I know, Lord . . . that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. (Psalm 119:75)
It may be that you never have never given much thought to the contribution that crisis makes in the life of the Christian. But after reading today’s word of encouragement, I hope you will receive crisis as a great grace from your good God, who is working all things together for your good—not just your eternal good, but your everyday good as well.
The Bible is filled with wonderful examples of the contribution of crisis. You might remember the crisis Abraham faced when God called him to sacrifice Isaac, his son of promise. For three interminable days, as they trudged toward Moriah, Abraham believed that Isaac was under a sentence of death—and that he, Abraham, was to be the executioner! I cannot imagine any greater crisis to face in this life. But in God’s perfect providence, this crisis contributed to a deeper and richer faith, preparing Abraham to be the father of many nations.
Perhaps you remember Saul’s crisis on the road to Damascus. Saul had terrorized the early church, “breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples” (Acts 9:1) and dragging off members of the church and casting them into prison (Acts 8:3). Saul was hell-bent on destroying the church and stopping the spread of Christianity by any means necessary. Then Jesus suddenly appeared as a blinding flash of light and a voice from heaven, stopping Saul in his tracks. The contribution of this crisis transformed Saul from persecutor to pastor . . . from murderer to missionary . . . from Saul, the ardent enemy of Christianity, to the great apostle Paul, who was responsible for planting churches, sending out missionaries, and penning almost half of the New Testament.
What crisis are you facing today? Where is life pressing in on you? Perhaps sickness is testing the outer edges of your health. Possibly you find yourself with too much month left at the end of the money. You may be in the middle of a season of indecision as to what God is calling you to do to expand the cause of His kingdom for His glory. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point: Crisis comes at us from every conceivable corner of our lives. When it does, we must remember that every single one of those crises only comes after it has first passed through the nail-scarred hands of our loving Lord. Every crisis has been sent to you by God for your good and His glory.
Let me encourage you to look back at some past crisis and consider the contribution it has made to your life. Over and over again, the Lord Jesus Christ has seen to it that crisis has contributed to your growth, your maturity, and your faith. And you can be sure of this: the next crisis that comes will contribute to your growth and maturity once again.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!