No one enjoys personal crises. Yet, life is filled with them. I seriously doubt any of us live a week of life without at least one crisis in some form. Adults especially enjoy vacations and holidays because those occasions allow us to "pretend" that crises are suspended for a few days. On those days crises are banished! Not really.

Every crisis threatens the unwanted. Major crises threaten the unthinkable. Crises insist that we open our souls to the rule of fear. We are to concentrate on, speculate about, and dream fear's images. Evil loves fear! Why? Fear (1) turns a human inward, (2) causes a human to isolate, and (3) motivates a human to abandon hope and cling to despair. Evil loves fear because these three things lock God out of human life. God can help, but the person will not let Him help because he or she is afraid.

(1) God uses crises to turn His people outward to each other. Crises motivate God's children to turn to and depend on each other. (2) God uses crises to challenge His people to remember that they are part of His family, His community. Crises motivate God's children to rejoice in the truth that they are not alone. (3) God uses crises to move His people to greater hope. Crises motivate God's children to cling to God in hope in order to abandon the illusion of human sufficiency and the despair of loneliness.

Nothing motivates a Christian to allow God to be God as does a crisis. Why? Nothing reveals human weakness, loneliness, and despair as do crises. Nothing reveals our need for God as do crises. Faith is not a means of running from life. Faith is a valid means of dealing with life's true needs. Use faith to cope with life, not to avoid life.

Each crisis contains the potential for incredible evil and for astounding good. When a crisis produces the decision to allow Satan to control us through the power of fear, the crisis generates evil in ways we cannot imagine. When a crisis produces the decision to allow God to control us through the power of mercy and love, the crisis generates good in ways we cannot imagine.

God does His most powerful, significant work in times of crises. Why? It is in times of crisis that we cooperate with God and allow Him to work. We impose that necessity on God. Would you like a clear example? Consider the last twenty-four hours of Jesus' earthly life. Then look at the resurrection. What an astounding way to give us a Savior!

The obvious key: to whom do we turn in crises? To whom do you turn in your personal crises? When you experience your crises, do you allow God to work in your life?

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 3 September 2000

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