The Ark Mission Church

Following Jesus in Liskeard, Cornwall

Finding help in times of crisis

Following, is a simple list with some of the more common negative situations in which many people find themselves at some time. Alongside each one are different Scripture verses – God’s mind and encouragement to us through His written Word. He may well choose to use these to bring life in your Spirit as you read them giving fresh strength, encouragement and hope.

They are here to encourage and also may serve as an inspiration to us as we pray and bring our situation to our Father in heaven who knows and loves us so much.

Discouragement:

Galatians 6:9 ‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’

Isaiah 41:10 ‘So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Don’t give up; God will help you and strengthen you because He is the God of all hope.

Temptations:

Matthew 26:41 ‘Watch and pray so that you will not fall in to temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak’.

James 1:13-15 ‘When tempted, no-one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.’

1 Corinthians 10:13 'No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it'

There is often an inner conflict within us due either to the old fallen nature which keeps trying to rise up and control us, or directly from ungodly spirits. Jesus says we must watch ourselves, taking full responsibility for our own sin.

When tempted, call out to God – use the Scriptures in prayer and then go and do something different rather than focusing on the temptation. God is very practical but also promises not to let us be overwhelmed by temptation.

The question is, are we willing not to overwhelm ourselves - i.e. not working in a chocolate factory when we are addicted to chocolate! If we make godly freewill choices, we will always find God there waiting for us.

Guilt:

Isaiah 1:18 ‘”Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”’

Romans 8:1 ‘Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from he law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.’

1 John 1:9-10 ‘If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His Word has no place in our lives.’

If you know Jesus and have confessed your sins and turned from them to the best of your ability, there is no condemnation to be afraid of. There is not a sin too great to be forgiven. If you find there is one which just will not go away, why not approach a Church leader in line with James 5:13-16? If you need freedom and healing in this area, you certainly need someone else to help.

Worry:

Philippians 4:19 ‘And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.’

Romans 4:21-22 ‘Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded God had power to do what he had promised.’

1 John 5:14-15 ‘This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of Him.’

2 Timothy 1:7 ‘For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (fear AV) but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline (a sound mind AV).’

To worry or to fear is actually to sin, because we are in effect saying ‘God can’t’. Through persistent worry we can become fearful as a spirit of fear starts to get a hold. Thank God that ‘There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear’
(1 John 4:18) See your Pastor or Pastoral leader for help in gaining victory.

Loneliness:

Hebrews 13:5-6 ‘God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’”

Psalm 16:11 ‘You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.’

The presence of God is promised to you who know the Lord Jesus, and in His presence there is joy to be found.

When it seems you are deserted, even in the pain of loneliness, thank the Lord He is faithful and is with you. If possible, try to get more involved with church family; God will make a way for you to make new and closer friends. If personal issues hold you back from friendships, talk to your Pastor. He will pray for you and break any curses over your life asking the Lord for healing where needed.

Emptiness:

Psalm 107:8-9 ‘Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.’

Psalm 37:4-5 ‘Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust Him and He will do this.’

Only Jesus can totally satisfy us on the inside. He is more than able to fill our every desire through the power of His love by the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we can feel empty and not know why; Jesus is the excellent and only real starting place.

Anxiety:

Philippians 4:6-7 ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’

1 Peter 5:7 ‘Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.’

Anxiety can be relieved through prayer as you remember that our God and father cares about you. We bring our burdens to Him and leave them with Him.

Our troubles:

Psalm 119:67,71,75 ‘Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your Word. It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. I know, O Lord, that your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness you have afflicted me.

James 1:13-14 ‘When tempted, no-one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.’

Sometimes we are the source of our troubles. When we stray away from the Shepherd and start to make our own soulish choices and limit the Lordship of Jesus in our lives, we start to put ourselves in places where we can get hurt. He will allow troubles to come upon us, but is there to help us through them as well if we will turn to Him. This is what it takes sometimes to bring us back to our senses and under the Lordship of Jesus once more.

