Save Time and Preach Like Never Before. Try the new

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ILL. Claudia was a newlywed in her 20ís when she was diagnosed with Hodgkinís disease & given only a 50% chance of survival. Quickly she was operated on & began cobalt treatments that transformed her almost overnight from a young, beautiful woman to a physical wreck.

Her husband was a chaplainís assistant in a hospital & had seen many sick & dying patients. He said, "In the movies, couples who have fought for years, in the face of danger suddenly forget their differences & come together. But it doesnít necessarily work that way in real life."

"When a couple encounters a crisis," he said, "it magnifies whatís already present in their relationship. Since Claudia & I trust God & love each other deeply, the crisis drove us closer. . . The crisis of her illness merely Ö intensified the feelings already present."

Claudia & her husband had no idea they would ever face such a crisis, but when it happened, they found they had already developed the strength to weather it.
(Adapted from ďHope For the Troubled heartĒ by Billy Graham)

Now what about us, here today? Most of us will probably never experience the enormity of the crisis that Claudia & her husband faced. But still, there will be some storms, some heartaches, some decisions, some gut-wrenching moments that have the potential for bringing us into a life-changing crisis.

What will we do then? Will we be prepared to face it? Will we have the inner resources that we need? And if not, then how can we prepare ourselves for that day?

PROP. Iím convinced that if we want to have the resources weíll need for a time of crisis, then each of us must make our preparations for that day.


A. And the very first preparation we need is to make sure of our relationship with God, that Jesus is our Savior, & that weíre walking with Him day by day.

ILL. The Bible gives us some vivid examples: Abraham walked with God & was called ďa friend of God.Ē Noah walked with God, & when the flood came he & his family were saved. Moses walked with God in the desert, & God prepared him to lead his people to freedom.

David walked with God as a shepherd boy, & when called upon to rule his people, he was prepared for the task. Daniel was saved from the lionís den, & his friends were spared from the fiery furnace.

B. But God does not always pull His children out of the fire. Stephen was a young man "full of faith & of the Holy Spirit" [Acts 6:5] when he was stoned to death. But his entry into Heaven was triumphal.

Look at the fate of some of the apostles: Peter was crucified upside down; Andrew was tied to a cross with thick ropes for 3 days before he died; John was a prisoner