Charles Stanley - Turning Our Crisis Into An Opportunity
How do you respond when you're facing a crisis in life? There's all kind of crises. Sometimes they're painful. Sometimes they're costly. Sometimes they're very surprising and come upon us. How do you respond? If you respond the right way, you can profit by it. If you respond the wrong way, then you find yourself paying a big price. We all are going to have crisis in our life. In fact, how many of you have ever experienced a crisis in your life? Come on, put them up. I know everybody has. Well, how did you respond? You say I didn't do very well. Maybe you I responded right maybe for the first time or the fact I'm learning when crises come in our life.
Well, the message today should be very, very encouraging because there's a proper way to respond. In fact the truth is in every crisis there's an opportunity. And oftentimes we miss what God is up to in our life because we don't think about a crisis that may be painful or suffering loss and difficulty and hardship. And it can be a crisis in your finances, relationships, in your health. In your vacation. It can be all kinds of things that bring crisis into our life. The issue is, how do we respond? What is the basis of a right response?
Well in this passage of scripture, the life of Joseph is a perfect example of the right kind of responses in times of crisis. And the fact instead of focusing on the crisis itself the issue is, what is my opportunity in the middle of this crisis? Today there's probably more people facing a crisis in our country than ever before in many, many years. So how do we face it? How do we respond to it? We could be angry and bitter and hostile and blame God or blame someone else. Is there a better way? Yes. Is there a way to profit in the midst of a painful process? Yes there is.
I want you to turn to 37th chapter of the book of Genesis, this is the beginning of the life of Joseph as recorded in the scripture. The truth is not going to read much of this, if you read all of it, it would go all the way to the 50th chapter because the last section of Genesis is all about the life of Joseph. Not many people in the Bible said negative about them but Joseph is certainly one of those leaders about which there is nothing negative said. I just want to begin reading a few verses in this 37th chapter. Now Jacob lived in the land where his father had sow journeyed in the land of Canaan. These are the records of the generations of Jacob. Joseph , when 17 years of age pastoring the flock with his brothers while he was still a youth with the sons of... His father's wives. And Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father.
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all the sons because he was a son of his old age and he made him a very colored coat, tunic. His brothers saw his father loved him more than all the brothers. And so they hated him and could not speak to him on friendly terms. Now I want to begin by saying I want us to look at seven major crises in Joseph's life then I want you to see how he responded and how each one of these crises prepared him for an area in his future life. Because God's doing the same thing. When he allows a crisis in our life he allows it for a purpose. And if we respond properly then what I experience today in a crisis, if I respond correctly, will prepare me for another crisis coming along and each one builds upon another and the natural response should be our faith should grow. Our confidence in God should grow and our confidence in ourselves as far as the way to respond.
So as we look at these crises I want to begin with the first one which is the fact he grew up in a family where three times it says they hated him. They hated him. They hated him. He couldn't do anything right. He was always a subject of ridicule. Of rejection. That was the kind of family he grew up in. That was a close intimate family absolutely hated by his brothers because they said, well the father had been prejudice towards him and made him the coat of many colors as we would say. So he had this dream. And this dream indicated that one day all of them would bow down to him. There's enough turmoil in this family already and hatred. Then he says, one of these days here's where it will be. All these sheaves, my sheaf in the middle all will bow down and mine will stand up straight. That made them hate him even the more. The issue is how did he respond? How did he respond living in a close family with 11 brothers and all of them hated him? He could have said, it's your fault. He could have blamed them. He could be resentful hostile told his dad, a lot of things he could have done.
Here's what he did. He responded rightly, which means he took the opportunity to learn how to live in that kind of situation or circumstance where there was no love, no admiration and no encouragement. He took the opportunity to learn how to respond to that and not grow bitter, resentful and hostile and taking out vengeance upon them. No indication about that at all. The important thing about that was this. It was very important what was going to happen to him later on when they found him in a situation where normally that's what he would have felt. His first crisis was just growing up in is that kind of a family and learning how to respond to that situation.
