How to Handle A Crisis
HOW TO HANDLE A CRISIS
TEXT: Isaiah 40:1-2
INTRODUCTION: This morning I want to talk to you about crises. Tragic accidents like the Planes crashing into the WTC & the Pentagon, Anthrax threat, plant closings and job changes, death of loved ones, life-threatening illness, families and couples whose relationships deteriorate. All of these can bring an individual to a point of crisis. How do we handle it?
The definition of the "born loser" is the individual who calls the Suicide Prevention Center and gets put on hold. As funny as that is to us, in reality every person in the world is a born loser, since he is under condemnation and indeed on hold only by the grace of God. He is only one heart beat away from eternity.
People talk about world events and many become so frightened that they refuse to watch the news. Having no idea that a far greater crisis is upon them. They stand only one heart-beat from eternity.
The lost are always in crisis. We need to help them be aware of this. Not only are the lost facing crisis of greatest proportions but so are we! Heart attacks, cancer, suicide, personal and family problems. We face them continually.
The only one who can truly give us comfort is God. The reason why we are not comforted in our trials is because we often seek comfort from other sources than God Himself. God comforts us through revealing to us who He really is. In Is. 40 God gives you His message concerning crisis.
I. What is a Crisis?
Definition: A crisis is an emotionally charged situation to which God has brought a person that brings or threatens to bring significant radical change into his life.
A. A crisis is an opportunity:
1. An opportunity for a great God to demonstrate His power on our behalf and to teach us a lesson that we could not learn in any other way.
2. Paul learns though crisis what he would never have learned any other way.
2 Corinthians 1:8-10 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
3. God often brings us into crisis to teach us.
4. Jesus did so with the rich young ruler by confronting him with his failure to love God enough.
5. Paul does this in Romans when he brings us under conviction before he shares the Good news with us.
B. Crisis can also be an opportunity for danger.
1. We must understand that God is in charge even in crisis.
2. As much as some people are troubled by this truth, crises originate with God!
3. Satan had to have permission from God before he could touch Job.
Job 1:6-8 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. 7And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 8And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
Job 2:3 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.
4. "All Things"
Romans 8:28-29 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
5. This gives the Christian hope.
Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
6. Every believer should become familiar with.
1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
C. God may call us to many different types of crisis.
1. Often in more than one type at a time.
2. There are several types of crises.
a) Physical - hurts and limitations
b) Emotional - relationships
c) Circumstantial - we can't control
d) Intellectual – questions
3. We need to understand that God may call people through a crisis for many reasons.
a) Crisis as the result of unconfessed sin.
1 Corinthians 11:30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
b) Crisis as result of the discipline of God. Hebrews 12:1-12
c) Crisis as result of the curse of sin or a natural result of sin.
d) Crisis designed especially to bring glory to God through you. John 9
II. Do We Know God? v9-10
A. In order to get through a crisis we must know God.
1. Not cold distant theology but a very personal knowledge of God and His character! In personal salvation!
2. Do you know the God of every crisis as your God?
3. Do you know the God of Elijah who can send fire on Mt. Carmel and raise the widow's son and keep the cruse of oil from running dry?
4. Can your God keep His promises?
5. We must develop deep roots into the character of God.
B. Note some truths about God and His relationship to His people. v1
1. It is He that commands that comfort be given, and He gives the command twice for emphasis.
2. He calls them "My people"; there is no comfort for those who are not His! NOTE: "Now I belong to Jesus"
3. He commits Himself to us with the phrase "saith your God".
4. Here we see the basis for God's comfort in our relationship to Him and His to us!
5. Sometimes people want a sign or some proof, but many who saw His mighty works never knew His comfort!
C. It is His design to use His servants to bring this comfort.
1. God wants to use you and me to bring His comfort to His people; He gave the command to Isaiah.
2. God has chosen to use believers to offer His comfort to one another.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;
3. All of the suffering, all of the trials, everything we go through is for a purpose!
4. That we might be comforted, and that we might comfort others as well.
III. Consider the Character of God. Isaiah 40:12-25
A. Our God measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens by a span. (illustrate) vs 12
1. There are 6,000 stars visible to the naked eye.
2. It is 93 million miles to the sun, so it would take eight minutes to get there traveling at the speed of light which is 186,282 miles per second.
3. The nearest star next to our sun is four and one-half light years away and the diameter of our galaxy is 100,000 light years.
a) A light year is the distance light would travel in one year.
b) Remember speed of light is 186,282 miles per second.
c) Multiply miles per second by 60 to get the distance traveled in one hour; by 24 again for one day; by 365 for one year.
4. If you took a sheet of paper and let the thickness of that paper equal 93 million miles (the distance to the sun) you would need a stack of papers 71 feet high to represent the distance to the nearest star and you would need a stack of paper 310 miles high to represent the diameter of our galaxy.
5. When man wants to measure the distance of God's heavens, he must do so in light years - but our God knows the distance by the span!
B. Our God weighed the earth and its mountains. vs 12
1. Jesus said, "Pray and this mountain will be removed into the sea."
2. Isn't He strong enough to handle our problems?
C. Our God needed no counselor. vs 13,14
1. How would you have advised God in making the beaver so that he could cut wood in and out of water without getting chips and water in his mouth?
2. STUMPED- God simply gave the beaver a special set of inner lips behind his teeth which prevents the water and chips from entering his mouth to choke him.
3. Besides that God gave the beaver a special split toenail just right for grooming his coat, and a special oil that secretes from his skin to waterproof his coat.
D. Our God handles the affairs of the nations a drop in the bucket. vs 15-17
1. God is greater than any nation on earth.
2. And what's more He is so much greater that the most powerful forces in the world bound together wouldn't even make God blink.
3. Put a drop of water in a bucket and see if that drop makes any difference.
4. So with God.
E. Our God cannot be compared to anything on earth. vs 19,20
1. We can't even measure what he has created, and yet at times we play games with Him and we don't give Him our all.
2. The grasshopper is to man as man is to God -vs 22.
F. Our God stretched out the heavens like a tent. vs 22b
1. Scientist estimate that one teaspoon of a neutron star would weigh as much as 200 million elephants.
2. And if it was dropped on the earth, it is so dense that it would go straight though the 7,000 miles diameter of the earth.
3. And yet God stretched it all out as you put up a tent
4. Consider the fact that a collapsing neutron star puts off so much energy that if you were to get close enough for it to look as large as our moon, you would be eradicated by the fast moving particles, burned up to a crisp by the rays, torn in shreds by the tidal wave force and blown away.
G. Our God raises up the rulers and cuts them down. vs 23,24
1. Nebuchadnezzar walked in his garden and mused concerning his great power, but when God spoke from heaven, the king ate grass like a donkey for seven years.
Daniel 4:29 At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.
2. When God got through with him Nebuchadnezzar had something different to say.
Daniel 4:34-35 And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
H. Our God has no equal. vs 25
CONLSUSION: Are you facing a crisis in your life right now? The only way to face it is with God. Do you know Him personally? Have you accepted Him as your Savior? If you are without Christ you are on the brink of eternal loss. God's desire is to comfort us in all our trouble.
Are you ready to minister to others in their hour of crisis? Are you grounded in the character of God? We serve a mighty God who is above all! He has no equal! Do you know Him? You can today, come