Until Jesus returns there are certain norms all humanity is having to contend with. As surely as the sun rises and sets, there will be both good times and bad; crises will come and go. It isn’t whether crises will come, it’s when.
The big difference for a Christian is that we don’t walk through them alone. In fact, we can take comfort, no matter the circumstance we face. Jesus said, “…In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NKJV). These words are not just informative, they are instructive. Christians are often described as being “in the faith.” I understand the connotation, but unless our faith is actively applied, that description has no real meaning. Christians have a covenant with God; a rock upon which to stand to actively protect them against the storms of life.
The Old Testament prophet Daniel gained favor in the eyes of King Darius because the Spirit of God was upon him. Because of this, the king made him second only to himself over the whole kingdom. The other governors and leaders were so jealous of Daniel; gossiping among themselves, they sought a way to trap him. To appeal to the king’s ego, they asked the king to sign a law making it illegal to pray to any god other than the king himself for 30 days.
Despite the law, Daniel continued his custom of praying three times a day. When it was revealed that Daniel was continuing to pray to the God of Heaven in defiance of the law, he was thrown to the lions. Literally. This was far more than a personal attack; it was a crisis. But because of Daniel’s faith and trust in God, he was spared and the mouths of the lions were shut. What’s more, Daniel was vindicated (see Daniel 6).
This is a powerful account of God’s intervention through the faith of an everyday man. However, modern everyday Christians have something even Daniel did not have. Yes, the Spirit was upon him, but Jesus came more than five centuries later to give to everyone who believes, the same Holy Spirit to not just rest upon us, but to live inside of us, to help us through life, every step of the way (see John 16:13).
Here are four simple steps to take when facing a crisis: 1) Don’t panic. Like Daniel, trust God Who knows what you’re facing. He will deliver you and vindicate you. 2) Believe God. Take Him at His Word. Get to know Him by studying His Word daily, if possible — before the crisis comes. 3) Apply the promises of Scripture to your circumstance. Let only your faith in God’s Word come out of your mouth and don’t be tempted to say anything otherwise. That’s fear and fear will cause you to be devoured, figuratively. 4) Rely on the Holy Spirit. Talk with Him and pray in the Spirit about your situation. He will instruct you, keep you calm and lead you out of your crisis.
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Rob Granger is Senior Pastor of Faith Harbor Church, a non-denominational church that meets at 10 a.m. Sundays in the Escondido Columbus Hall, 515 W. Valley Parkway. His wife, Becky, serves as co-pastor. Videos of Pastor Rob’s sermons can be seen on YouTube by typing faith harbor church Escondido Ca in the YouTube search box. Visit fhcescondido.com for information about Faith Harbor Church.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.