On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us. 2 Corinthians 1:10 (NIV)
Through the course of life the average person can encounter the loss of a loved one, being fired, betrayal at the hand of a friend, family calamity, rejection, bankruptcy, divorce, being ostracised, terminal illness, and so on. You may not be in a crisis now, but sooner or later you will be. Here are five biblical principles for coping with a crisis:
- Release your emotions. Fear, anxiety, anger, depression, bitterness, helplessness, grief, despair, resentment, and shock, go hand in glove with a crisis. It’s vital to acknowledge these emotions before God. If you deny, downplay, or dismiss your emotions, you’re excluding God. So let God in. Be honest with Him about how you feel. Matthew 5:4 says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (NIV).
- Receive help from others. Galatians 6:2 tells us to; “Bear (endure, carry) one another’s burdens and troublesome moral faults, and in this way fulfill and obey perfectly the law of Christ” (Amplified). It’s a mistake to isolate yourself when you’re going through a crisis. God uses other believers to extend practical support, encouragement, sympathetic understanding, mercy and wise counsel. “Two are better than one . . . If one falls down, his friend can help him up” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV).
- Reject negative feelings. You can’t choose to avoid a crisis but you can choose how you’ll let it affect you. You’re as happy as you choose to be. You can choose to be bitter, depressed, blame others, or rise above it. If you succumb to negative feelings, you’ll end up hurting yourself and shutting the door on your own happiness. So “fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right” Philippians 4:8 (LB). And “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV).
- Rely on God’s Word. The Bible is an unparalleled source of comfort. There’s no crisis known to man that isn’t addressed by the Word. The Scriptures are sufficient, full of succour and an unending source of strength. Read, meditate, and live by the Word.
- Rebuild around what really matters. The Chinese character for crisis consists of two characters – one representing danger and the other representing opportunity. In every crisis there’s an opportunity to restructure your life. Crises occur to help us clarify our values, discover the things that really matter, and develop our character. Which begs a question. Who and what are you living for? Crises exist so that we can learn to become more like Christ. That’s what really matters . . .