Comfort in Crisis: 4
‘I will bless you with a future filled with hope—a future of success, not of suffering.’ Jeremiah 29:11 CEV
Here are three more helpful steps you can take to assist others who are experiencing crisis:
(1) Encourage action. Sometimes we over-react in a crisis, making the needy person dependent on us. We wind up undermining the very self-reliance that can build them up. Raymond Vath says, ‘We must do for others what they cannot do for themselves, but we must not do for them what they will not do for themselves.’ Becoming proactive in a crisis strengthens people against despair and powerlessness. Encouraging them to take small steps develops their emotional and spiritual muscle. Helping them evaluate their actions and validating their efforts rebuilds their confidence. When the crisis involves an irreversible loss (like a death), the work of getting through one day at a time and gradually adjusting to the change is action enough.
(2) Impart hope. Often there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes people have an uneasy sense the suffering will go on endlessly. What people need at that moment is hope. Hope brings relief based on the conviction that things will improve, and provides energy to deal with the crisis. The Bible is a book of hope. It energises us when we feel like, ‘This is the worst thing imaginable. It will never get better.’
(3) Do the follow-up. A crisis is hardly ever resolved instantly. Life may soon return to a semblance of normalcy, but there may be episodes of relapse into sadness, helplessness, or loneliness. Your words may bring comfort and hope, but it’s your long-term interest that helps people to maintain their faith and progress.
SoulFood: 2 Chr 22–24, John 12:12–19, Ps 102:1–11, Pro 27:7–9
word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2019