Crisis strikes and changes life in a nanosecond. It can rob us of routine, ruin our ability to sleep well, and remove our capability to think straight. Sometimes we forget appointments we’ve made, or we can’t recall what day of the week it is.
In the midst of the storm, we can sometimes empathize with the psalmist who describes his soul as downcast and disturbed. His tone changes when he speaks truth to himself: “Put your hope in God for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:11 NIV)
The psalmist reminds us that the key to calm doesn’t lie solely in our circumstances changing for the better. If it did, then our hopes would be dashed if our circumstances worsened. Calm even in the midst of crisis comes when we place our confidence in our unchanging God. Choosing to trust His wisdom, sovereignty, power, and goodness soothes the soul that is downcast and disturbed. But here are a few practical actions we can take as well.
Ask for Help
Ask others to pray for you. If they can lend a hand in practical ways, say so. All too often, we assume that others don’t really care, or we expect them to know what we need. Let’s believe the best about others and their desire to help.
Remember the Truth
Counteract fear by focusing on God’s promises. Here’s a good one: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3 NKJV) Write this on a recipe card and post it where you’ll see it often. Better yet, memorize it so you can recall it even in the night when it’s difficult to sleep.
Engage in Worship
Fill your mind and your home with praise and worship music. What do the lyrics say about who God is and how does that apply to your situation? Let those lyrics wash away doubts and fears.
Take a Walk
Exercise increases blood flow, supplies the body with fresh oxygen, and stimulates positive hormones. Coupling it with prayer or listening to worship music refreshes us in every way—mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
First Thessalonians 5:18 says to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” God created us and knows that expressing gratitude releases hormones associated with pleasure and contentment. The darker our circumstances, then, the more vital it is that we give thanks. This doesn’t mean giving thanks for whatever constitutes our crisis. It means we give thanks to God for being with us in the middle of it, for giving us wisdom and strength, and for promising to set everything right someday.
When crisis comes, we can either completely unravel or we can experience calm. Where we place our hope and how we choose to respond makes all the difference.
Grace Fox is a career global worker, speaks at women’s events overseas and across North America, and has authored ten books. She’s a regular contributor to Mornings with Jesus (Guideposts) and a member of the “First 5” writing team for Proverbs 31 Ministries. Her new devotional Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos provides doable devotions for people whose minds are on overload. It’s available wherever Christian books are sold. Get a copy of Finding Hope in Crisis Devotions here: Finding Hope