I usually like to focus on the good things of life. Too much focus on the negative isn’t helpful.
But, on occasion it is a good exercise to think about how you are going to approach trials when they do come upon you.
To act like we never face hard times is unwise. Instead, we are better to acknowledge that trials will come and then plan accordingly. Jesus was quite direct about this to His disciples, He said;
I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” (John 16:33 MSG)
Jesus explained to His disciples, and by extension to us, that difficulties will come, but that they should respond by taking heart, or by taking courage, as another translation puts it. We live in a fallen world so until the day of Christ’s return, we must be ready for hard times.
That’s all very well but crisis hits, you’re thrown into a spin, then what?
I don’t take this subject lightly.
Obviously, if life has thrown a serious curve ball your way you may need to seek progessional advice or counseling to help you through the situation. I’m certainly not trying to replace that kind of help with this post. But, if you’re just going through a rough patch and you’re not sure what to do, then I hope this post can be of help.
We all have different pain thresholds.
What might be a little uncomfortable for you, may be excruciating for someone else. While the depth of the pain we feel may be different, there are a few things that are common to each of us and that we should continue to do, especially when life has over taken us.
It’s these few things that can make or break you long term. If crisis comes and you stop doing everything else, if your emotions are spent and you have nothing more to give, keep these few essential things at the centre of your activities.
In the long run, the crisis will pass.
As difficult as it may be, if you keep doing just these few activities you will come out the other side. So, when life has brought you to your knees, when everything feels way too hard, just do these things;
In a time of stress, worry or anxiety, often eating goes out the window. Appetite for food can evaporate. In order to stay healthy, to be able to think clearly and to get through this time, you need to ensure that you continue to feed your body with good food. It may sound like a simple idea now, but in times of crisis it’s easy to forget.
Crisis can easily rob you of your sleep. Like eating, during the issues that arise in life, rest is also essential to be able to think clearly and to be able to control your emotions. Without proper rest emotions can intensify and even consume you. But, with sleep and the proper rest even the worst of situations can seem more manageable.
God is bigger than whatever it is you are going through. He can handle your questions, your cries for help and even your anger. Take all your thoughts, emotions, and feelings to Him. Consult Him on everything. Hold nothing back. After all, He knows everything about you any way. Our God is faithful and He hears the prayers of His people.
When we acknowledge who God is, it gives us a better perspective on our problems. In light of God’s power, strength, majesty, might, dominion, omnipotence, love, care, and grace, our troubles are nothing. In light of what God has done in sending His son, in conqueering sin and death, anything we go through is insignificant. I am not belittling your crisis, but am wanting to show you that in the midst of anything that is going on, God is bigger. Worship reminds us of this and so in times of trouble we mustn’t abandon our worship of Him.
5. Gather with your community of faith.
Often when we are going through some personal struggle we don’t want to be around people. There is a difference though with being with a crowd and being with your community of faith. I’m not just talking about going to a service on a Sunday. I’m talking about gathering. When we gather with others from our local church, we gain encouragement and strength. When you’re in need, it is their turn to strengthen you. Likewise, when others are in need, it’s your turn. There’s power in gathering together, don’t abandon it, even when your emotions make you not want to be a part of it.
My hope for you, is that you’re not going through a time of crisis right now. If you are, then at a minimum just do the five things above. There will come a time when you need to add other activities, but in order to get through a rough time, these are the essentials.
Don’t allow crisis, an unthinkable situation, or anything else to rock your confidence in Jesus. No matter what happens look after your physical and spiritual health. Stay committed to a simple trust that what you’re going through does not negate the truth of God and His word.
In time, this crisis will pass.
The Apostle Paul reminds us that this present suffering is for a greater purpose. In 2 Corinthians 1: 3-7 he reminds the Corinthian Church of this and we too can share in this encouragement;
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-7 ESV)
God is the God of all comfort.
In your time of suffering He will comfort you. He will do this by his Holy Spirit, though His word, and through those in your community of faith. Don’t abandon the essentials in a time of trouble and allow the God of all comfort to bring you through this season so in turn you can be used of God to help others through their time of need.
Question: What has helped you through a time of crisis? Would you add anything to this list essentials? Add your comments below.