Crossways Concepts

Because it is all about the cross...

Insights from the scripture as lead by the Holy Spirit

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A Manual for Crisis Times

Most of the time, life isn't too crazy, but then there are times when life is just too tough.  It is what we do in the crazy times that truly demonstrates who's we are.

The story of King Jehosaphat found in 2 Chronicles 20 is a fascinating demonstration of how we can respond to a problem with faith and God can respond with power.  In this story the king had a huge problem, he was told that “a vast multitude from beyond the Red Sea and from Edom has come to fight against you” (v. 2).  This attacking army was so big that the king was afraid, knowing that his country could be easily destroyed.

The scripture tells us of how he handled the fear, not by hiding from the problem or seeking the advice and help from everybody around him, but he took it directly to the Lord.  He knew how to handle his fear.  Then, so his people wouldn't be afraid, Jehosaphat proclaimed a fast for all of Judah.  He lead all his people to seek the Lord, too.

Then King Jehosaphat spoke before the people of his country.  He reminded them that their God was powerful to save them.  He reminded them of the miraculous battles that the Lord God had fought and won for His people in the past.  He didn't  tell the people anything they didn't already know, but in times of threat, our fear can seem to overwhelm our faith, so we need these sorts of reminders.

After this time of praising the Lord, He spoke to Jehosaphat and the people through a prophet who told them not to be afraid.  The prophet told them that this wasn't their battle, it was the Lord's.  The people were to go to the battle field, position themselves and watch what God is about to do.  So the people made their way to the battle field with much worship, praising and song.  As they sung, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever,” they were able to watch the Lord destroy the attacking army for them.

When we face the really big problems of life: cancer, marital crisis, death, job loss or any of a hundred other things, we need to consider these steps.  We need to seek The Lord first and foremost.  He is the only one with any real power.  He is the only one that can really make any difference.  When we go running to others, it tends to pull us further from The Lord and increase our panic.  While there is nothing wrong in seeking counsel and seeking a shoulder, we need to remember that The Lord is our only real source of peace.

Secondly, give Him praise and thanksgiving.  While this may seem all upside-down and backwards to give praise and thanksgiving in a time of crisis, this is the exact time to do it.  When fear begins to come in, it is so easy to let our faith get pushed out.  This is the time we need to remember WHO HE IS and WHAT HE HAS DONE.  This process re-connects us to Him and strengthens our faith.

Third, we need to take time to listen to the Lord.  He want to be in communication with us.  He may have specific messages for you about what He is going to do about your crisis, just as He did with Jehosaphat.  What a blessing the king would have missed if he hadn't listened to the Lord.  We don't need a prophet, we just need to spend quiet time with Him and listen to what He has to say to us.

Fourth, we need to remember that sometimes the battle is the Lord's.  There are many times when He doesn't want us to DO, he just wants us to watch Him in action.  This standing and watching can sometimes be very tough, because we are people of action.  We feel useless if we aren't taking action, especially in a crisis.

We are His children.  We need to especially allow Him to love us through times of difficulty.

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