The phone rang. I was out working in the yard, enjoying my flowers, but I decided to run into the garage to grab it. It was a friend in crisis calling for prayer, like many friends before her. I found a quiet spot in the house to sit and fully listen to her story. She had made a mistake on her taxes and potentially owed the government $13,000. $13,000! I did not know what to say, other than “Wow,” so I offered to pray for her. And as I listened to Holy Spirit and prayed for her, these keys for surviving a crisis emerged.
1) Knowing God’s nearness. Psalm 34:18 promises that God is near to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. When you are in a crisis, God is near. In the New Testament we see that God is the source of all comfort.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort….” 2 Corinthians 1:3
2) Strength. As we experience Gods nearness, we are strengthened. Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. In our weakness, in our struggle, in our panic and in our meltdown, we are made strong by the power of the Holy Spirit. We grow in strength in the midst of the crisis.
… “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
3) Peace. You need peace to keep your head on straight in the midst of a crisis. We are apt to assume the worst or have a panic attack or worry, which is imagining the future without God. But in the midst of the crisis, we can ask the God of peace to give us peace. In fact, the fruit of the Spirit is peace, so the producer of peace lives in us! And Jesus promises that He give us peace as well. So take a deep breath, and ask for God’s peace to prevail instead of panic.
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27
4) Faith. As strength and peace take root, we are more levelheaded as we face the crisis. It is at this point that our gut-wrenching reaction and panic begins to wane and we are able to look more objectively at what we are facing. It is in this moment that we are to look at our situation, and look at what God’s Word says about our situation. This is the moment when we identify promises about our crisis, and begin to say them out loud. As we do this, faith begins to grow.
“…Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17
5) Hope. When faith starts to take hold, we stop looking at our crisis as hopeless and begin to look to the God of hope. Hebrews 6:19 says that hope is the anchor of our soul, and in the midst of crisis, we need this anchor for our mind, our will, and our emotions. As we look at the future with a hope-filled perspective, we take a deep sigh and begin to trust that God will take care of us and work it all out.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
6) Trust. Trust is a deep seated belief that in the midst of our crisis, Gods nature does not change. Trust tells us that no matter what we are facing, God is still good. Trust tells us that God still loves us and cares about us, even if it looks like God has forgotten us. He is still a good friend and a good father. Trust reminds us that God is in control, and His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9). Trust tells us that all things will work together for our good (Romans 8:28).
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 your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
The next time you are in a crisis, and trust me, some time you will be, remember these keys. Take a deep breath and pray, and you will find that your faith-filled response to the crisis will be much better than your reaction would have been.