Well the second crisis he faced was his father send him over to Shechem to check on the brothers and the flock and when they saw he was coming they decided this would be a good time to take care of him so we'll just kill him. They stripped him of his garments and they killed an animal and put the blood on a garment and took it back to the father and said, poor Joseph, he's been killed by some animal and so forth. So anyway they threw him in a pit to leave him there to die and it was deep enough he couldn't get out. Here he was helpless and hopeless leaving him to die. And what was his response?
Well naturally he wanted to get out. He had to come to the conclusion they wouldn't let him out. And so he had to take the opportunity. If he was going to survive this, how could there be an opportunity when they leave him in a pit to die? But he had a dream. And that dream was one day all his brothers would bow down to him. And it was happening in that period of time while he was in the pit, he was learning something. And he found himself absolutely totally dependent upon God. Only God could get him out of that. Because he had the right attitude about it and took advantage of the opportunity to trust God in this helpless hopeless situation what he didn't know was God was preparing him for a time when he would be in a similar situation much worse.
And yet, God would be there to rescue him no matter what. You see oftentimes we forget that one crisis in our life is often preparation or enabling us to go through something worse. The truth is, how do we grow? We grow in a Christian life by facing one trial after another. One heartache, one hardship. Oftentimes if you think about it, we don't think it's fair but God does. It seems if we survive this one, why should this one be more difficult? It should get easier and easier. How many of you, you don't have to tell me. How many of you said God where does it get easier along the way? Because what makes us grow is the testing and the trial and you see the greater the test, the greater the trial we keep pushing or pushing or he does and we grow up and up and up and we don't like it but at the same time something good is going on.
So now he's thrown in the pit. His brothers come along. No way we'll kill him. Let's sell him to the caravans going by. They decided to sell him as a slave into Egypt. So this is another crisis. Here he is going further and further away from his family in canaan. He's going to be sold as a slave. That means he's a nobody. He's absolutely useless. And he'll be lost in civilization that was absolutely foreign, totally foreign to them. So think about it. He could have fought against his captures. He could have gotten very belligerent and blaming them and wondering where God was or take the opportunity. I'm going to Egypt. I'm going to learn what Egypt is about. If I'm a slave I'm going to learn their language. I'm going to learn their ways. I'll learn how they operate. That is, I'll take advantage of this opportunity somehow some way God will work me out of this. Which was also preparation for another event that was coming in his life.
So when he gets to Egypt they put him on the block to sell him and of all the people that would buy him would be the man who is the chief body guard. He's captain of the body guard of Pharaoh himself. So he buys, purchases Joseph. And puts him if his household. See he's already been learning a little bit coming along. He could see himself as a slave or he could see himself with a tremendous opportunity. He could learn the language of the Egyptians. He could learn how the upper class in Egypt operate and live. He could learn about their wealth. He could learn about how to function in another family. This is a family that saw him as a servant and as a Hebrew servant at that.
Of course, Hebrews and Egyptians look down on each other. They thought Hebrews were lower class because they were all shepherds. He had to deal with that. Naturally when he first got o Potiphar's household they didn't just welcome him in as part of the family. So no doubt he was looked down upon at first and had the same situation to some degree he had suffered back the in his own family. Nobody in their mind. Each one of these situations was just getting him ready for the next one. And each one he saw as an opportunity to learn something, develop something. He saw in Potiphar's household a wonderful opportunity to learn the ways of an Egyptian family. Learn the ways of Egyptian culture. He also learned how to be a lead are. He learned how to manage. Because finally, Potiphar said you've done so well, I'm going to put you in charge of my whole household.
So he comes as a slave, as a nobody and now he's the number one person in the family apart interest the intimate family themselves. And he's overseeing all Potiphar's business, everything. He's in charge. So what was God doing? God once again was preparing him for something that was ahead. And if we can get that in our thinking, whatever I'm going through today is preparation for something I'm going to fate tomorrow. If you'll get that attitude and you begin to operate on that basis, then things begin to change in the way you see them. He saw this as a wonderful opportunity. Watch this. Every time he took advantage of the opportunity he came out winning. He came as a slave. But his attitude was right. No indication it wasn't.
