By Lisa Ross, LisaRossInspiration.com
In a matter of days my comfortable world was shaken. My husband was involved in a car accident; I received a diagnosis of something I can’t pronounce after spending more than six hours in the emergency room; a water pipe under our driveway burst to the tune of thousands of dollars and my future daughter-in-law miscarried a baby she desperately wanted.
I am reminded of a conversation I had with a colleague years ago while on assignment in Washington, DC. Paul told me about the day “people thought the world was ending.” In a single day a Metro line jumped the tracks, a plane plunged through ice into the Potomac River clipping the 14th street bridge, and hundreds and hundreds of people abandoned their cars the bridge because of a blizzard. In a single day, in moments, our lives can change forever.
During weeks of trials and tribulations I am beyond grateful that God provides hope. And through this faith test I’ve learned 7 strategies to mitigate my fear and sense of hopelessness.
Don’t panic! Just hold on and wait a minute. Stop trying to think about it and don’t try and fix it all immediately. There is an old adage that says, “Stop, Drop and Pray.” The first word is stop. Breathe. Sit down, get some fresh air. Assess the situation and look at all options. Don’t attempt to make big decisions and solve everything right away.
2. After stopping, begin PRAYING
Prayer is the portal to God. Sometimes we need heaven to rain down on our earthly situation. The Bible teaches us that we are to “pray without ceasing.” I’m not sure if this means to pray 24-7. But God and Who HE is should be on our minds. Seek HIM with all of your hear. HE will respond. It may not be in the time that we want—but HE knows our needs. HE knows our hearts and HE knows the outcomes that are necessary for our growth and development.
When we need to hear from God quickly and we desire answers directly and expeditiously—we must FAST and pray. God honors the sacrifice and obedience of fasting. When we fast our spirit relinquishes the things of the world and becomes extremely sensitive to God’s perspective. Fasting is the secret sauce that releases God’s power. We put God on notice that our desire for HIM is greater than our desire for anything else.
Sometimes in the midst of trials and tests we must say, “Hallelujah anyhow.” Job said it best, “Yet though they slay me, I will still praise HIM.” In my favorite book, God Calling, it says, “Praise is the devil’s death knoll.” He can’t stand up to the praise of a believer. Praise HIM for WHO HE IS! If he never did another thing for us, he is still God. He still sits high.
5. Surround yourself with PRAYER WARRIORS
During a time of testing we need to be around folks who are taking us to the throne and who know what you know and believe about God. This is not the time to get on the phone and discuss our issues with girlfriends or unbelievers. This is not the time for Dr. Phil or Oprah or reality talk shows. This is the time for real talk; real prayers and to be around people who know the value of crying out to a sovereign God. This is the time for acknowledging Jehovah Rapha—the God of healing and restoration and communicating with others who understand that kind of power.
I’ve learned that showing gratitude in the midst of tribulations changes the atmosphere. A grateful heart, an acknowledgement that life can be a whole lot worse allows us to release control and pride. Gratitude may not change the situation but it takes our aim off of our current situation and alters how we show up.
7. TAKE CARE OF YOU
As a crisis communication trainer, and one who has managed crisis situations for law enforcement agencies, one of the most important messages I relate is the necessity to take care of YOU. Flight attendants also tell us to ‘place the gas mask on ourselves first.’ The same principle applies. If you are depleted, tired, worn out and stressed out it becomes difficult to perform and make sound decisions. Try and get some rest. Drink plenty of water. Take long walks and get quiet at every opportunity.
In the 23rd Psalm David teaches us in verse 4, “Even though I walk THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death…” The operative word is through. There is another side. And in Psalm 30—we are reminded, “weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
Lisa Brown Ross’s career spans radio and television reporting, public relations and public affairs consulting, motivational speaking and leadership development. She is currently President of the LJR Group, Inc. a Public Relations and Public Affairs Firm located in Las Colinas, Texas. She writes at www.LisaRossInspiration.com.
Publication date: September 9, 2014Page Source (url): http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/women/7-things-to-do-when-your-faith-is-tested.html