“A crisis is the anvil upon which God shapes our faith.” I read that line on one of Max Lucado’s emails and it resounded with me. I have learned about faith in reading my Bible, church services and seminary but, when had I seen my faith shaped and grown the most? In moments of crisis.
We are all experiencing what many have called an “unprecedented” moment in our history. Like it or not, believe it or not, following guidelines or not, we are in it. Virus reality is before us…and maybe amongst us for some time.
How will this crisis shape us? Look, we all have rough edges. Many of our lives are not all that they should be. We have to admit that they could be better, both for our sake and for that of others. Our physical, emotional and spiritual areas of life could use some improvement.
The quote I began with made me recall a biblical passage written by a guy who seemed to go from one crisis to another, most of them by his own making…even though he was accompanied by the very Son of God. Peter was well intentioned but quick tempered and reactionary. Sovereignly, he was chosen to write to a people that were going through enormous tribulations and trials. Here’s what he said to them:
“In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.”
2 Peter 1:5-7 NLT
Crisis either tears you down or it builds you up. It very seldom leaves you the same. God, through Peter, was letting these people know – I know you are going through a lot…but it’s building up time.
And what a list of improvements! These individuals, who were going through so much, were challenged to be shaped by their crisis and grow in what they believed, how they acted, what they knew, their good deeds, how long they could last in any circumstance and, most of all, in their love for others. Come on Peter, these weary readers might have said, are you serious? He would have responded with a resounding, Yes!
So, how about you and I? Take another look at the list above. Are we up for the challenge? During these “unprecedented” times, will we experience “unprecedented” shaping of our lives? Will our faith get stronger, our actions make a positive impact, our knowledge increase, our patience persevere and our love for all be purer? With God’s help, let’s make it so!