by Frederick Hoehn, copyright 2013. |
In the last seven decades, I've had some crises. Most Christians will have one or more crises in their lifetimes.
Jesus said, "In the world you'll have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I've overcome the world." (John 16:33)
There's an important clue right there, about how to deal with crises. Jesus said, "Be of good cheer." Be cheerful. Don't let yourself get depressed.
Of course, I’m writing for Christians. I’m assuming you’re already born again, according to John chapter 3, and Romans 10:9,10.
If you’re not yet a Christian, then the first step in solving your problems is get the gospel message, such as by reading Matthew or Mark or Luke or John in the Bible. Pray a simple prayer, asking the Lord Jesus to save you. Believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, like the Bible says. Confess with your mouth that you are one of Jesus’ people.
The Lord wants his people to be baptized in water, and He also wants us to get baptized with the Holy Ghost with the speaking in unknown tongues (languages).
But some people might say, "But you don't know how bad my situation is." It's true that I don't know your exact situation, but in any situation, the Lord doesn't want you to get overwrought, as though the problems can’t be solved.
When Jonah was in the whale’s belly, the Lord brought him out. When Paul was on a ship during a violent storm, the ship was destroyed, but Paul came through.
When the children of Israel had mountains of problems, the Lord gave them deliverance.
When Peter was thrown into prison, the Lord brought him out.
The Bible is just full of the history of God providing deliverance for his people from their difficult circumstances.
One of the worst things you could do is to say, “There is no solution to these problems.” For one thing, that statement would be incorrect. For another, you would be talking like our enemy, the devil, wants us to talk. Don’t cooperate with the devil.
There’s no such thing as a problem God can’t solve.
Some might say, “If the situation gets bad enough, it’s pretty hard to be cheerful.”
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.”
So then, you can keep your heart. God’s not going to tell us to keep our hearts if that can’t be done.
Young people sometimes say, “I couldn’t help falling in love with her,” (if you’re a man, or, with him, if you’re a woman). But God says you can diligently keep your heart.
One of my family members went against the scripture in Corinthians that says, “Don’t be unequally yoked together with unbelievers…” (2 Cor 6:14) She became persuaded that if she married that man who wasn’t a Christian, that he would become a Christian.
But for the rest of their lives, he never did become a Christian.
So then, a Christian shouldn’t even be dating an unbeliever. You find out beforehand about your prospective date whether or not they’re born-again.
And if they’re not a Christian, you say no to the offer of a date (for women), and the man doesn’t ask an unbeliever for a date. No, you ask the Lord for the right person to be your spouse. When you pray, believe that you receive. (Mark 11:24)
Paul and Silas had been put in prison. They were also put in stocks in the prison, for extra security. So did they start griping about how unfair the situation was? Were they moaning and complaining?
No, they started singing praises to God. (Acts chapter 16)
And the Lord got them out of prison.
But some of my crises had to do not with desperate situations, but when, after a period of time, things didn’t seem to be going the way the Lord had promised.
So then, I was tempted to say that the Bible wasn’t working right. I was tempted to get angry with God. Let me give you a tip: There is nothing to be gained by getting angry with God. So don’t even mess with that. When you speak to God, show respect.
But you can plead your case to God. You can quote scriptures to Him, and we should. Sometimes, the reason a scripture doesn’t seem to be working right is simply that we didn’t put our faith with that scripture.
When you pray, believe you receive the things you ask for, and you shall have them. (Mark 11;24)
People can start reasoning things out to where it seems like God is unfair or unreliable.
It’s possible for Christians to persuade themselves that they made a serious mistake to become a Christian. And the Devil will try to help them come to that conclusion.
Jesus said there would be people who wind up in hell who had been Christians.
from Matthew chapter 7: 21 Not everyone that says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, haven't we prophesied in your name? And in your name have cast out devils? And in your name done many wonderful works? 23 And then I will tell them, I never knew you, go away from me, you sinners.
Notice that some of them had cast out devils. You don’t cast out devils unless you’re a Christian. The seven sons of Sceva, in Acts chapter 19, tried to cast out devils, and failed miserably, because they did so not being Christians.
Jesus was talking to people who had cast out devils, so they really had been Christians. But they wound up in hell. (Matt 7:23)
Why? Because, though they had been Christians, they didn’t “endure to the end.” (Matt 10:22)
Because they weren’t “faithful until death.” (Rev 2:10)
Because they didn’t obey “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phil 2:12)
If you’re working out your own salvation with fear and trembling, you won’t try to blame God if things aren’t going well for you.
