About Tim Burt

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Managing Trouble and Crisis the Way God Wants You To!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Psalm 34:19 (TLB) says, "The good man does not escape all troubles—he has them too. But the Lord helps him in each and every one." In my 35 years as a Pastor, I encountered more often than I wanted, people who were experiencing some kind of a crisis. I saw how it affected their spiritual walk. I saw the man whose wife suddenly uttered those words that put his heart in a vice-grip, I’m leaving you. I just can’t do this anymore. Or the woman who just received the words from her boss, I am so sorry but the company has to lay off fifty people and I have to let you go. Or the person hearing back from their doctor, I am sorry to tell you this but you have cancer. Or the person who got the dreaded phone call about their loved not surviving a car accident. All these horrible crisis occurrences can grip the heart and attempt to send one’s mind into a tailspin.

When people experience these kinds of painful, heart-gripping events, its common for Christians to process through a spiritual inventory. The thoughts come: God, why did this happen? Did I do anything to bring this on? The devil uses these occasions to take advantage of one's sincerity and heart check, as an occasion to amplify any possible sinful activity and weaknesses, and deceitfully beat this person over the head with condemnation. Because you did this and that, and your disobedient to God, this is what happened! It's all your fault! This is Satan's nature and what he does best—accuse, lie, and condemn. That is what he will continue to do until Jesus has locked him in the eternal lake of fire once and for all. Satan is a liar and an accuser, and is called the accuser of the brethren.  Revelation 12:10 says, “…the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night…”

After listening to these lies, people begin to believe the accusations they hear are from God and that He is mad at them. They don’t have the discernment to know it’s the voice of Satan. Consequently, some people run from God in these times of crisis. Others, well they get mad at God. They think God has let them down. When people actually have been living whatever lifestyle they choose regardless of what God's word says, and are guilty of sin but,won’t own up to it, and it has led to pain or crisis, they more often than not blame God. But, since they can’t see God, they blame those that represent God. They blame their Pastor, or religion, or someone who preaches the gospel on television that they can take cheap shots at, or maybe even their Christian friends. Blaming someone else feels better than looking inside through self-examination and repenting of sin.

In times of crisis, when people look inside and examine their heart and their life-style, they wonder if disobedience has led to the crisis they are facing. It might have, but it might not have. The devil will be there to accuse and beat them up, telling them it’s entirely their fault regardless. God never operates that way. His goal is always an assurance of His love and willingness to forgive sin from a repentant heart. God's desire is always reconciliation—the restoring of relationship and right behavior with Him, and help and deliverance from the crisis. Examine Jesus’ walk and you will see this is true. Jesus always taught truth which did carry correction and instruction, but He also brought the promise of reconciliation and His power to help those who believed in Him by faith!  God is never about beating someone up and leaving them in the dust. The devil is all about that. People too often do that to each other, but that is not God’s character.
As I said, crisis often drives self-examination. We need to keep that experience healthy! Isaiah 11:3 (NIV) spoke of Jesus before He came to the earth and describes His character. It said, "...He will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears." This is saying Jesus won't judge just on the momentary circumstance. Why? Because His character is love and mercy, instructing, and reconciliation. Jesus modeled these godly characteristics for us. First, it would be better if we also "delighted in the fear of the Lord…”. This is a powerful piece of life changing wisdom. Delight in living the way God wants us to. Don’t delight on living on the edge of playing with the fires of sin and hope you’re not in trouble with God. Instead, imagine delighting in living in all the right ways God wants you to. Wouldn't that be a great change? That kind of thinking will lead to that kind of action.

Then, don't be moved by the emotion of the moment. Satan takes advantage of your emotionally  vulnerable times to accuse you and send your mind reeling. Isaiah said about Jesus, "He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears."  There is a New Testament equivalent of this verse. It's Romans 1:17 (NKJV) that says, "The just shall live by faith." Both verses are telling us to not let ourselves be ruled by emotions but be ruled by what we know to be true about God. God loves us! He never leaves us! He won't forsake us. Yes, if you need to repent over something you should sincerely do so including changing your behavior. But, God is not behind your crisis! He is your helper through your crisis. He is all about reconciliation and restoration. He wants you to draw near to Him! These are all truths you need to know about God to help you respond rightly in crisis situations! Run to Him not from Him.

Run to Him! Don't let the devil beat you up. Look to God for His supernatural help and know that you know that you know that because of His love for you, He will help you! Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV) says, "Le us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Romans 5:2 (KJV) says, "By whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." And Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

It is always the right time to examine your life. It is also always the right time to purge ungodly thoughts, attitudes, unforgiveness, immoral behavior, and anything that we would mark unpleasing to God. Crisis might drive us to our knees. But it would be better to hit our knees before crisis came. It would be better to delight ourselves in the fear of God and move as far away from ungodly attitudes and behavior out of our love for God as possible. If we did, we’d have greater confidence that God would help and deliver us when crisis rears its ugly head instead of being buried in the devil’s condemnation. So, delight yourself in following God’s ways and discover just how much peace it can bring to your life. And no matter what's going on in your life, keep your head and heart straight and run to God who is your solution, not from Him!

Psalms 46:1 (NIV) "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble" 

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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