Newsletter November 2008
It seems like our world is getting rocked with one crisis after
another these days. There is the:
Remember the Iranian Hostage Crisis? Or, if you are one of us
baby boomers, you might also recall with clarity the tension that
had our leaders calling the nation to prayer during the Cuban
Missile Crisis in October of 1962 during which time the US was
on the brink of possible nuclear war with the Soviet Union. I
especially remember that crisis because my father was the civil
defense coordinator for our county and we had worked hard to have
a fully functional fallout shelter ready just in case the bombs
started falling. When you think of it…it seems like there
is usually some sort of crisis going on most of the time.
The other day I was watching one of the TV news channels and
noticed they have a special broadcast center they call the “situation
room” from which they keep the whole nation appraised of
one national or international crisis after another. From tracking
hurricanes to watching war pictures “live and direct,”
our world is saturated with stress inducing situations or crises.
2nd Timothy 3:1 refers to this by saying that in the “last
days, perilous times will come.”
The word “crisis” is an interesting word. In the
Chinese language, the word for crisis is made up of two symbols;
one meaning Danger and the other Opportunity. Indeed,
there is generally an opportunity side to every crisis. The Greek
word for crisis (krisis) means “to decide.” It implies
that a turning point is at hand in which there is at least one
very negative outcome that is possible along with an equally positive
outcome if the crisis is weathered successfully.
In some ways, as our world situation gets more wobbly and the
end times seem to escalate the stakes involved for the souls of
men, there is also a crisis of faith occurring. Day after day
we have situations that arise where we are presented with the
opportunity to exercise faith in God or give in to the “hunker
down or bunker down” mentality in the way we lead our lives.
Jesus himself posed the question in Luke 18:8, “…when
the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
I’d say that it depends on the decisions we make when presented
by crises that challenge our faith. To trust God or not is often
the question. Is He faithful to keep his promises or not? Is His
Word dependable or not? It seems to me that it is wise that we
make that decision to fully trust in the Lord right now, today,
at this very moment and then begin living accordingly. Learn to
use your “shield of faith” right now so that in a
day when a crisis comes knocking on your door, you will know how
to use the weapons that God has given you for such times.
I think the old warrior, Paul the apostle, knew how to deal with
crises when he says in 1 Cor. 16:9 that there were wide-open doors
to do an effective work before him but that there were also many
adversaries at the same time. It is inspiring to observe how he
pressed on to walk through those open doors of opportunity and
get the job done, in spite of the crises of faith that
the adversaries presented.
Keep your spiritual eyes peeled for the opportunity side of each
crisis we face. Could be that we can do a great work for God in
spite of the imposing circumstances.