A good starting place is to invite God the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and minds, revealing anything He sees as a discrepancy or an obstacle to His work in our lives.

Enemy attack:

James 4:7 ‘Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’

1 Samuel 17:47….’It is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s’….

Ephesians 6:10-12 ‘Finally be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.’

1 Peter 5:8-9 ‘Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith….’

Knowing the Lord and His ways are vital in our lifelong battle against the ‘opposer of the brethren’, satan. As we grow close to our Father in heaven, so our discernment regarding the enemy and his ways will increase. As we live in increasing personal holiness so also our authority will grow over the enemy. Relationship with Jesus confirmed by a holy life is vital if we are going to be able to stand and see victory.

In times of battle it is of great help to speak the word of God out loud and to pray with another in agreement, binding the forces of darkness at work against us. The enemy can only continue long term if we have given him the right to do so.

Victory:

Philippians 4:13 ‘I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.’

1 John 4:4 ‘You, dear children are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.’

1 Corinthians 10:13 ‘No temptation has seized you except what is
common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted
beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.’

In our own strength we can win nothing. Any victory we gain over the enemy is due only to the Spirit of God who equips us and enables us in battle. The Lord will help us in our wrestle against the fallen human nature, the world and the enemy. He will never allow us to be overwhelmed to the point of not having the power to choose.

Comfort:

Psalm 23: ‘The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want...’

Hebrews 13:5-6 ‘God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”’

We might ‘feel’ alone sometimes – we might even feel God is so distant, but..., He is always true to His Word and He says that He will never leave you even if you don’t experience His closeness in the way you would like. He will bring comfort and hope to you, so ‘Call out to the Lord; He will answer you’ (Jer. 33).

Am I saved?

Acts 2:21 ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

Romans 10:9-10 ‘That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.”

John 3:3 ‘Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no-one can see the Kingdom of God unless He is born again.”

The minute a person calls out to God in belief of His existence, admitting their need of His pardon, cleansing, forgiveness and Lordship in their lives for the future, a miracle takes place. This is at the moment that the Spirit of God resurrects our human spirit which until then is dead in relationship to God before that point. From that moment, provided we actively follow Jesus as a disciple, we are saved form the horror of hell and can look forward to eternity in the presence of God. This is what the Bible teaches and Jesus put great emphasis on it as the need for all mankind to be secure in Him is His heart’s desire.

Can I be sure I am saved?

1 John 5:11-13 ‘And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.’

John 3:16,18 ‘’For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life…….. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned….’

If you have been born again and are following Jesus, you are saved; a fact. It is important if possible to attend a local bible believing church and join the family there.

If you have fallen in to serious sin, there is an urgency to confess it, turn from it and make restitution as appropriate. Many times specific pastoral care and prayer is needed for cleansing of body, soul and spirit, if there has been defilement.
God is willing – but it takes two.

Forgiveness:

Psalm 32:5 ‘Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord” – and you forgave my sin.’

1 John 1:9 ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’

There is only one way to find forgiveness – that is through confession. God already knows of course, but asks us to own up to our failings and to bring them in to the light. This humbles us and also disarms the enemy from accusing us of having unsettled business with the Lord. There are then no further hindrances in our relationship with Jesus.

Suffering:

1 Peter 1:6-7 ‘In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.’

1 Peter 2:19-23 ‘For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, he made no threats. Instead He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.

Psalm 23:4 ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me.’

Psalm 34:17 ‘The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes . There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away’ (Revelation 21:4).

Suffering, often in silence, can be a very painful time. Sometimes it is self-inflicted, many times it is not.

Whether God permits our time of trial to be shortened or not, we can be sure of one thing: As disciples of the Lord Jesus, He promises to be with us through everything.

We can depend on being ultimately delivered and healed when we join Him in eternity.

We hope that some of the above has been of help and encouragement to you and trust God to meet you in your time of need, whatever the circumstances may be. As you search the Scriptures for yourself, you will discover that there are many more words from God which will uphold and encourage you.

(All scripture quotations are taken from The New International Version.)