Summary: overcoming the destructive myths and finding strength in life’s toughest seasons...

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how to find strength

in a time of crisis

Acts Series: “Completely Irreligious, Yet Radically Christian” Part 8

Pastor Jeff Christopherson

March 2, 2003

Acts 4:23-31

I. Three Devastating Myths about Troubles:

Myth #1: God’s children are immune to crises.

Truth: The closer I walk with God, the more resistance I find.

Myth #2: A crisis is an obstacle to God’s plans.

Truth: A crisis is often an essential part of God’s plan.

(Note: this doesn’t mean that God causes crises – but that His sovereign plan includes them.)

Myth #3: Triumphing through a crisis depends on my strength.

Truth: Triumphing through a crisis depends on my obedience.

II. How to Find Strength in a time of Crisis:

1. Share Yourself with your Spiritual Community.

“On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.” 4:23

Action Plan: In order to triumph through a crisis, let your ‘own people’ know your concerns. Dropping your pride and having your spiritual community pray with you is essential in overcoming a crisis.

2. Remind Yourself that God is always GOD.

“When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.” 4:24

What to Remember in the most Difficult Times:

A. Satan seems loose, but he’s actually on a leash.

“You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.’” 4:25-26

B. Don’t take it personally.

(Evil will collaborate with anybody for it’s cause.)

“Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.” 4:27

C. “Hakuna Matata” – Don’t Worry, God’s in charge.

“They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.” 4:28

Action Plan: When you concentrate on the crisis, the enemy seems so powerful and his schemes so well planned – you feel weak in comparison. Instead, follow the first church’s example; concentrate on the sovereignty of God. As a child of God, you are playing on the winning team! Hint: Recall Scripture passages which speak to your issue of concern.

3. Commit Yourself to Obeying God’s Instructions.

“Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 4:29-30

Action Plan: The first prayer request the disciples made was for boldness in order to be obedient to Jesus’ command. In any crisis, the supreme battle we fight is the battle of obedience (faith). In order to triumph through your crisis, ask God, “What step of faith (action of obedience) are you asking me to take right now?”

4. Prepare Yourself for God’s Presence.

“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” 4:31

Action Plan: God has a way of confirming to His children that He knows what is happening and that He is involved in the situation – usually this happens when we are being honest in prayer. When you’re praying through a crisis, prepare yourself for God’s presence by the attitude of your prayer: Pray knowing that God is listening, knowing that you will be obedient, and knowing that His presence will prepare you for the road ahead.

Scripture passages from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.

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