I do not know of many Christians who have not at some time had a crisis point in their walk with God. How we respond to such a crisis in many ways determines our future maturity as a Christ follower. The reality is there are some who once knew Jesus and walked away from their relationship with Him. This can be directly related to not properly responding to a crisis of their faith in God. If all those who have walked away were to come back to the Lord there may not be an empty seat in our churches.
This issue of responding properly to a crisis of faith becomes a paramount one for the Church. There are many outside the Church today because of it and there are many within the Church who has stunted their personal growth with God over of it. They have lost the kind of joy and zeal they once had for serving God and cannot seem to pinpoint when that happened. For many it can be traced back to a crisis time in their walk with God. When they reached a place of desperation and felt God was not there or did not provide, so they hold that against Him - even unknowingly.
What constitutes a crisis of faith? It is when we come to a pivotal point in our Christian life where events cause us to believe that we cannot go on serving God. The surface causes for such a crisis are as varied as individual experience; it could be the loss of a loved one, a financial disaster, a relationship break-up, or a job loss. But the root issues comprise several main causes. This is important to identify for it helps us to realize that we are not different from other Christians. It also helps us to weed through the particulars of our situation and see the underlying issues that have brought us to such a crisis point.
What then are these root causes at the heart of a crisis of faith? We can see them in the lives of five great men of God in the Old Testament. Men who did some of the greatest exploits that have ever been done in the name of God. These are men we have read about, studied their lives and felt that we could never match up to their walk with God. Yet, men who reached such a great crisis point in their walk with God that they asked God to kill them or asked God why they had ever been born.
Each one had a different issue that caused them to be in crisis.
Moses was the first of these men as recorded in Numbers 11:14-15, “This job is too much for me…If this is the way you’re going to treat me, just kill me now and end my miserable life.” How could such a successful leader like Moses ever come to a place where he felt he could not go on? This crisis came out of a deep-seated sense of insecurity. Moses felt he was not up to the task God had called him to. If you struggle with insecurity and feel unworthy for God to use you, you are in good company.
Elijah was the second of these great men of God as we see in I Kings 19:3-4, “Elijah was afraid when he got her message…he walked a whole day into the desert…He begged the Lord, ‘I’ve had enough. Just let me die! I’m no better off than my ancestors.’’” Elijah, the man through whom God performed incredible miracles asked God to take his life. Although it seems like a strange paradox the man of power was now in crisis filled with fear. He was afraid of Jezebel and felt all alone with no one who believed like him. But he was not alone and neither are you. God wants us to make faith-based not fear-based decisions. And when we do God blesses us.
Job was the third of these heroes of the Faith that we find in Job 3:11, “Why didn’t I die at birth?” Here we find the prosperous and respected Job asking God why he had ever even been born. The unforeseen disaster that had come upon Job caused such suffering Job reached a dramatic crisis in his walk with God. Experiencing suffering will cause us to doubt God’s goodness. But if we allow it God can actually use suffering to draw us closer to Him.
Jeremiah was the fourth man of God whose faith was tested in Jeremiah 20:14, “Put a curse on the day I was born! Don’t bless my mother.” Jeremiah felt such shame that what he had prophesied had not come to pass. This brought about an immense crisis of faith for Jeremiah in his disappointment with God for not doing as He had promised. “Dis” means loss of, so disappointment is when we lose an appointment. We think God is going to do something for us and then it doesn’t happen. Our ways are not God’s ways and sometimes things do not go as we thought. It is disappointing but God may have something even better for you.
Finally, the fifth servant of God that came to a place of crisis with God was Jonah in Jonah 4:3, “Now let me die! I’d be better off dead.” Jonah had not wanted to preach repentance to the people of Nineveh. Because he believed they would repent and God would spare them. This is exactly what happened and Jonah came to a crisis point because of his pride in wanting his will more than God’s Will. Humility causes us to realize we don’t have all the answers.
All five of these men ultimately chose not to abandon their faith in God. They were able to have a crisis of faith and not lose their faith. They did this by recognizing a salient truth – God has a plan. His plan may not be our plan or we may not understand it but God is still in control.
In every situation God worked out His purposes even if these men initially could not see it. Whether it is fear, insecurity, disappointment, suffering or pride only by trusting God’s ultimate plan can you overcome your crisis of faith. In each situation God ultimately provided an answer proving His complete faithfulness. The cost is simply way too high to sacrifice all the benefits of your faith over a temporary crisis.