As a Christian, are you ready to face a crisis?
Black Monday 2020 saw the stock market crash. Hospitals are unable to cope with the surge in new patients. Fear of unemployment rises as the economy struggles.
But there’s great news.
Romans 8:28 says that God’s plan works for the good of those who believe in His name. We are part of His plan and He promises to be our shield.
Here are 5 ways that living a Christian life will serve you during a time of crisis.
1. Faith Through Financial Difficulties
With household debt on the rise and the economy in freefall, everyone is facing a financial crisis.
Perhaps you’ve never had to live by faith before. Money was always in the bank and you never did without.
You cry out to God and ask Him how your family will cope? How will you pay your next mortgage bill?
The good news is He’s already answered.
Seek God First
The Sermon of the Mount is not a lecture on doing good. Jesus encouraged His disciples despite their trials. And those included daily living expenses.
In Matthew 6:25-34 Jesus says not to be anxious about what you’ll eat or drink or about the clothes you’ll wear. God already knows what we need and He will provide. He takes care of the birds and we are more precious in His eyes.
This level of trust in God is the cornerstone of faith. Can you trust Him to take care of you and your family?
Be Joyful Through Trials
Christianity can sound insane to unbelievers especially in a crisis.
James was the half-brother of Jesus. As an adult, he thought Jesus was a crazy cult leader. That was until the resurrection.
When Jesus rose from the dead He appeared to James. From then on James became a believer and a foundation of the early church in Jerusalem. History records he was martyred for his faith.
In his epistle, James says to count it as joy when you face trials. God will test your faith. Why? To produce perseverance.
God wants us to have steadfast faith. A Christian living in Christ means they won’t give up when their bank balance is in the red. He promises we will lack nothing.
Do we have the faith to believe in Him as James did?
Financial Trials Won’t Last Forever
Solomon, one of the wisest men, says everything lasts for a season.
God has ordained things to take place for a designated time. And it came to pass is written throughout Scripture so take heart.
In Philippians 4:19 Paul shares his own experiences. His God, who is our God, supplied all his needs. Paul went through three shipwrecks, periods of hunger, and even prison, yet God’s riches paid the way.
May we trust in the one who saved us to save our families in this time of financial difficulty. We need to have faith.
2. Blessed Hope of Life After Death
Death comes to us all but that wasn’t part of God’s original plan.
The garden of Eden was paradise on earth. God created Adam and Eve and gave them one simple rule. Our ancestors disobeyed and from that sin came death.
Death separates our God-given spirit from our mortal bodies. For the Christian family, this is a time of mourning but also strength.
Strength in the Face of Death
Death isn’t the end. For Christians, it’s only the beginning.
When writing to the believers in Corinth, the apostle Paul gives encouragement in the face of death.
In 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Paul says not to lose heart. There is eternal glory that we cannot see and comprehend beyond this life. In his previous letter, he boldly states that death will be swallowed up in victory. He even taunts death saying that by God’s power it will lose its sting.
Jesus spoke to His disciples about death. He promised to take those who trust in Him to be with Himself. He said plainly that those who believe in Him have eternal life.
The most famous verse in the Bible is John 3:16. It demonstrates God’s desire to defeat death. His love for the world saw Jesus being sent to save us from death’s grip.
We can never be separated from God’s love. That includes when we die. Paul was certain of it and you can too.
Mourning Is God-Given
Losing a loved one is life’s most stressful event. Yet some Christians believe that we shouldn’t mourn, that somehow grief shows a lack of faith.
When a close friend of our Saviour died, Jesus visited the tomb after three days. When He saw the grief of the mourners it brought Him to tears.
Jesus gave a blessing to each of us who mourns. He promised we would be comforted. He understands when we lose someone we love. He cried out on the cross for His Father when God seemed to abandon Him.
For the Christian, although we should mourn, our tears will not flow forever.
Revelation 21:4 promises that one day God will wipe away every tear. Death will be no more and mourning will be abolished.
We can look to the future when our hearts feel broken, knowing that God is in control.
Prepare for the Future
There are practical actions for you to consider when preparing for the future.
Make a will if you haven’t already. Plan for your funeral. Choose the order of service and what will be your lasting wishes.
Help your family reduce the financial burden of funeral expenses. Research local funeral homes and their costs. If you wish to be cremated search online for urns for sale. Contact a financial advisor to put your assets into order. Be proactive.
Life After Death
Jesus did not stay dead on the cross.
The resurrection proved Jesus was the Son of God. It was the final blow to Satan and the power of death.
Life after death is central to the Gospel message. Paul calls all preaching useless if Christ wasn’t raised from the dead. And if Christ lived after death, so too will those who believe in Him.
Jesus says in John 5 that whoever hears His word and believes will pass from death to life. Romans 6 states death no longer has power over Christ because of the resurrection. Likewise, it won’t affect His believers when they are brought back to life.
Trust in God. He gives life after death.
3. Living a Christian Life Without Fear
Living in constant fear impacts the body as well as the mind.
