Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Lord Works Crises Towards Good

No one likes to go through a crisis. In fact, we often do things in our lives to avoid them. However, no matter how prepared we may think we are, a crisis can be lurking just around the corner.

It may be regarded as a bit uncanny, but I have found that when I have gone through a crisis (whether it be a health issue, family problem, work related challenge etc.) the Lord always comes through and works it towards good.

A health crisis can get us back on track; eating healthy, exercising and reducing stress in our lives. After any health scare, I find myself remembering to be more grateful to God every day. I am more apt to notice, and be grateful for, all the little things that bring happiness in life, too. If everything just rolls along without any problems, isn't it true that we can be guilty of taking it all for granted?

How coincidental. I just went over to the microwave to re-heat my coffee. I had the Fox News Channel on, and scrolling across the screen I read, "Lohan wants to repair his relationship with his daughter." I am assuming that "Lohan" is the actress Lindsey Lohan. That young woman has gone through some really rough times with her binge drinking, late night partying (hanging out with Paris Hilton??) and to top it all off, it appears that she has been estranged from her dad. Could her very public years of crisis and suffering be in the process of healing now? I certainly hope and pray that this will be a "turning point" in her life...for her sake. She has such great talent. But the usual Hollyweird scene has, unfortunately, gotten to her and has negatively influenced her. She's so young and vulnerable at her age so she let these awful influences distract her from what is truly important in her life, as well as in her career.

Back to the post.

Today's Turning Point email is about crises in life. I hope it encourages you, as much as it encouraged me, this morning:

Wednesday, March 14
Crisis and Character

For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
2 Corinthians 4:11

Recommended Reading
Genesis 47:13-26

A saying arose during World War II that is most often attributed to the war journalist Ernie Pyle: "There are no atheists in foxholes." It meant that in times of war, even those who professed no precrisis belief in God would likely be found calling out to Him for deliverance. The statement is a generalization: probably true of some but certainly not true of all.

That saying illustrates another general truth about crises in life: Crises don't make us who we are, they reveal who we are. That was true of Joseph during the great famine in the Middle East and Egypt. Pharaoh had put Joseph in charge of creating a plan to save Egypt, and Joseph did not disappoint. But Joseph's rising to that occasion was nothing new. He had done this on occasions before. The worst of circumstances around Joseph seemed to bring out the best of character in Joseph. And that's what crises do—they reveal what is on the inside. Think back about the last crisis you experienced and see if you can identify what it revealed.

Your response to accidentally hitting your thumb with a hammer is a pretty good indication of what has just been waiting to come out.

Our extremities are the Lord's opportunities.
Charles H. Spurgeon

Judges 2:1 - 4:24

1 comment:

Christinewjc said...

Good follow-up devotionalfrom Turning Point:

How Crises Clarify

But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel.
Philippians 1:12

Recommended Reading
Philippians 1:1-18

When new Christians begin memorizing Bible verses, Philippians 4:4 is almost always included: "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!" But when those young Christians discover that Paul wrote that verse while confined to prison, shackled in chains, it suddenly takes on a whole new meaning: Rejoice always, even when your faith might cost you your life!

Crises have a way of forcing us to clarify what we actually believe. Paul was excited (Philippians 1:12) when his faith landed him in prison because he discovered that the Gospel was being preached even more. In other words, his crisis was not a crisis of faith, it was a crisis because of his faith. And it was a crisis that resulted in his faith being strengthened, not weakened. When Peter was charged with being friends with Christ, he denied the relationship existed (Matthew 26:69-75). The shame he felt caused him to clarify his faith, and it never failed him again.

The next time you face a crisis, your faith will be clarified one way or the other—either strong or weak. Plan now to be pleased with what that crisis reveals.

The purest suffering produces the purest understanding.
John of the Cross

Judges 5:1 - 7:25