Crisis Management 101: Faith vs. Fear
- Monday, June 14, 2010
What is the first reaction that most of us have in a crisis? That first emotion when we hear bad news?
If we are honest with ourselves, it is probably fear. Even those of us who calmly take control, call for the bandages, carefully follow the emergency procedures that we may have learned, and logically work to solve the problem still experience that initial "punched in the gut" feeling before our common sense and training take over.
And what if the crisis is a very personal one—illness, death, loss of a job, etc.? After the initial phase of fear and denial, what do you do then? How do you feel? What are your coping mechanisms?
I will honestly admit that for most of my life, fear has been the ruling emotion in a crisis. Sure, I "trusted" God, but where was he when my world was crumbling? I couldn't wait around for him to "show up" and clean up the mess. I needed answers NOW! And God wasn't speaking up when I was falling apart.
I have recently come to understand that my "trust" wasn't really genuine--that my "faith" only applied when things were going my way. And when that faith and trust were tested by the trials and tribulations of life, I wasn't turning to God for my strength and my salvation. I was relying on myself to "do" something--to fix things.
And even when I was so bruised and battered that I didn't have anywhere else to go and I finally turned to God in desperation, I really didn't completely trust and relax in God's care. I couldn't find peace in the midst of my panic. So even though I asked for God's help, I didn't get out of his way and let him work.
By continuing to worry, I wasn't demonstrating my confidence in him. I would "Let Go and Let God" momentarily, only to take my problem back again by continuing to stress over it. So basically, I was asking God to help and then telling him that I didn't really believe that he would!
Does any of this sound familiar?
The fundamental issues at the core of my worry were these:
- I didn't trust God.
- I didn't think he would use his power to save me.
- I didn't think I was worthy and didn't understand the meaning of "Grace."
- I was impatient and wanted God to answer my prayers my way.
...which led me back to #1--I didn't trust God, or his plan for my life.
1. Trust God
Really trusting God is the foundation of faith. Without complete trust and surrender of control, we will never experience the full power and blessings of our amazing God. So how do we know that we can truly Trust God? Well, scripture is full of verses and examples that should convince us.
- "…If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God." ~Isaiah 50:10
- "They cried out to God during the battle, and he answered their prayer because they trusted him." ~ 1 Chronicles 5:20
- "O my people, trust in him at all times; Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge. ~ Psalm 62:8
- "Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me." ~ John 14:1
- "…Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God." ~ Daniel 6:23
- "Let us hold firmly to the hope that we have confessed, because we can trust God to do what he promised." ~ Hebrews 10:23
And these are just a few of the places where you can find evidence that God is trustworthy. Time and time again, God shows up to save his people. Read about David, Daniel, Job, Moses, Noah, etc., etc. Look back on your own life and the lives of those around you. God keeps his promises and he promises us that he will be there for us. But we have to do our part. We have to TRUST.
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