A study on fear and anxiety by the University of Minnesota found they affected:
- Physical health – weakened immune system, ulcers, IBS, accelerated aging
- Memory impairment – damage to long-term memories
- Decision making – impulsive and non-ethical
- Mental health – clinical depression and PTSD
Fear causes the brain to see everything as negative and remembers it that way. Phobias develop from irrational fear and are usually developed in childhood. They cause us to make decisions we would not normally consider.
How should Christians act when it comes to fear?
God’s Loving Power Conquers Fear
Fear does not exist in God’s love.
The beloved disciple John said that God’s perfect love drives all fears away. When Paul wrote to Timothy he said God has given us a spirit of love, power, and self-control – not fear.
Love is God’s antidote to fear. When we learn to trust in that love our fears disappear.
Jesus encouraged His believers in John 14:1 not to let their hearts be troubled. He said to believe in God and in His Son. Fear will flee when we trust in the Almighty.
Knowing how to live a Christian life without fear has its foundations in faith and love.
Fear of the Lord
Is all fear a negative thing? Should our Christian rules always aim to dismiss fear?
If we live in faithful dependence of our Saviour then fear will flee. Yet we are still under sin’s curse. When we disobey God then there is a healthy fear we will face – the fear of the Lord.
Many Christians believe that this fear means reverence and respect.
Like a child who respects their parent, this fear is based on love. Sometimes a child gets punished because of doing wrong so this fear is warranted.
It doesn’t mean that the parent hates them or loves chastising. It’s a demonstration of their love through discipline.
Jesus gave a warning in Matthew 10. He said not to fear someone who can hurt you physically or emotionally. Fear is reserved for the One who can destroy the body and soul.
Some have taken this verse to show a vengeful God. The wrath of the Old Testament Lord who let His people be taken into captivity. But even in those times of judgment, God had a loving plan.
In Jeremiah 29 God gave a promise to bring His people back to Him one day. He gave them hope for the future.
The rule of how to be a good Christian seems to revolve around doing good. But we are to fear the Lord and learn to put our faith and trust in Him.
All other fears will fade away.
4. Forgiveness When Hurt
Has your spouse hurt you? Do you feel neglected? Perhaps there has been infidelity. You are in pain and don’t know what to do.
When your heart is broken look to the cross.
Mankind destroyed God’s beautiful plan of creation when sin was born. The only way to buy it back was for Jesus to pay the price.
The Bible reminds us that the cost of sin is death. Something or someone must die for that sin to be forgiven.
God sent His Son to take our place. We deserve to die for our sins but Jesus became that sacrifice.
God’s broken heart was heard that day on the cross. When Christ took the penalty of our sins the Father had to leave Him. He hung and suffered in the darkness just so God could bring us back to Him.
Jesus’ cries echo the suffering we experience when our soul is pierced by those we love. He could have called a legion of angels to destroy those who hurt Him. Instead, He begged His Father to forgive them.
Forgive to Be Forgiven
Ephesians 4 commands us to get rid of all our rage, our anger, and bitterness.
Paul was a prisoner at the time. He of all people could relate to being hurt for doing nothing wrong.
Instead, he encouraged kindness to each other, to be tenderhearted, forgive, just as Christ forgave us.
How often should we forgive? Seven times?
Jesus says a lot more than that. Yet if we aren’t willing to forgive Christ has a stern message. In Matthew 6 He says that if we don’t forgive others our heavenly Father won’t forgive us.
Although divorce rates amongst Christians are lower than in secular society they still occur. Not all hurts can be forgiven but many can.
The choice is yours to forgive.
5. God’s Peace Through Illness
When we get ill we often blame the one who has the power to cure it. Conflicts arise within us, especially if the prognosis is serious.
Peace is the absence of conflict. It seems strange then that you can experience peace in illness. And we can’t, not by our own strength.
The question is how to live a Christian life when you don’t feel well?
It takes God’s Holy Spirit to empower us.
Peace Means Power
Scientific studies show that peace is connected to life expectancy. The less turmoil in our lives the longer we live.
Life isn’t that simple.
None of us choose to get sick. Yet even in illness, many display the peace that passes understanding to help them through it. Stories of cancer patients who found peace in God’s word really bring this home.
The real sickness is the anxiety and helplessness within us.
Philippians 4 says not to be anxious about anything. Easy said but how do you do that? Through prayer and thanksgiving.
When Paul was jailed with Silas what did they do? Sang praises to God! The other prisoners listened, wondering how a joyful peace could exist in such a dark place.
God’s promises hold true. If we reach out to Him in faith, asking Him for help in a humble way, He will answer with peace.
That peace goes beyond our understanding. It will guard our hearts and help us to keep going, even when we feel like giving up.
What is the prescription for sickness? Peace.
God Will Provide Through Your Crisis
No matter what crisis you face, God has promised to see you through it.
Living a Christian life is never easy. Yet as the Psalmist makes clear when the righteous cry out for help, God hears and sees them through their troubles.
Even if you feel crushed or brokenhearted, lift up your head. God will deliver you.