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Navigating Crisis

10 FebMar2018 SeedThoughts// Lynette Hagin

DOES IT SEEM that your life is filled with crises? You handle one crisis, and just when you think you can catch your breath, another one crops up. I can totally identify! It seems that if I am not handling personal or ministry situations, I am supporting others that are fighting crises of their own.

What is the proper response to a crisis? As I was pondering this thought, several scriptures came to mind. Psalm 120:1 (NIV) says, "I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me." David was always experiencing crises in his life. As a shepherd, when he was protecting his sheep, he relied on God to

give him the courage necessary to kill predators. I'm reminded also of when David fearlessly took on the task of confronting the Philistine.

It says in First Samuel 17:32–37 (NIV), "David said to Saul, 'Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.' Saul replied, 'You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a fighting warrior from his youth.' But David said to Saul, 'Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.'"

David always knew where to turn to for help in a crisis—his God. David was chosen by God to succeed Saul as King. Saul initially was impressed by David's skills after he killed Goliath. However, Saul became jealous of David and wanted to kill him. David was forced to live on the run, not knowing if Saul would succeed in his effort.

During this time, David began asking God tough questions. He was frustrated and wondered why his life had so much difficulty. He poured out his heart to God, honestly sharing his thoughts, struggles, and fears. But in the midst of his questioning, David always returned to his faith in God to deliver him out of every situation.

We see this so vividly in Psalm 121:1–8 (MSG) "I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains. He won't let you stumble, your Guardian God won't fall asleep. Not on your life! Israel's Guardian will never doze or sleep. God's your Guardian, right at your side to protect you—shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moonstroke. God guards you from every evil, he guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always."

Maybe you have been questioning God recently. Your thoughts may have been, "God I'm endeavoring to follow your plan for my life. Why do I have to fight so many battles?" Peter warned us in First Peter 5:8–9 (NLT) "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are."

Know that the enemy will try to discourage you, cause you to lose your faith, and even destroy you. I encourage you to do as Peter admonishes us and "stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith."

Often the enemy attacks when we are least expecting it. That is why we must continually stay on guard and keep our armor on as Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:10–18. I encourage you to read this passage of scripture on a daily basis. Look to the Lord, and He will give you the strength and wisdom to navigate through every crisis you encounter.

"The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."
—Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)