So what happens? It wasn't an accident that the captain of the body guard of Pharaoh happened to be the man that purchased him. So now he's in Potiphar's household and everything is going better. Then what happens? The next crisis he meets is Potiphar's wife. So she began to woo him and try to seduce him every way possible. She could have destroyed him. The truth is, he could have destroyed himself. Here's what he saw. He saw this an opportunity, watch this, to discover about himself. His weaknesses and his strengths. And he said to her, your husband has placed everything in this house hold in my possession. He has given me nerving this house hold but you. And I cannot prove to be unfaithful to God and disobey him.
That crisis was an awesome opportunity for him to discover his own strength, his own faithfulness, his own loyalty, his own devotion. No matter what the price would be. He knew there had to be a price because she of course accused him and he got thrown in jail. You see, every time you and I are tempted by something, it's also an opportunity for you and I to find out something about ourselves. Whether it's a moral temptation, financial temptation or temptation about a relationship whatever it might be. There's also an opportunity and the opportunity for him was that he could demonstrate to her that his allegiance and loyalty to God superceded every other desire in his life.
He had all of Potiphar's household. He didn't have her. For important than having everything was to have his relationship with God to be right. How very important that was. Because that too would provide basis for something else that was going to happen in his life. So following that of course he gets thrown into prison so now we're into the next phase of his crisis and when he's thrown into prison, he could have said, God, at this point, he had to be in his 20s, I've done exactly what you said do. He could have blamed God. He could have blamed everybody. It wasn't long before he was in charge of the prison. Why? Watch this carefully. Because he had the right attitude. In other words, God allowed me here.
What is my opportunity now? What was my opportunity in potter's household to learn. And to be submissive to those in authority over me. And to learn how to manage, learn how to rule. Now in prison, what kind of opportunity can that be? Well they put all the prisoners under his charge. So now he's learning how to be a authoritative and he's also learning how, watch this, to treat other people right. Because yo see he grew up in a family they didn't treat him right. He knew what rejection and pain and suffering and heartache and feeling you're a nobody and you don't count. I'm not too sure there's not many emotions in life if any that has the depth of pain this rejection has. Every divorce, every separation, every separation of kids in the family, whatever it may be, the feelings of being rejected especially by somebody you love or somebody that is meaningful to you and very upon the to you it's a painful indescribable painful emotion. He knows that.
So when he's head of the prison, I'm sure that all those experiences he had back home and the way he was treated and the way they just absolutely totally tried to destroy him. How would he respond in prison? He would take the opportunity to do what? To express genuine caring, because you see, he was there. Not because of something he had done. But because he was falsely accused. Have you ever been really falsely accuse of something? It's a very painful feeling when you know you've done what's right and someone else accuses you of doing something wrong. So how did he respond? He responded, I believe, in a caring way for those prisoners. Because see, his past crisis had made it possible for him to respond in the right way. Then of course he's in prison.
And remember the two gentlemen who worked for Pharaoh, the baker and the cup bearer, both of them had dreams. And one of them was restore. And the other one was not. The baker was hanged. So you know it's just one crisis after another. Then one morning he wakes up. And they come to him. Get a shower and get dressed up here. You're going before Pharaoh himself. What was all of that? Well that meant his death or whatever it meant. So they dress him up. What's happened is Pharaoh had this dream. Remember the dream about the cows, the lean cows and the fat cows and the lean stalks and the heavy stalks of corn? So he had this dream. And all of his soothsayers and forth couldn't interpret it. The butler said, there was a man in prison where I was. He was a Hebrew and he interpreted my dream. So Pharaoh calls for him.
