Have you ever been in trouble or had a personal crisis? What’s the first thing you did? Sometimes we look at the situation and feel like it’s hopeless. Whenever I feel this way, I get stressed out and my mind goes into overdrive trying to find a solution. I can’t sleep because getting out of it is all I can think about. Other times, I feel like I need more information to help me. If I consume enough news or articles on the subject, I think I can make myself feel better by knowing more about it. Other times, I think back to how I got in the situation, and I think, “If only I had done this or that, I wouldn’t be here right now.” I can get lost replying my choices trying to think my way out of it. What I forget to do at times is to stop and pray about it.
When I was a kid, praise and worship songs at church were Bible verses put to music. One of those songs I remember was Psalm 20:7. We would sing, “Some trust in horses and some in chariots, but we will trust in the name of our God.” It’s a reminder of who to trust in times of trouble. In battle, people would look at the number of chariots they had or horses to feel confident in victory. Their hope was in their own Abi,ties and things they had purchased or built. David reminded himself, and the nation, that while those things look great from an earthy perspective to get you out of trouble, the battle is the Lord’s. He is the one who gives victory and makes rivers in the desert.
Psalm 50:15 says, “Honor me by trusting in me in your day of trouble. Cry aloud to me, and I will be there to rescue you” (TPT). Before this verse, God reminds us how great He is. Then He says this so that we will not trust in our own strength or abilities in times of trouble. God is the only one who is able to rescue us out of impossible situations and bring us victory when things look like certain defeat is on the horizon. Honor Him by trusting in Him, remembering that the battle is the Lord’s. Call out to Him in prayer, day and night rather than stressing out about the situation. God is a God who rescues and makes everything work together for your good. We may have to endure seasons of trouble, stress or impossible looking situations, but don’t let those things take your eyes off of God. He is at work. Put your hope and trust in Him.
The guest preacher at our church shared his story of hardship and how God used his brokenness to rebuild him. He shared how everything was going wrong and no one was giving him any hope. It was then that the Lord spoke to him some powerful words that I believe God has been trying to tell us since the beginning of time. The Lord told him, “I am not the author of your crisis, but I am the orchestrator of the outcome.”
As I read through the Bible, I see the same story repeated over and over. People fail to trust God, they fall away from him, crisis happens, they call out to God for forgiveness, and He orchestrates redemption. As I sit and read the Bible, it’s hard to grasp the timelines of how long these things happen and go on for. What takes minutes to read, could have taken years to happen. In those minutes, it’s easy to wonder how they could quit trusting God.
However, when we are in similar crises that drag on for days, weeks, months, and years, it can seem like it will never end. It’s hard to see a light at the end of a tunnel when you’re surrounded by darkness. It’s difficult to trust God in those times. In fact, we often blame Him for our troubles and ask why He brought it on us. If we aren’t careful, the unexplained, never ending storms in our lives can cause us to grow bitter against God because we falsely believe He is the author of them.
Jesus knew we would forget that the bad things in our life don’t come from God. So He reminded us in John 10:10, “The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness” (GNT). If your life is under attack, that is not from God. While none of us are exempt from bad things happening, all of us can have the author of life orchestrate something good from those bad things.
God can take the broken pieces of your life to rebuild you stronger and better. We must keep perspective of who He is in our storm. You can’t fall for the lie that God is the one who destroyed your life. You must remember that He is the one who restores, renews, and redeems. Your storm will come to an end. God is already working this out for your good even though you can’t see it now. Trust in the author of life to do what He does best in your own life. He sees you in the storm and He’s orchestrating the outcome.
I believe that there are several habits we as Christians can adopt in our lives to become the type of believer we truly aspire to be. While Hebrews 11 has compiled a list of heroes of the faith for us, there have been many people who have lived since that time whom we can learn from as well. If I were to ask you to think of a person, past or present, who exemplified a life of faith as a believer, you could probably think of a name quickly. Whether they were written about in the Bible, history, or have just touched your life in some way, they have habits in their life that you and I can adopt into our own lives to become that type of Christian.
To me, one of the greatest habits we can adopt is the habit of love. In John 13:35, Jesus said that the world would know we are His disciples when we show love for each other. There’s no greater habit than to be able to love others the way that God loves them. To be able to do that though, we have to change the lenses that we use to look at people. We have to see them through God’s eyes and not our own.
The least valuable person on earth is worth enough to die for in His eyes. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (NIV). Romans 5:8 puts it this way, “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God’s love was not dependent on our actions and involved Him doing something for our good. It wasn’t just words.
It’s easy to say you love the least of these, but God is looking for more than words. He’s looking for love in action. He wants us to show His love to a broken world because that’s what can bring healing and worth. He wants us to feed and clothe the homeless, embrace those with HIV or AIDS, and to give grace to those who least deserve it. That’s the kind of love He has shown you and I. We are to do no less.
I John 3:28 say, “My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action” (GNB). Having the habit of love in our life doesn’t mean we sit around and talk about the problems in our world. It means we go out and do something about it. You’ll never solve homelessness, poverty, or other things that cause brokenness, but you can do something about it for one person. Andy Stanley said, “Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.” Don’t let the enormity of the brokenness in this world keep you on the sidelines. Instead, let the love of Christ help you to run to all the crises in this world with open arms.