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How do we deal with the unexpected things that cause us pain and grief.   The health diagnosis.  The bad family news.  The redundancy.   The relationship that falls apart. Mental health issues.  Kids that face crisis.

As Christians we are not immune to the very real troubles of this world.  Sin and the fall means this world and its people are broken.  God doesn’t promise us a “get out of jail” card when it comes to difficulty.

Things that are unexpected catch us off guard.  They’re not planned for, not prepared for and aren’t booked in the diary, mmmmm the first week of March seems good for something unexpected to happen.

But when the unexpected hits we can be ready internally, mentally, spiritually, emotionally for whatever life presents.

But the promise of Jesus is that God is with us, God is for us and God is at work.

Psalm 121 I look to the hills, where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth.

The creator God who breathed out the stars and created every blade of grass and wildflower and bird, animal, and fish He is our help.  Even in the darkest moment we face God is big enough and loving enough to  be our help, to be our comfort.

 

There are 5 things that will help when we face the unexpected crisis.

  1. We can LEAN on God for stability. “Such a person will not be overthrown by evil circumstances. God’s constant care of him will make a deep impression on all who see it. He does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen. For he is settled in his mind that God will take care of him” (Psalm 112:6-7, TLB). It seems trite or clichic to say lean on God and we may have hurt feelings towards Him for whatever is going on but I love how David says in Psalm 73 “When I tried to understand all this it troubled me deeply until I entered the sanctuary of God, then I understood”. In His presence we find a peace despite the circumstance, we find hope for eternity and hope for right here right now today, we find wisdom and comfort and strength to face what is going on.    Sometimes all we can do is whisper the name of Jesus and He translates that into prayer.

When I was in intermediate my best friend was the tallest girl in the class, her name is Caroline.  Its been over 30 years since Ive seen Caroline but my heart broke when I read that her 17 year old son was hit by a car and died on New Years Day.  I actually was really affected, even though I haven’t seen Caroline for 30 years and hugged my kids a lot for a few days, thank you for tolerating that, and thought of her and her son it felt like all the time that week.  I had no sensible prayers.  I had no wise words of comfort.  All I could pray was Jesus wrap your arms around her right now.  In this moment.  Be there.    All I could do was lean into Jesus and ask Jesus to lean into her.

 

  1. We can LISTEN to God “’I know what I am planning for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future’” (Jeremiah 29:11 NCV). Often in a crisis we can feel confused, hurt and unsure of what the next step is.  I love that Psalm 23 says when I WALK through the valley, we’re walking, not camping, we’re passing through, not permently dwelling.

Sometimes all we need to hear is God is with us.  When my husband’s dad passed away about 7 years ago both my kids had terrible chicken pox.  Caleb was still getting spots about 14 days into it.  I was worn out in every way possible.  On the day Tony’s dad died Bethel music released a free song for an upcoming album called Come to me.  I had it on repeat and just lay on my bed and let the words and heart of God wash over me and steady my heart.  It was God speaking to me.

 

  1. We can LOOK to God for strength. “God is our protection and our strength. He always helps in times of trouble. So we will not be afraid even if the earth shakes, or the mountains fall into the sea” (Psalm 46:2 NCV).

 

  1. PROCESS the emotions

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4 NKJV). That means it’s okay to be honest about our grief. “O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8, NLT). God wants to comfort us in tragedy. He is close to the broken-hearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

 

  1. You are not alone

It’s a huge mistake to isolate yourself when you’re going through a crisis. We all need the support, encouragement, and presence of other people, particularly in a crisis.    The local church isn’t a crossfit club where its all about strength and power and performance, it’s a family with a cross at the centre that represents love, grace, healing, forgiveness and where we can come if we’re broken, where we can come when we’re hurt, where we can come as we are, warts and all.   It’s a place where there are a whole range of gifts and ways that we can encourage and support each other.

 

 

A crisis creates a moment in your life when you can shift your dependence to something that can never be taken from you. Through it, God can teach us that we may lose our homes, our careers, our marriages, or our health, but we will never, ever lose our relationship with God. He promised to never leave us or forsake us — and that’s an eternal security we can build our lives on.

 

“We were really crushed and overwhelmed, and feared we would never live through it . . . we saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save us . . . And he did help us and save us . . . and we expect him to do it again and again” (2 Corinthians 1:9-10 TLB).

Even Jesus was not immune to difficulty and pain.  His step father Joseph died.  His friend Peter denied him, his disciple Judas betrayed him and John was his only disciple at the cross when he died.

 

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