My dear youth:
I greet you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and ask that his blessings, love, and direction be upon you in abundance.
Throughout life, humans are faced with crises that test our stability and mental maturity. For Christians, these are situations that reveal the kind of faith we have. During times of bonanza, when everything is going well, we cannot know if our trust in God is deep or superficial; if what we say we believe is a beautiful but cold theory, or deeply ingrained to the depths of our soul. That would be the purpose of the crises that God allows to assail us throughout our lives.
Job would not have had such a genuine and extraordinary experience if God had not allowed the crisis to come upon him. His crisis touched every area of his life, every corner of his soul, and his blows were not soft but tremendous, a shaking that revealed the kind of faith of the patriarch. Job was purified in his crisis, he learned Crisis Message for November 2020 – 36 Crisis 2 high-level spiritual lessons, and the pain from his wounds was so acute that he decided to place himself completely in the hands of his Maker. He did not lack moments of great discouragement, but he was confirmed in the faith, that faith that does not depend on the exterior circumstances you are living, but on your personal conviction.
The young Hebrews, who were urged to worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar raised had to face a terrible crisis, surely the greatest of their lives. If they didn’t worship the image they were going to be put to death. Because of the faith that they professed they could not fulfill the king’s wish, so they decided to cast their lot with the God of their fathers. Do you think these were easy moments for those young people? Of course not! Surely the sensations they experienced, the nervous tension that assailed them, was terrible. Anguish oppressed their souls and the crisis seemed to end with them. But no, they did not give up and decided to place their lives in the hands of the one who created them. It was a wise decision, because their crisis turned into such a spectacular victory that to this day we can remember it and be encouraged by their faith.
When crises come
These stories, which were recorded for posterity, are evidence of a saving faith. The crises faced in the name of the Lord mature us, help us grow, teach us very valuable lessons, redirect our existence, confirm our trust in God, and make us less unstable and fickle. When crises come, then, we have two attitudes that we can take. One, fall apart, let ourselves be carried away by the rushing current of trial; fall under the weight of the blows of life, give up and abandon the faith or end up harboring serious doubts and bitterness. Two, place ourselves completely in the hands of God, the One who created us and knows what is best for us. This means that we accept the divine will for us instead of our own; that we are willing to face anything without sinking because we know that if God is with us, nothing and no one will move us. That’s His promise: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5, 6.
“Be not afraid to trust God. Rely upon His sure promise: “Ask, and ye shall receive.” God is too wise to err, and too good to withhold any good thing from His saints that walk uprightly. Man is erring, and although his petitions are sent up from an honest heart, he does not always ask for the things that are good for himself, or that will glorify God. When this is so, our wise and good Father hears our prayers, and will answer, sometimes immediately; but He gives us the things that are for our best good and His own glory. God gives us blessings; if we could look into His plan, we would clearly see that He knows what is best for us and that our prayers are answered. Nothing hurtful is given, but the blessing we need, in the place of something we asked for that would not be good for us, but to our hurt.” Prayer, pg. 70.
Crises are going to come to us all; Jesus assured us with the words: “In the world you will have tribulation…” Juan 16:33. And not just those of us who believe, but everyone, believers and atheists, people committed to God and people indifferent to spiritual Crisis 3 things; rich and poor, children, youth and adults; to the powerful people of a nation and the most humble. We will all experience a crisis. But there is a vast difference between those of us who cling to God’s promises when the gale winds strike and those who decide to open the door to despair because they don’t know what to do.
May the Lord give us the strength, courage, and confidence necessary not to succumb under the weight of the crisis. Let us follow the example of Christ, who in His crisis clung to the Father’s hand and conquered. Take the hand of Christ and overcome any crisis in His name. God bless you. Amen.
José Vicente Giner
Pastor and Youth Department Leader
of the General Conference
1. What is a crisis?
2. Do crises only befall Christians?
3. What should we think when a crisis comes upon us?