Many of our consistent readers will not be with us for a while. They are living through what has been dubbed "Frankenstorm" on the east coast of the country. Please keep them in your prayers in the days ahead. Once the storm has passed they will be dealing with clean up and putting life back together again.
Just like when there is any impending crisis, those people have hopefully made all the needed preparations to secure property and life. They knew it was coming for several days and did all they could do to be sure they would be safe and make it through the storm.
We tend to invest huge amounts of time and energy to prepare for natural disasters and to make emergency preparations should disaster strike. Spiritual storms don't usually come with warnings, and I know we all wish they did! My observation is that little advance preparation is done for spiritual storms, and it shows.
The majority of the people I see in my ministry are not prepared for the catastrophic events in their lives. I have been told by fellow Christians that they didn't think (fill in the blank) would ever happen to them because they are Christians so little to no planning is made for disaster or illness. They seem to forget that the physical body is intended to decay (sickeness) and eventually die. They fail to remember Jesus said there would be trouble for us in this world (John 16:33). Therefore, like our unbelieving friends Christians also have unbiblical responses to crisis when they hit.
There are terrible results when the spiritual component of tragedy is not addressed in times of trial and crisis. Faith takes a beating and can lead to severe discouragement, anger and bitterness, drug or alcohol abuse, and even suicide. Decisions and conclusions about God and His role in the tragedy are made in the early stages of terrible events and this can affect the outcome on a persons faith.
To prevent a crisis of faith you must take steps to prepare your heart when there is no crisis. You would be so wise to learn biblical truth and root it deep in your heart so that when the day of trouble comes you have spiritual resources to draw on.
Something to study and mediate on that will be very helpful to prepare for a crisis that will test your faith would be a study on the sovereignty of God. God is in sovereign control of everything, including the crisis that befall us.
The earth is the LORD'S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it. Psalm 24:1 (NASB)
I am not saying God causes evil, because God is good in all He allows and in all He does (Ps. 119:68; 136:1) and cannot commit any evil deed. I would suggest reading Jerry Bridges book, Trusting God, Even When Life Hurts. His book is a great and readable primer on God's sovereignty in the midst of a variety of miserable situations. Because He is sovereign, He could have prevented any and every bad thing that comes our way. It is critical you learn why He does not and why He allows us to be afflicted by things in life.
Learn to live by biblical principles instead of your emotions. Too many women (and men) are ruled by their feelings. When feelings dictate nearly every aspect of a person's life, it is completely unbiblical. I am not saying to have no feelings, or that I am opposed to feelings, but don't be controlled by your feelings!
My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 76:3 (NASB)
To be able to rise above the sweeping emotions that accompany a crisis in the middle of a crisis, you have to have some practice under your belt when life is not in crisis-mode.
Learn to properly identify the things you call "feelings." The majority of the time, what we call feelings are really thoughts, beliefs, or desires. Our culture has trained us to interpret everything as a feeling when this is not a biblical view. Your feelings are results of what you are thinking about, beliefs you have about something or someone, and what you desire. To be spiritually stable in times of crisis you must practice controlling your daily thoughts, and learn to think biblically. Filter your emotions through the truth of the Word of God.
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NASB)
If you take these steps when life is stable and practice them faithfully, you will be less likely to be completely blown away when the major storms of life hit you. You will have great victory instead of a great collapse.