Well what did that mean is this he didn't have any idea what that meant but it was a wonderful opportunity. Now watch this. Because Joseph had the awesome privilege and opportunity to present his God, this Hebrew God Jehovah, to confront all the heathen Gods of Egypt. Because he said, he said my God is Jehovah. I'm not an interpreter but he will. He can interpret your dream. And so he told him the dream. And Joseph interpreted the dream and said they'll be seven years of awesome bounty. Seven years of absolute nothing. Nothing is going to grow. The wisest thing for you to do is in the first seven years, plan for the next seven years.
So when he got through talking to Pharaoh, Pharaoh asked the question, what man is there in all of Egypt as wise as this man? What did he do? He made him second only to himself. He said he would ride in the second chariot and he said, no one will lift a hand. In all of Egypt without Joseph's permission. Now think about this. When he was at home he didn't know anything about ruling anything except to be ruled. In every circumstance and every crisis of his life God was preparing him for something else. He served faithfully Potiphar. He learned how to manage. He learned how to overseer. Now he has the very awesome position of being anal to rule over all of those who had ruled over him.
What was his attitude all during this time? Looking to the Father. Trusting him. He had a dream. And he was believing that what God had shown him would be true one day. Now I'm just giving you that as a background of what I want to say about facing crisis in your life and the opportunities we have because you'll have them. And you can respond incorrectly and suffer the consequences. Sometimes people say I don't know why I've not gotten further along in life? More than likely it's because back here in things you thought were insignificant, God thought they were very significant because he was testing you, giving you opportunity, testing you trying you and giving you the opportunity how you're responding. I think many people wonder how they miss it in life when the truth is, they don't respond correctly in the simple tests and trials that came their way.
So with all that in mind, I have 15 suggestions. I'll put them all on the meg screens and I'll tell you this. I know they work. I've been through enough crisis in my life to know they absolutely work. So if you're going through a crisis no matter what it is, I tell you this will work. If you're wise enough to write these down, put them to the test, try them. You'll find yourself in any crisis no matter what it might be, God bringing you through it with confidence and assurance. You may not start out with that confidence and assurance but it will be there. I want to begin with one, the basic one is simply this. I must see these crises, whatever it might be, I must see them first of all, the way God would have me look at it. And that's this. He's working everything in my life for my good. Romans 8:28 I've been hearing that all my life. What have you done about it? Practicing it?
In other words, if you see, if you believe Romans 8:28 is true that God causes all things to work for our good, if you and I truly believe that. To those that are his children, that's first step when the crisis comes the question is not why God did you do this? I have to look and ask myself the question do I really truly believe he's working everything for my good then I'll take an opportunity in this crisis to discover what God wants to do in my life. The second very, very important truth is in Psalm 103:19. That's simply this. God is in control of everything. If you're in a crisis and don't believe God's in control of all things, you have a reason to be ringing your hands and ringing your heart. He's in charge of everything. He's in control of everything.
Therefore when it comes to Romans 8:28 he's causing all things to work together for my good, I may not understand it. He's working all things together for my good. That being true it can only be true if he's in charge of all things. The third thing if you think about it for a moment, you have to accept the truth of what is in Isaiah 55 and you probably know this by heart. Remember what he said? My ways are not your ways. My thoughts are not your thoughts. My ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts. Here's what God is saying. You won't understand what I do. You won't understand the way I go about things. You won't always understand why I allow you to suffer in situations and circumstances.
So don't lose heart because you don't understand why. That is, the big question when a crisis comes if my first question is God why then I'll miss it. It's not why. Fine he allows it for my good, he has a reason. If I can get that in my thinking that his ways are not my ways, his thoughts are not my thoughts, that is because he's omniscient, watch this, because he's omniscient, he knows what is painful for you today will be profitable for you tomorrow. What you just want to run away from today, you want to run to tomorrow. He knows that. So when a crisis comes I have an opportunity to discover something about God I never discovered before. And that is, he's intimately involved in whether it's your pain or whatever it might be. He's there.
