Life is trundling along… things are going well, then Crisis hits! Sometimes its our own doing and sometimes we are caught up in events that we have no control over. Either way you find yourself in the midst of a crisis.
When I was reading about Paul in Acts 23 we see him brought by the Roman Commander before the Chief Priests and Sanhedrin. Paul annoys the high priest Ananias and for his mistake he is struck on the mouth by those standing near him. Paul is incensed and fairly lets fly with his own verbal bashing, not realising it was the high priest -crisis- and when he does, he chastises himself and acknowledges that he shouldn’t have done that.
Paul uses his knowledge of scripture to avert this crisis.
Now he proceeds to gain support for his cause by turning the Pharisees against the Sadducees by using his knowledge of their differences in beliefs. “There was a great uproar” Acts 23:9 and…
The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks. Acts 23:10
Another crisis! A really big one. I don’t know how you would feel if you were Paul, but I know that I would be feeling a little tense by now. I’d probably be thinking I’d really done it now *groan*. God knows this, and does something really special to remind Paul who is in control:
The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.” Acts 23:11
First of all, “the Lord stood near Paul ” – that would be a huge encouragement right there.
Then speaks to Paul, “Take courage! “, and reassures him.
Then tells Paul he did the right thing, “As you have testified about me in Jerusalem“. How reassuring is that…whew.
And now the Lord lets him know what he is to do next, “so you must also testify in Rome“.
Crisis averted? No. But the difference here is that in the midst of the crisis, the Lord is there with Paul, encouraging him, confirming what he has been doing is good and preparing him for what’s ahead.
Maybe when we are in Crisis we need to remind ourselves as did Moses to Joshua:
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Duet 31:8
And secondly, maybe we need to listen to the Lord for His Words of guidance in the situation we find ourselves in. Because, like Paul, hearing from the Lord is an enormous encouragement. We will find peace in our crisis.
Prayer: Lord, thank you that you will never leave me, nor forsake me. Thank you that in the midst of whatever crisis I find myself in, you are right there with me. Lord, in You I trust. In Jesus Name I pray this. Amen.