Are you going through a hardship, a crisis with your health, or family, or job?
I want to strongly encourage you to take time today to watch this week's message from Charles Stanley. Here's a link to the video on InTouch.org.
For the past six months, I have been struggling with career decisions and a career path that I thought was right, has dried up. Honestly, it feels like all I do is pray and hear God's silence. Which is why I was drawn in when I heard the topic of Dr. Stanley's message this week.
When I'm in the middle of a crisis, it's difficult to believe that things will ever get better, or that what I'm going through will eventually lead to something better.
Yet, when I look back on my life, I can honestly say that that has always been the case. I couldn't see it in the moment, but afterward, it was always true.
It's just hard to hold onto that truth when you are in the middle of your darkest time and the situation seems to be getting worse instead of better.
So, to encourage you to click on the link to InTouch.org, I've copied the 15 points from the Sermon Notes of Dr. Stanley's message, on How to Turn a Crisis into an Opportunity (this link will take you to a pdf of the notes that you can download for yourself).
I hope you will get as much out of it as I have:
- Trust that God is working everything in your life for your good (Rom. 8:28).
- Believe that our heavenly Father is in control of everything. When you and I believe in God’s sovereignty, it’s easier to retain our hope—even if we don’t understand why we are suffering.
- Accept that the Lord’s ways are higher than ours (Isa. 55:8-9). Don’t lose heart by asking why; simply trust God’s intimate involvement in your life.
- Refuse to make quick judgments in the midst of a crisis. Ask, “God, what are you doing in my life?”
- Focus on the Father instead of the crisis. Meditate on Scripture, which fuels your awareness of the Father’s comfort and unconditional love.
- Avoid dwelling on the pain. It’s normal to feel loss and suffering, but instead of fixating on the grief, go to the ultimate source of strength—the Word of God (Ps. 103:19).
- Recall past crises and the opportunities that followed. Seeing God’s handiwork through past hardships will encourage you in your current trial (See Romans 8:29.)
- Let go of your anger immediately. Even if you feel upset at first, don’t let that emotion take root in your life (Eph. 4:26). Releasing your irritation frees you to see God’s purpose in your circumstances.
- Submit yourself to God’s will. Joseph faced every trial with a humble heart that was willing to grow and learn. When we believe the Lord’s promises, we are also motivated to surrender to His will in every situation.
- Demonstrate a spirit of gratitude. Even in the darkest valley, knowing the Lord has good plans for your life is a powerful motivator of thankfulness.
- Determine to view the trial as a chance to see God at work. Choose to approach the situation with hope and a desire to learn.
- Refuse to listen to unscriptural interpretations of your situation. No matter how well meaning others are, they are not in your exact situation. Ask God how you are to respond to adverse circumstances.
- Remain in constant prayer, listening for the Father’s instructions. God will often use hardship to draw you closer to Himself. Pain, trials, and suffering are all used by the Father to develop your intimate relationship with Him.
- Do not give in to fluctuating emotions. When you pray and your situation doesn’t change, you may want to give up. But remember that feelings are often the enemy of obedience, and resist the temptation.
- Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him. No matter what, know that the Father loves you and is in control. You can’t go wrong by trusting your entire life to Him.
P.S. I've been listening to Dr. Charles Stanley for over twenty years and I've always admired his wisdom and straightforward message. He is kind, wise, and compassionate. And no nonsense. I enourage you to listen to this week's message and sign up for his free weekly newsletter.
photo credit: morguefile