Going through a crisis in your life right now? Do you need to make an important decision? Do you feel unsafe? Are you in trouble? A crisis is an intense moment in life.
No doubt, right now the world is in a crisis. The world is trying to combat a pandemic virus that is causing us to feel fear and trouble.
Despite the crisis we are facing, we can always turn to the Bible for help. In the book of Acts, chapter four, we learn about the situation the disciples, Peter and John, were facing as they preached the gospel.
As they carried out their calling to spread the Word of God and used the name of Jesus to heal a lame man, the Jews were not happy. The Jews put them in jail and the next day told them not to preach the name of Jesus anymore.
Let’s learn from Peter and John on how handled their situation. The Bible says that Peter and John went back to their own people and prayed (Acts 4: 24). We can do the same thing too when we face trouble. Find people who you can pray with about pressing matters in your life. There is power in praying together.
Then the Bible says as the disciples prayed, they called God sovereign (Acts 4: 24-26). What does the word sovereign mean? This word is used to describe someone who has absolute power. The disciples believed that God was sovereign over their situation, what about you? Do you believe that God is in control of your life and the world?
The disciples believed that God is sovereign because God himself faced opposition but still produced something good (Acts 4:28). For example, in the disciples’ prayer they remind us that even though Herod, Pontius Pilate, and others opposed Christ and put Jesus on the cross- God used their opposition to produce our salvation! Christ rose again! God foreknew their evil plan and used it for our good!
The same in your life, whatever opposition you are facing, God can use it to do something good. Right now the sickness, the job loss, your troubled child, your marriage, the persecution, this virus outbreak does not look good, and it is not good. However, God can use your trouble and loss and do something great – like show you His peace while you are sick, open a new door for your career, teach you patience as you raise your child, remind you that God is present while you cried over your marriage, spread the gospel even though you were persecuted, and allow you to spend more time with people you love as you practice social distancing from others through this virus pandemic. No matter what you are facing God uses everything in your life to do something good (Romans 8: 28).
There is something else you will notice in this passage from Peter and John. As they went through their crisis they asked God to give them strength to be obedient (Acts 4: 29-30). You will notice in the disciples’ prayer they did not ask God to remove the problem, rather they asked God to help them through the problem. Perhaps instead of saying things like “Lord take away this problem or remove it” maybe you can change your approach and say “Lord give me strength and obedience to deal with my problem.”
As you reflect on your situation right now, are you being obedient to God? Is there something God is asking you to do and you are not doing it? Can you honestly say that you have been doing what is right? Maybe your prayer should be “Lord help me to be pure, to be honest, to be faithful to my spouse, to speak truth, despite the opposition I am facing.”
When the disciples finished praying the Bible says the ground shook (Acts 4: 31). Ground shaking was a sign from God to tell his people that he was there. An example of this is also found in Exodus 19: 18. The shaking of the ground reassured to the disciples that God was present and he had heard their prayers. In your crisis moment as you pray to God, sometimes he can reassure to you that he is there.
I remember one evening on December 31, I was driving home with my sister and we began to talk about our goals for the upcoming year. We had finished our conversation and I silently began to talk to God. “Lord what about my personal desires? Why haven’t you answered my personal prayers?” At that moment, a car beside us changed lanes and was now in front of me. The license plate on the car read “Promise U”. In that moment I felt this sense of peace come over me because I felt like God was talking to me directly. For me it was my ground shaking moment.
Remember that as you pray through your crisis just like Peter and John and the other disciples we can pray with others, remember that God is in control of the situation, pray for strength to be obedient, and let God speak to you. The LORD knows what you are going through and he cares about you.