A fourth thing that's so important is this. Don't make quick judgments when a crisis is coming. Don't make quick judgments. First of all, we have revolving emotions number one. And when a crisis comes most of the time we don't have any details or don't have any proper details. Listen to your friends and you won't know where you are. So the truth is, you have to ask yourself the question, maybe God I don't quite understand this. Naturally you would ask that question. But a quick judgment is always a wrong attitude. God what are you up to in my life? You can ask God, tell him, I don't like this. I don't understand why you allow this in my life. He understands that. You have to get over that fast. Romans 8:28 I believe. I believe he's in control of all things. His ways are not my ways. His ways are higher than my ways. If they're higher that means they're wiser than my ways and much more profitable for us.
Then of course, focus on God instead of the crisis. All of us have faced crisis in life. If you find yourself focused on that crisis and the pain of it and so forth, what will happen is you'll get off track and you'll lose the awareness and comfort God has for you and unconditional love for you. You say it's painful. Sure it's painful. You can still focus on him. Someone says how can I focus on God when I'm hurt? Open the word of God and start reading in the Psalms or epistles whatever it might be. What happens is when you get into the word, God becomes your focus and he's going to encourage you, challenge you, or bring something into your mind the needs to go in your life that shouldn't be there, so he's going to show you what that is, and you begin to understand, now God I begin to see what you are doing.
But if you focus on the crisis you'll lose something. Of course, avoid focusing on the pain. In other words, the pain, you don't focus on it. Don't focus on the crisis. Back to the word of God. I may still be hurting. I remember times in my own life I felt the same thing, hurt pain and when I got in the word of God and start reading it's like God would just calm my spirit and quiet my spirit and it's like putting salve on a cut and things begin o change in my thinking and what happens is, you begin to look at things differently. But you've got to focus on him. Start Romans 8:28. 103 Psalm. In other words, all of these are basic, believable, indestructible, unchangeable truths about God. He's working for your good. He's in absolute control. And you don't understand but he understands.
Then of course, recall the past crisis and the opportunities that follow them. All of us said a while ago we had crisis in your life. How did you respond? Pick out the worst one. How did you respond? If you responded correctly you can probably look back and say, thank God. It was a very difficult time in my life but now I see what you were doing. You were preparing me for something else. If you think about this, it's the will of God. He said he predestined you and me to be conformed to his image. That means he's continually working in our life to shape us into the character of Jesus Christ. He is going to allow and send into our life whatever is necessary to shape us in character like his son. Therefore when I look at that and I think about the opportunities the opportunities and I look in my own life and think about things had a hurt me deeply real crisis in my life I can look back and see exactly what God was doing. If you ask me over here in the middle of it what is he doing, same thing you would say, I don't have any idea what he's doing. That's why if we respond properly, what happens? We make progress even in the midst of that situation, circumstance and little by little we understand what was God doing many the process.
So I think about dealing with our anger immediately concerning it. In other words, you say I thought you said you shouldn't be angry. I didn't say you wouldn't be angry at first. Don't let the sun go down on your anger, don't take it to bed with you. When certain things happen to us our natural normal response might be anger but you can't let it stay there. God, I'm angry about this, don't appreciate this. Don't like them treating me this way. I ask you to forgive me of my anger and I'm moving on God. What are you doing? I want to take advantage of this opportunity to be able to be hurt without being angry but a the few moments. Because I know it won't get me anywhere.
We are all going to face crisis and when you respond immediately a few moments ago in anger and when you let anger just lie there it's going cause you problems you could possibly miss God's whole purpose and there's people and I've met people who live who have lived and still living in anger over something that happened years ago. I would say to them, why can't you lay it down? You don't know what they did to me. How long has it been? It's been seven years. You're still angry over something seven years? Yes, I am. What has it profited you? Silence. Anger doesn't profit anything. In other words, what was God trying to do in your life and you put this barrier up and you said no, no, no, when God may be trying to do something in your life that's absolutely going to make an eternal difference in your life.
Then of course, submit yourself to the will of God in this situation whatever it is. Now, that's not always easy. But watch this. We have to go back. All this boils down to whether I believe him or not. He said he's working it for my good. Do I believe that? He said he's in absolute control. He says he understands why we don't understand. He says he loves us unconditionally. If I believe those things, then I'm going to be able to look at them and ask, what is my opportunity in this given situation? My opportunity to grow spiritually or my opportunity God may send some other way all this is just getting us ready for.
Everything that happened to Joseph until the day he met Pharaoh face-to-face, all that was preparation of what God was going to do. He was always growing, always being submissive to the situation he found himself, because he believed God. God had given him a dream. You say I never had a dream like that. You have something better than a dream. You say, what is that? You have the written word of God. Listen. How many of you, how many of you can interpret the dreams you have at night? They're useless. Just a mixture of something and you say what in the world did that come from? You can't trust the dream. Listen. You and I have the word of God. We can trust his word.
We're far ahead of where Joseph was when it comes to truth and understanding what God's doing in our life. Then of course you have to demonstrate I believe this is an important point to demonstrate a point of gratitude. Wait a minute. You mean to tell me when I'm hurting, I feel rejected. The whole world is falling apart and I'm to express gratitude? Yes. Only can you do that on the basis if you believe the first one of our principles that he's working something good in your life and that he's in control and this he understands why you don't understand. In other words, if I really and truly believe the truth of the word of God which you and I read and we pray over and we talk to God about, if we believe it, we'll be able to say, Lord, I don't like it. It hurts. I wouldn't do it this way. I think you ought to do it some other way. I know you know better than I do. I'll thank you in spite of it. Gratitude always works. What you're saying in essence, I don't understand it. But you must love me enough knowing I don't understand it, you let me hurt because you know something good is going to come out of this.
Then of course determined in your life to view the crisis as an opportunity. Determine to view it as an opportunity, a choice we make. You say I don't feel like it. It doesn't have anything to do with feelings. It has to do within this given situation that I'm going to determine in my heart God's giving me an opportunity. I may not understand it today. I may not like it today or tomorrow but here's an opportunity for God to either teach me something or put me in a position that I would never have believed that he would put me in. You see, watch this. What you and I don't see, what we don't see, we don't see all of the background. We don't see all the things God's doing in our lives that nobody sees. We don't see it. Nobody else sees it. He's working things in our attitude, in our life, the way we view things, the way we treat people, the way we respond to people. He's working in all these things to get us where he wants us to be.
So if we respond in the wrong way, what happens is, either God's perfect will for our life doesn't work out the way we want it because we object to it because it's to be submissive to it whatever it might be. Then watch this one. Refuse to listen to unscriptural interpretations by other people. What is happening to you? This is very important. You can't afford to listen to other people's interpretations of what God is doing in your life. Now sometimes there's somebody wise who will give you some good advice but for the most part they'll say if I were you here's what I would do. Remind them they're not you.
And secondly, they don't know what they do if they were in your particular position because you are where you are because God's allowed you to be there for God's purpose, listen, God's not going around telling everybody else your business. He's not telling somebody else here's what I'm going o do with him or her. No. I have to trust him. I can't trust other people to tell me how I'm to respond in a given situation. Unless I seek real wisdom from somebody whom I trust and knows and loves God and walks in his ways. Before you start getting advice from anybody here's what you do. Watch the way they live. If they're not living a godly life, don't listen. If they're living a godly life, there's a possibility you ought to listen. Then of course, remain in constant prayer, listening to God's instructions.
You say, well God's never spoken to me. As I always answer that question, yes, he has. Do you think God isolate one of his children, I'll not listen to him. I'll not speak to him. Yes, he does. If I don't believe he speaks to me I'll not hear him. And it may be that God may knock on your door over and over and over again until finally you listen. But he's speaking to you. He wants to give you direction. He wants you to take opportunities, he wants you to take advantage of the circumstances and situations in life to grow and be conformed to his likeness. That's what he's up to in our life. If somehow I don't think he's going to listen more than likely I'm not going to pray. Think about this. What is it that drives every single one of us to increase our prayer life. Pay. Suffering. Heartache. Need. In some fashion. So if you get a little lackadaisical in your prayer life and not reading the word do you know what? Thank God you're heading for a crisis. Because God loves you, listen. I know you don't believe that. But here's what happens. Thank God he is heading you for a crisis, because listen, he loves you too much to let you go a stray and stay there. That's an act of love on his part.
