A major crisis or catastrophic situation will only reveal character. It does not develop bad character or force us to do hideous and gruesome acts; crisis only exposes what is already in us.
A crisis is a period, point or phase in a process or a sequence of events, which impacts our general course or direction of future events for better or worse; it is a turning point. We live in a world of continuous crisis and our lives are in a state of endless and constant change.
A crisis is about change; it is about revealing what is weak or strong in a particular situation. A crisis can be a catalyst for a new beginnings or new life phases. A crisis may lead us to a different end than we had originally anticipated. We call a crisis a problem but in the Asian language they call it an opportunity for change.
How we respond in a crisis is vital to the outcome of our success or failure in life and ultimately in the fulfilling of our purpose. A crisis is only change. It is only an opportunity for God to use the sequences of events to uproot the dead and destructive things that are in our lives. This will give space for those things that need to grow and to have time for them to develop and mature. God can use a crisis as a method of operation, to make change. He will use the crisis in our lives as an opportunity to grow us and bless us, it depends on our response. When a crisis comes it is usually for one person but it could influence whole families, communities even a nation. It can be the vehicle God uses to make change, to bless and even move people and nations forward.
God does not create the crisis; it usually comes as a result of our everyday decisions or acts that lead to a consequence that provokes a crisis. Crisis can bring change and change is a natural sequence of events that happen, everything changes, nothing remains the same. We see it in nature and we see it in life. God can use these crises as a method of displaying His wisdom and Almighty power to the world. We have often seen crisis turn situations upside down. People from high and haughty positions are sometimes humbled while others from low and obscure birth are put in places of distinction. If we understand God’s ways, we will be able to stand firm in times of our crisis and adversity.
Genesis39: 1-2 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. 2 The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.
Joseph was shown that one day he would rule a nation and all the people would bow down to him. Then his life went into what we would call a major crisis. He was sold to a caravan that took him to Egypt, where he learned the customs and language of the Egyptians. He was brought as a slave to work for an officer, the captain of the guard, where he learned how lead the army and military in Egypt.
Genesis 39: 20-23 Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison. But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.
Joseph was thrown into prison for something he did not do but it is where he learned the operation of the palace and the country. There he met the man that would introduce him to Pharaoh the king over all Egypt and the one who would ultimately set him free. All of these situations were major crises in Joseph’s life. He could have chosen to be angry with God for allowing those things to happen to him but he did not. Joseph worked in integrity with character and represented His God well in adverse situations and under horrible circumstances. In all these problems, God used these crises to prepare Joseph for his future, to save a nation and his family. It was during these crises Joseph learned the language, culture, political and economic systems of Egypt and to become a ruler in the country.
Genesis 41: 39-41 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”
Joseph did not let his circumstances change him or provoke him to act in a way that was unlike himself or his God. The jailer did not concern himself with the running of the jail because Joseph had proven himself faithful in the small things, a man of integrity and he could be trusted with more responsibilities.
A crisis is a time that reveals character and one’s true beliefs; it reveals who we are and what we trust and if we really believe God is able to do what He said He would. When the world is in a crisis people stop giving, they are no longer charitable, they begin to hoard what they have because they think there is a shortage in their supply. Their source of comfort, their job, their bank, their relationships are no longer able to sustain them. Their trusts are in the things of this world and not God.
Matthew 25:23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
When worldly people are in a crisis, they begin to compromise their values, morals and commitments to their character. Self-preservation is the first instinct of a fallen man who does not trust in God. It is in a crisis where we see people lie, kill, steal and destroy, in order to save self. Their main thought is for self, and how to survive no matter the cost.
Those whose hope is in the Lord and believe His word, they know God will provide and protect them. God has promised to never leave us or forsake us and if we believe, have faith and hope in Him we can go through the crisis knowing He who promised is able.
Above all, those who hope is in God are willing to die to self that God may be glorified. This is the true test of faith the willingness to lay down our pride, our interest, our preference for the ultimate good of others. Jesus was our example He showed us and taught that we should not love our lives more than God. We are to be willing to lay down our rights for God. This is a hard statement and it only comes when we have total trust in God and His faithfulness to protect and provide for us. It is when we are ready to surrender our rights and our partialities for God; we are ready to live for Him. Only when a grain of wheat dies will it produce a harvest, if not, it will remain the same and stand-alone.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.
John 16: 33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will[d] have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Matthew 28:20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen