How can we keep the faith in a time of crisis? Sometimes the storm takes us completely by surprise: the bad report, the betrayal of a friend, the crisis at work, the suffering of a loved one. From one second to another we are transferred to another reality sweeping through our souls and bodies with waves of fear and anxiety. Our boats are rocking on a raging sea. We find it difficult to concentrate, to pray, to think clearly and to stay firm in faith in the time of crisis.
The Struggle to Keep the Faith in Time of Crisis
The most important but difficult thing to do in times of crisis is to lift our gaze from the fear and to focus our attention on the Lord. The more we focus on the Lord, on His character and His promises, the more we can receive His peace and guidance. The Bible calls this having a steadfast mind, trusting in God (Isaiah 26:3). We can do this by wrapping our minds around a verse or a phrase anchoring us to a higher reality. Psalm 27 is full of such peace and hope-giving words. David speaks to his fears and anxiety proclaiming that God is his light, salvation, and stronghold. Is this not everything we need in a time of crisis?
Staying Firm in Faith by Remembering
To stay firm in faith in a time of crisis we need to remember who God is and what He has done for us in the past. Remembering is a spiritual discipline that we need to master. The Hebrew word zakar is widely used in the Bible, mostly in the Old Testament and in the Psalms. It is translated in English with the words remember, remembered, or remembrance. A few other translations include “mention”, “think”, and “mindful”. However, zakar means not only to remember but also to think or pay attention to.
Remembering God means to acknowledge, to focus on, to consider, to take into account, to keep in mind, to meditate on, to think about, not to forget who He is and what He has done and what He has promised to do. This discipline helps us stay connected with the truth and the higher reality of His presence and love.
Biblical Ways to Focus on God and Respond by Faith
We practice focusing on God by;
- engaging in prayer and praise
- calling upon His name
- reflecting and talking about what He has done for us in the past
- boasting in His name
- singing and choosing to rejoice despite the circumstances.
God invites us to search and find our joy, shelter, and peace in Him during the storm.
Because He is the one who keeps us safe in times of crisis: “For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.” – Psalm 27:5. He is also a God, who remembers – His covenant, His promises, all our sorrows and tears, our deepest desires and needs. He is a God, who remembers us every day choosing in Christ to give us abundant life and eternal blessings.
Sharing our troubles with our brothers and sisters and allowing them to meet our needs is also part of God’s provision in a time of crisis. We don’t live in a vacuum; God has provided for us a family to get support and encouragement.
Building Up Our Faith in Calm Times
It is helpful to think of ourselves as soldiers. When the soldiers are not actively engaged on the battlefield, they are on the training field, practicing and honing their skills, preparing for what is to come. Every day and season are a training ground for us – learning to search the Lord in all circumstances, to know Him more and training our mind and souls to stay fixed on Him and His beauty. Because gazing at the beauty of the Lord is what makes us stable and strong so we can take heart and wait for Him in confidence.
Dear Lord, we are living in times of unprecedented crisis and pandemic. Uncertainty and chaos breed fear and anxiety. Lord, we need You. Please, fill us with the knowledge of Your will with all the wisdom and understanding Your Spirit gives. Help us live as You want and do what pleases You. Help us produce all kinds of good deeds and grow in the knowledge of You. Most of all make us strong with all the strength that comes from You, so that we may be able to endure everything with patience and joy. Help us be salt and light, Lord, and messengers of love and hope in these times of trouble! In the name of Jesus. Amen.