I know a man who had been a Christian. But then, I saw him last year, and he told me he stopped being a Christian. He had managed to persuade himself that Jesus had told a lie.
It had to do with another man whose salvation had been prayed for by many. But that man didn’t get saved, and then died. So, this former Christian blames Jesus because Jesus said whatever you ask, I’ll do.
Yes, but look at this—God never forces anyone to become a Christian. God will go to great lengths to try to persuade people to get saved. He’ll send preachers and teachers and Bibles and Christians to testify.
But God won’t force someone, against their will, to become a Christian. I suspect the man that the former Christian was talking about had already made up his mind, early in life, that he wasn’t interested in God.
I’m sure that that man had demons in him. That man said he was an Atheist.
But God says, “The fool has said in his heart there is no God.” (Psa 14:1)
So, this former Christian blames God. What?? Do you really want to go to hell because you think you’ve found a fault in God? That attitude does not employ enough fear of God.
The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. (Psa 111:10) Lack of fear of God can send you to hell, and it looks like that’s what will happen for this former Christian that I was talking with.
I told him, “You’re talking like a man on his way to hell.” He said, “You’re not going to scare me.” I wish that I could scare him out of going to hell, but it looks like he’s right, and I can’t.
But why are we talking about this in an article about dealing with crises? Because, I want to show you ahead of time that the wrong conclusion to come to would be that the Bible doesn’t work, or that God has lied.
Don’t let any crisis send you to hell. Don’t let any person send you to hell.
During one of my crises, I was tempted to believe that Jesus had spoken wrong. But the Bible teaches, and I know it’s true, that God the Father has accepted the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for the sins of the world.
But it’s a teaching of the Old Testament that sacrifices must be perfect. Moses taught that if you offered an imperfect sacrifice, that sacrifice would not be accepted by God.
So then, there’s no use trying to find imperfection in Jesus, because God has already accepted him as a perfect sacrifice.
If you say Jesus has faults, you are disagreeing with God the Father, and would therefore be failing to employ a sufficient amount of fear of God. Don’t try to tell God the Father that his son, Jesus, is imperfect. That’s not going to fly. That pot won’t hold water. That dog won’t hunt.
But this former Christian that I spoke of was probably “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (Heb 3:13) The man got involved in some things he shouldn’t have gotten involved in, including having for himself a girlfriend, for a long period of time, who was an unbeliever.
He used to speak of winning her for Jesus. It looks like, instead, she’s won him over to going to hell with her. God warned the children of Israel about that before they went into the promised land. God said don’t intermarry with the inhabitants of the land, or they’ll draw you away from me.
Now if we have settled it that we’re not going to blame God for the crisis, then here is what we must do. We must ask God to fix the problems. We must put our faith with our prayers. (Mark 11:24)
We must claim God’s promises over ourselves and our families, yes, out loud with our mouths. (Josh 1:8) “My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:19)
Say it and believe it. Expect it to happen. Tell your friends the problem is solved, even if it doesn’t look like the problem is solved. If your friends call you crazy, they’re wrong.
“Faith calls those things that are not as though they were.” (Rom 4:17) First, you believe, and then, you receive. (Mark 11:24)
But if you leave out the believing, then forget about the receiving.
We must bind the powers of the enemy (“Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.”) (Matt 16:19)
We must loose ministering spirits (the angels) to work on our behalf for the solutions to the problems. (Matt 16:19, Heb 1:14)
We must speak into existence the things we need. (Mark 11:23)
We must keep the switch of faith turned on, and trust the Lord to give us deliverance.
But what if a Christian has lost a loved one? Did that person pass away quite recently? There is such a thing as Christians raising the dead, you know.
You might say, well yes, Jesus did that when he was on earth. Yes, and he said we’d do greater things because he went to the Father.
But there’s also the scripture, “All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:28)
We must do like Jesus did, who “humbled himself and became obedient.” (Phil 2:8)
That former Christian that I mentioned failed to humble himself before God. Jesus said you don’t go to heaven unless you humble yourself like a little child.
Is the crisis about an illness? Have you applied James 5:14,15?
14 Is anyone sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up, and if he has committed sins, he'll be forgiven.
Have you used your authority over the demons that may be involved in your situation? (Luke 10:19, Mrk 16:17,18) Command them to cease in their operations and desist in their maneuvers, in Jesus’ name. Use the authority Jesus gave you as a Christian.
Open your mouth and command your situation to get in line with the Word of God. If you have a problem, that’s your mountain, COMMAND IT TO GO. (Mark 11:23)
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