Every Crisis is a Crisis of Faith

Yesterday, my friend shared his testimony of God’s protection in a tough time of his life. He said something that I couldn’t quite get out of my head.

“It’s quite sad that most of us only seek God when we have a problem.”

I couldn’t quite reconcile that. Surely we can continually retain God in our consciousness throughout our lives! Walking with God is an everyday process, and this relationship requires us to commit, as it is said “with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind”.

The Bible talks about those who do not retain God in their consciousness, as such:
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; (Romans 1:28 NKJV)

From the former we can understand that as a result of not retaining God in their consciousness, people had no inhibitions against doing debased things. Even as Christians, sometimes we do exactly those things that God hates (though in the process He never stops loving us). But often we are guided by that still small voice that urges us continually to keep from being debased. Hence, even if we are unconscious of it, we often do retain God in our consciousness more than we think.

David said, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” (Psalms 119:11 NKJV) His word is hidden in our hearts; seeds have been planted from sermons we have listens to and our the discipleship of our leaders and the verses we have memorized. So while we try to find them and see if we are thinking about Him every day, sometimes we don’t see that hidden things are guiding us in everything we do. At the same time, we can actively, like David, hide His word in our heart, His principles, His truths, His character, so as to keep ourselves from doing the things we are not supposed to do.

Blessed is the man …
(Whose) delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper. (Psalms 1:1-3 NKJV)

My soul longs for your salvation;
I hope in your word. (Psalm 119:81 ESV)
If God is the object of our longing, how can He not continually be at the top of our hearts and minds?

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (II Corinthians 12:9 NKJV)

A lot of people use this verse when they are feeling weak, usually when a crisis occurs. They feel weak in that moment, and they understand that they are not string enough for the task at hand. But can we not continually be conscious of our weakness and mortality in our everyday lives and every single day depend on His strength? Could we be less insistent in acknowledging that we are strong because our strength can only bring us so far?

A. R. Bernard, the chairman of my churches’ advisory committee and pastor of Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, NY, one of the best teachers of the Word that I have known shared the following:

Every crisis is ultimately a crisis of faith.

The “crisis” of the crisis is not inherent in the circumstance itself, but the effect it can have on our faith.

Recently, something I had been hoping for did not come to pass. I do not know how things will work out, whether eventually it will come to pass, but in the current circumstance it does certainly seem like I’m not going to get what I want.

The way I responded to the news surprised even myself. Perhaps it had to do with watching a video of a man who build a real and deep relationship with the man who caused the accident that killed the former’s wife and unborn son, earlier that day. Perhaps it had to do with listening to the song Clear the Stage by Jeremy Needham when I was running in the gym earlier that day and it reminded me of how the song spoke to me when I was in New Haven.

But ultimately perhaps it had to do with the fact that I understood, not just knew, but understood as principle Gods faithfulness. This understanding did not come easy. I guess I can simply say that God has brought me through events where the circumstances didn’t quite correspond to my desires but He demonstrated His faithfulness throughout. And because of that I can say for a fact that God is good, not in the sense of philosophers philosophizing that He is a God who is by nature and inherently good, but that He has been good to me in my life. I understood that He would make all things work out for good for me, and ultimately I should not be too hung up over something like this because it is not essential to my happiness or fulfillment. It has (probably) no bearing on my eternity or my eternal reward. So when I congratulated the people who got the thing that I wanted, I meant it with all my heart.

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. (Hebrews 13:15 NKJV)

My church always talks about this verse. When we praise God in our worst circumstance, when it costs us something to praise God, that is when our praise is a sacrifice and it is at its most precious. I was glad, I was glad that I could finally be strong enough to give God my sacrifice of praise, because in the previous few huge setbacks I faced I don’t remember having the capacity to do so.

Of course, as we all know, our faith is very capable of leaking. 2 days since the incident, and I felt my faith leaking like a balloon and in all honesty I felt anxiety for not being able to do what I wanted to do and perhaps even that I deserved the thing I wanted. I might have even doubted whether God was really faithful to me. As I sat there in the common lounge thinking about this and starting to write this post I scrambled to hold on to my faith that insisted on escaping.

I guess it’s true then, what my friend said at the start of this post. While we might be actively seeking God in our lives, it is only in the time of a crisis of our faith that our faith and knowledge of Him are purified and reinforced. At the same time I believe that constantly seeking God even when things are well will prepare us in the word and in the spirit such that when tastings come we are not caught by surprise and we have enough stuff stored away in our heart to deal with whatever’s happening. We need Him everyday of our lives, but it is only in the time of trial that we simply cannot do without Him.

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. (John 15:2 NKJV)
In a trial, we are constantly being purified and pruned.

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. (Hebrews 13:15 NKJV)

Going back to the verse on the sacrifice of praise, the word “continually” is present in the sentence.
That is, we must consistently, continuously, be offering to Him the sacrifice of praise regardless of circumstance. In that way, our spiritual lives must be consistent, but we can only do it “by Him”. We glory in tribulation, not in and of itself, but what it produces – perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

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2 thoughts on “Every Crisis is a Crisis of Faith

Add yours

  1. Great post, it sounds like you’re really trying to make God the center of your life. What do you think of these verses:

    John 8:31,32
    31 ¶ Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
    32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

    1. Hey, yes I guess how this verse applies is that wholly and fully understanding the truth of God will rly ‘make us free’. It is the foundation of what we believe in. Though sometimes in our lives some circumstances may come and cause us to doubt the truth and also ensnare us in things of the world (which may not necessarily be bad/vices) that we find immensely attractive. We ultimately need a consistent reminder of the truth to liberate us from these heavy weights 🙂

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