danger (or risk), AND also look for the opportunity it presents, you will find there are options that you may not have considered.
We do not enjoy the storms and problems of life, but anyone I have ever known who has any wisdom has weathered their share of tough ones and prevailed. Praise God for wise advisors and experienced mentors to whom we can go for perspective, and a "reality check"! Only the proud and foolish refuse to seek them out when their own storms come.
Chuck Swindoll in his devotional, Day By Day (p.134), does an excellent reflection on the crises, or storms, of life. He pulls this gem of a verse from the Old Testament: "The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm." (Nahum 1:3C)
Life is full of storms; some of them are appointed for us by God. Swindoll writes: "Two things should comfort us in the midst of the daily lighting and thunder. First of all, we all experience them. Second, we all need them. God has no method more effective. The massive blows and shattering blasts (not to mention the small constant irritations) smooth us and humble us, and force us to submit to the role He has chosen for us."
Have you ever considered that the crisis you have been through--and the one you are in now, are all being used by God to cause you to submit to the role and purpose God has chosen for you?
Certainly our own sins, failures, and poor choices have brought us into a number of the crises we have been through. That does not matter. How you got there is a matter of prayerful reflection, confession, and repentance at times. Other times, you are put in situations because of the actions of others, or some other circumstance beyond your control. Fine. Whichever it is--it is.
But the Lord God is right there with you. He knew what trouble you were headed for long before you did, and He's there to ride it out with you. With all of that in mind, take a look at the crisis with new eyes. There is danger and risk, but there is also in the midst of it, opportunity and potential. God's hand is there. Find it and grasp it firmly. It could be that you needed to be in this situation so that you would look for and lean on God more than you ever had before. Some people really do not trust God because they won't humble themselves enough to allow it. Storms and crises are often the best remedy for that.
There are two portions of New Testament scripture that are worth pondering as you consider how to deal with a crisis. Both of them, by two different writers, pull from Proverbs 3:34.
"...He gives more grace. That is why the scripture says; "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble". Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands you sinners, and purify your hearts you double-minded. ...Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up." (James 4:6-8, 10 NIV)
"All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because 'God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.' Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are going through the same kind of sufferings. ...After you have suffered a little while, (God Himself will) restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast." (I Peter 5: 5b-10 NIV)
So, how is your crisis coming along? It all depends on how you are looking at it; danger and opportunity, "and underneath are the everlasting arms." (Deut. 33:27b)
This column can be found on the web at: www.fumcl.org. Pastor Whitmore is not affiliated with Picket News, nor does he submit material directly to our publication. We regularly reprint interesting articles found at his public web site and encourage all readers to visit for similar material.