As a Biblical counselor and pastor, I am seeing crisis-centered people’s relationships, marriages and families fall apart during a crisis. I remember as a young man growing up seeing people unite during a crisis. They would seek the Lord and pool what little resources they had together to overcome hopeless situations and press forward. So I asked Jesus, “Lord, what has changed so much that people have become so fainthearted.” By fainthearted I mean showing a lack of conviction or boldness or courage when it comes to trusting Jesus during a crisis. Christians are being paralyzed by what they consider to be a crisis. They have forgotten what centered them in the first place, God almighty. Don’t get me wrong I’m not referring to those times when we need a bother or sister in The Lord to come along side us and pray with us and encourage us. I’m talking about those whose faith has been shaken at the very core and who allow their circumstances to paralyze them.
I’ve noticed a common thread when it comes to dealing with personal struggles … easily loosing your center. People who are crisis-centered tend to focus more on the crisis than on finding solutions. Or should I say, The Solution – Christ! In fact crisis-centered people anticipate bad things will happen as if these bad things are just around the corner. Operating under Murphy’s Law: if anything bad can happen, it will! Now, when you live crisis to crisis and you have no center to ground you, you are like trees that are easily uprooted. When the wind and the rain beat up against them they are washed away. They lack the deep root system needed to weather the storms that come.
TO BE CHRIST- CENTERED
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
The solution during any crisis is to be Christ-Centered. That is to know Jesus and to be known by Him. It means that you have personally entered into a relationship with Jesus and He is your grounding force. He is, in your life, those deep roots that keep you firmly planted when the storms of life rage. Not only that, but He is our best example of how to endure a crisis.
Matthew 4:1-11 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.
During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of
God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the LORD your God. Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” “Get out of here Satan,”Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say,‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him. Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.
HOW DID JESUS HANDLE HIS CRISIS?
Jesus handled His crisis by the power of the Holy Spirit. For it was by the Spirit that Jesus was lead into the desert to be tempted of the devil. After Jesus had fasted for forty days and nights and was hungry, Satan came to tested Jesus in three key areas of His life. Satan’s first attack was an attack on His identity by saying, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” A crisis will cause us to question who we are in Christ. We must go back to God’s word for our assurance. Just like Jesus did when He answered, “It is written man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God”.
Satan’s second attack was psychological and directed against Jesus’s confidence in God’s written word. So Satan tempted Jesus by saying, “If you are the Son of God, jump off the highest point of this temple, For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. In a crisis, your confidence can be shaken in all that you believe you know to be true. But you have to know The Word and stand firm on it. Jesus placed His confidence in the written word of God and responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the LORD your God.
Satan’s third and last temptation was an attack against Jesus’ soul by attempting to remove Him off the very foundation on which He stood. Satan’s final attack started with, “I will give it all to you … if you will kneel down and worship me.” The toughest crises to endure can be those that threaten what is most important to us … our loved ones, our livelihood, our health. And while all those things are important, Jesus remembers in the midst of His crisis what is most important of all – God. “Get out of here Satan,”Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say,‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him. Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus. Jesus was faithful to stand on the word of God and to wait upon the Lord. He trusted in no other foundation and allowed God to root Him in The Word.
WAIT FOR IT
Jesus was faithful to the written word of God. He didn’t allow insecurities, shortcuts and entitlements to become His crutch in His crisis and nor should we. Instead He trusted in God, who began a good work in Him and who is faithful to complete it. Yes! Satan knows the word of God, too, and he will attempt to misuse it during a crisis. But Christians, stand on the Word and wait for it! Jesus did and God sent His angels to minister to Him.
I challenge you to examine your current state. Are you living a life that is Christ-Centered or a life that is Crisis-Centered? Don’t compromise your identify, confidence and foundation in Jesus when faced with a crisis.