The usefulness of the Bible in a crisis

The usefulness of the Bible in a crisis

When your world falls apart, where do you look for comfort and advice? The answer will differ depending on who you are. Some just cannot cope and don’t look anywhere. Some will seek the advice of friends, look to experts in the field, read self-help books, or even watch daytime television or listen to talk-back radio.

In Judah roughly 630 years before Jesus, the people faced a crisis. There were foreign armies at the gates. The great superpower of the day loomed large and seemed an obvious threat. In their panic, the people grasped at any advice they could find. They consulted mediums and spiritists to contact the dead on their behalf (Is 8:19). They dreamt up conspiracies (Is 8:12) to try to explain what was happening and to discover what to do.

Isaiah’s advice was simple: why look to the dead for advice? They cannot tell you anything. Instead, inquire of God. As Isaiah says in 8:20, they need to go “to the teaching and to the testimony!” In other words, head to the Scriptures. Seek God as he has revealed himself in the Bible for help, not some inferior place. And as they looked there, they would see a God who kept his promises, who is consistent even in tough time, a God who can be feared and waited upon.

It is advice that remains good today and is needed just as much. Maybe when a crisis hits, and you lose your job, or you receive a bad diagnosis, you might be a little stunned for a while. The best place you can go to is the Bible. Understanding God’s plan as he has told us, knowing that God remains our shepherd and Father even in the midst of disaster, is a great comfort.

This has some important implications:

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  • When comforting a Christian who is in a crisis, open the Bible. It doesn’t need to be a theological lecture or a sermon! Just read a psalm recalling God’s control, read the book of Revelation or Romans 8 to remind of God’s unfolding plan and where we are going, or recall the flow of Biblical history of God being kind in impossible situations. Just saying that others are thinking of you in this time is kind of empty; the Bible gives content to why we can be comforted when it seems so dark.

God’s word is a great gift at all times, but especially comforting when times are hard. Don’t neglect this gift. It is worth far more than you know.