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“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4).
Typically when I go through a crisis, I can articulate what I am going through and the strategies I hope to implement to get out of it. From a practical perspective, it is essential to let others know what I’m going through and my plans to bring the crisis to a desirable conclusion. My friends care about me; they want to know what is going on in my life, and they want to know what my “crisis management plans” are and what they can do to help. Caring for others is normal and expected Christian deportment.
Discerning the spiritual side is not so apparent, but imperative for the Christian to understand. This part is less about “crisis management” and more about what your Lord teaches you as He takes you through the crisis. Our unbelieving culture has only one story: they can tell you what they are going through and what they plan to do about it. Their story is myopic, in that there is no other-worldly element or experience for them. They find their best hope in their strength, ability, plan, strategy, and fortitude.
But for the Christian, there is an intuitive awareness that God is not only in the background, but that He is actively speaking, working, and engaging on your behalf. The Christian understands that the story he is going through is more about drawing attention to God than the real-time and space aspects of the crisis. The crisis is the Christian’s opportunity to spread the fame of Jesus near and far. Suppose the point of your life and marriage is more about God than yourself, which it is. In that case, most assuredly, the hardships you go through are more about the glory the Father receives than the personal comfort or security you experience.
My old friend Job reminds me of a believer who went through some of life’s most excruciating trials, but through it all, his faith, like a stained garment, bled through the pain he endured. Through the years, I have found inexpressible satisfaction with Job’s trust in God. He was weak, tired, and at times he was bitter. He received little help from his friends, and even his wife could have been a better supporter.
God was determined not to give Job explanations for his trials, which was okay with Job. His faith was not resting in the hope of understanding the problem, but in a good God who could do the impossible.
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:20-21).
When the movie of your marriage ends, what will people remember: (1) the problems in your marriage; (2) or the God who did extraordinary things through you and your marriage problems?
Talk to your spouse about how God can be more glorified in your life and marriage?