So the reason some people go through more crisis than others. God just has a hard time getting them corralled. I can think of some people they're always on the run. Do you know what? You can't out run God. If you don't believe that read the book of John. It doesn't matter how far you run, hard you run, you'll not get away from him. He loves you too much. What you do is lose the blessing in the run. If you run somewhere you run towards God, not away from him. Then of course, refuse to give way to your changing emotions. This is what happens. You pray and things don't change. Watch this. I don't feel like God's listening. I don't feel like God loves me. I don't feel like circumstances. Feelings oftentimes are the enemy of obedience to God. Because I may not feel something. But God doesn't operate on feelings. He doesn't want us operating on feelings.
So think about all of these. I just have one more. This is the bottom line. Obey God. Leave all the consequences to him. That's the bottom line. Obey God. Leave all the consequences to him. You see, if I believe the first one I gave you, I can do that. He's working all things for my good. I leave all the consequences to him. If I believe he's in control, I leave all the consequences to him. Obey him. Leave all the consequences to him. No matter what, listen, no matter what crisis you face in life, these 15 suggestions that's what they are. And I know they work. They will help you through them no matter what that crisis is. This is what you have to decide. Do I believe God is who he said he is. Do I believe God works the way he says he does? Do I believe God loves me enough to personally involved himself in my life? Do I believe when I don't understand, he understands me? Do I believe with all my heart God has a plan and will for my life? Yes. Do I believe in all my heart in all circumstances there's an opportunity for me to grow in my Christian life or grow in other ways?
It all boils down to your faith. It all boils down to the fact do I believe what is true is really true? Because that's the way we're going to respond. And no matter what crisis you face, if you follow the 15 suggestions I didn't say he would bring you through it with no tears or say it would be easy but I know he'll bring you through it no matter what. You say I'm not even a Christian. Will that work for me? No. No it won't work. Why won't it work? Because first of all, you have rejected, you have rejected the person that makes all this possible.
When Jesus the Son of God came into this world and went to the cross and died for your sins, he paid your sin debt in full so that you might be forgiven of your sin. You might be adopted into the kingdom of God. That is you become a part of the family of God. Your name is written in the lamb's book of life. You're going to heaven to live with him forever. If you have rejected him you've rejected his ways and love and plans and rejected his will and rejected and rejected and rejected and rejected and now you expect God to say, o we're going o forget all about that. No. No. And the truth is, you're not going o believe him. Until you accept him as your personal Savior you'll not believe him. You see, the rejection of him as personal Savior means you reject him. You do not believe him. You say, I believe in God but not Jesus. Sorry you can't have it that way. Jesus says, no one comes to the Father but by me. And God speaks of sending his only begotten son into the world that you and I might be saved and have the gift of eternal life.
If you're willing to surrender your life to him, I don't care what kind of mess you made of it. It's amazing the impossible things that look impossible to us are very possible to God. You want a change in life? You want to be able to face the crisis in your life? First of all let me put it this way. The first big crisis you have to deal with is just the surrender of your life to Jesus Christ for a life change for all eternity. And when you're willing to make that change by trusting in him, everything we've said can become a possibility in your life. Until then, you're on your own. You have to face the crisis by yourself. You'll not face them successfully apart from the grace and the love of Almighty God. It's my prayer that you'll be wise enough to surrender your life to him and watch him work in the most awesome ways in your life.
Father how grateful we are that you have planned for each one of us in such a fashion that you have the best for us. And I pray the Holy Spirit will speak to every single listener and enable them to understand that it all begins with trusting Jesus Christ as their Savior and then following him and practicing these things we've spoken about today. And we pray this in Jesus' name, amen.