All photos copyright Black Ottawa Scene
THE GOOD WORD — CHRIST IN CRISIS
by Bishop Jacob Afolabi
Christ’s responses in times of crisis revealed that He is Lord, even in Crisis. A storm in your life must be a momentary interruption of your peace. Your Peace must not be an occasional interruption of your storm. Your peace and your joy must remain within you, even in a crisis. (Jn.15:11)
This can only happen when your peace is long-lasting and your storm short-lived, as it would be when you have Christ as the Lord of your life. Most miracles of God are performed when men find themselves in a crisis, and the miracles have their own redemptive lessons for us to learn.
Moses at the Red Sea….Ex.14:8-31;
Joshua at the Gate of Jericho….Josh.6:15-20;
Jesus and the mysterious feast of 4000….Mark 8:1-9
The first crisis that humanity encountered was the fall in the Garden of Eden. The eating of the forbidden fruit introduced man to a helpless state from which it was impossible to come out.
God therefore revealed His Redemptive Hand in a crisis of sin. Instead of dying to their sin, Adam and Eve were redeemed. (Genesis 3:21). Redemption was the first miracle God performed for mankind.
What should our attitude be at the critical moment when all we need is a miracle to get us out of an impossible situation? “Be still and know that 1 am God..” (Ps.46:10).
THRIVING IN A CRISIS
In His earthly ministry, Jesus encountered crises, almost as a daily event. He was always confronted with the crises in human lives. The lepers, the lame, the blind, the dumb, the palsied, the bound, and the crowd hungry for food after attending one of Jesus’ crusades – all had confronted Jesus with their conditions, and He healed and cared for them all.
– Why did Christ’s life and ministry thrive in crises?
– Why was He able to manage every crisis, and still come out on top of every situation.
– Why was it that a crisis situation never took Him by surprise?
You may answer and say, ‘Because He is God.’ But Christ Himself said of those who believe on Him, that, “..The works that 1 do shall he do also; and greater works that these shall he do..” (Jn.14:12). Christ had, and He expects us also to possess, an attitude and a character that will respond to every crisis situation with Divine authority on our lips. “Speak to the mountain..” (Mark 11:22-24).
The answer to the question of how and why Jesus was able to take full control of every crisis situation lies in His prayer life. You must adopt a lifestyle of prayers, if you would become victorious in a crisis. Prayer is not optional, neither must it become traditional. We must have the element of constancy in our prayer life.
Jesus said, “Watch and Pray, that ye enter not into temptation..” (Mt.26:41). The Apostle Paul said, “Pray without ceasing. (1Thess. 5:17)
By this Christ asked us to pray before the trials come, so that we shall be bold to confront trials with our faith and the spiritual authority gained through prayers. If you belong to a fellowship of prayers, and a Bible study group where the word is “rightly divided,” it won’t be long before you too become able to master every crisis that may come up against you or others.
Before healing the lepers, Christ had been praying.. (Mk.1:35-42).
Before healing the man with the palsy, Christ had been praying… (Lk.5:16, 17) Even at the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus was found praying when “the fashion of His countenance was altered…(Lk.9:28,29).
Only prayers, and not crisis, must cause your countenance to change.” (Luke 9:29). When we always wear a frown because of a crisis, we put our Lord to shame, and the world say He could not heal our inner wounds!!!
– Jesus Christ could foresee Peter falling into Satan’s trap, but He assured Peter, “I have prayed for you..(Lk.22:31,32), and Peter survived the crisis. Christians, “make hay while the sun shines..so that when the snow comes your hay is already in the barn.”
“Pray without ceasing..” (1 Thess.5:17).
About the writer
Nigerian-born Bishop Jacob Afolabi is Senior Pastor at the Christ Chapel Bible Church in Ottawa. He received the 2017 Black History Ottawa Community Builder award for his many years of community work, including founding the Ottawa Pastors’ forum, contributing inspiring articles in community newspapers and commentary on community radio stations, as well training a new generation of pastors. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
UNDERSTANDING THE WORD OF GOD
The Bible is the only book in existence that can close itself to the reader. He who wrote it can alone open it. (Lk.24:45)
Without understanding the Bible, how can you “speak the Word” in a crisis? (Mt.8:8-13; Mt.4:1-10).
The Word is the authority that God bestows on us for our use in times of crisis. (Mt.4:4).
It is not too late for you to start. Reclaim your lost grounds by enlisting as a soldier in the army of God, through Bible study and constant prayer life.
Then when crisis comes, you shall ride it as a horse to victory.