Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
In this Part 2, I’m talking again about being in a time of crisis. Oftentimes we give in to fear and discouragement in times of crises because we do not know or see that we are safe in God’s hands. We do not see because of the darkness that surrounds us, not literal darkness but the darkness of unbelief.
We need God’s help every day. I came across in a Christian magazine a little prayer headed “A Morning Prayer for Help”:
Dear God, so far today I’ve done alright, I haven’t gossiped, lost my temper, been nasty, selfish or over-indulgent. But in a few minutes God, I’m going to get out of bed and from then on, I’m going to need all the help I can get.
We cannot get through crises on our own
There is no time we need the presence of God more than when we are facing a crisis. A crisis is something we cannot:
- handle it on our own
- face it on our own
- get through it on our own.
The good news is that our God is omnipresent, which means he is always there. Psalm 139:7-12 (ESV) says:
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
No matter where you go, or what trouble you find yourself in, God will always be there. When a crisis comes into our lives we feel disconnected from others. We feel that no-one understands what we are going through. Maybe we even feel that no-one cares. There is no-one to talk to. There is just no-one to share our pain and help to carry the burden. We feel disconnected.
If we are not careful we can feel disconnected from God in a time of crisis. We can feel isolated and alone. We can feel that God doesn’t care or doesn’t want to hear about our crisis.
Pray in times of crisis
In times of crises try praying to God. It’s not a waste of time—it works. Three ministers were talking about prayer in general and the appropriate and effective positions for prayer. As they were talking, a telephone repairman was working on the phone system in the background.
One minister shared that he felt the key was in the hands. He always held his hands together and pointed them upward as a form of symbolic worship. The second suggested that real prayer was conducted on your knees. The third suggested that they both had it wrong—the only position worth its salt was to pray while stretched out flat on your face.
By this time the phone man couldn’t stay out of the conversation any longer. He interjected, I found that the most powerful prayer I ever made was while I was dangling upside down by my heels from a power pole, suspended 40 feet above the ground.
Hudson Taylor, founder of China Inland Mission, used to hang in his home a plaque with two Hebrew words on it: Ebenezer and Yahweh Jireh. The first word means Hitherto hath the Lord helped us and the second, The Lord will see to it or provide. One looked back while the other looked forward. One reminded him of God’s faithfulness and the other of God’s assurances.
When in a crisis we need to remember that above all God is faithful. He has been faithful in the past, he is in the present, and he will be in the future. In 2 Timothy 2:13 we are reminded that “if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself”. God doesn’t know how to be faithless; he can only be faithful. And that includes the bad times as well.
Do you remember Charlie Brown of cartoon fame? Charlie Brown once said, “It always looks darkest just before it gets totally black!” Things don’t always go as planned. The truth is, no-one sails through life without storms.
Trouble is something we all have to deal with. A military chaplain has a sign on his door. It says, “If you have troubles, come and tell me about them. If you don’t, come in and tell me how you do it!” Good point!