What are the relationship, kinship and similarities for Christians (aka “the Church”) when called to have both “Faith in Christ”, and “Faith in Crisis?” Can one with “Faith in Christ” also find him or herself in crisis, distress, or facing life altering and threatening trouble that require biblical and Holy Spirit revealed faith rules of engagement in such circumstances? Are these two calls to faith mutually exclusive? Some might present a justifiable argument that they are, but I believe there is greater evidence of commonness, co-existence, synchronicity, mutual support and overlap between these two calls to faith. I also believe that “Faith in Christ” is most relevant to the protection, salvation and peace sought and required to successfully persevere and overcome crisis. Likewise, denial of crisis or chaotic situations is not the automatic, only or even preferred faith response of the Christian with his or her “Faith in Christ” and finding himself or herself threatened and in crisis. Romans 1:17 says, "The just shall live by faith" —i.e., those of us with “Faith in Christ” live by placing and walking out our faith in God (Christ) in and through every circumstance in life. Note: Romans 1:17 does not say that the just shall live by trying or appearing to have faith. Therefore, “Faith in Christ” will not always be pretty or immune to Godly critique, development, or need for growth. The effectiveness of faith in God and God’s ability and/or response therein do not submit to how we feel or appear. They both are spiritually birthed and affirmed. Therefore, merely appearing fearless, or fearlessness based on feelings and other human metrics are insufficient towards walking out and fulfilling one’s call to “Faith in Christ” or “Faith in Crisis.”
I argue here, that when in crisis, there is no time for measuring or externally critiquing faith based on appearances. There is only time to engage the measure of faith you are working with. Note: Crisis for the sake of this article is described as unimaginable threat, negative circumstance, chaos and/or the tragic and devastating consequences or potential consequences of the same. “Faith in Crisis” requires focusing, seeking and actively pursuing Christ from where you are at all costs (i.e., your truth and level of faith in God’s truth). We are not called to faith from where we want to be or where someone assesses we should be or based on someone else’s truth/reality. Whether in fear or appearing fearful or not, appearances relating to faith are not the end goal of “Faith in Christ” or “Faith in Crisis”. Rather, trusting, seeking and relying on God in all of your ways—i.e., positions and conditions you find yourself, is the call and challenge of both “Faith in Christ” and “Faith in Crisis”. There is next level/Holy Spirit reasoning why we are called to worship God in Spirit and Truth in John 4:23-24. God’s ability, love and reach through Christ do not diminish or faint based on our physical or sensed-based position and condition. Rather, they allow the glory and person of the true and living God to be revealed to all. The glory and immeasurable value of Christ are revealed through God’s Spirit and truth—not pretense or mere appearance. Our position and condition can be lifted, transformed and resurrected when we truthfully look, seek and submit to who God is through Christ and God’s will and ability through Christ, from whatever position we find ourselves. (Note: Stand Down! This article purposes not to critique anyone’s position, perspective, leading or Spirit revealed proclamations as they relate. Rather, this article purposes to encourage and liberate all Christians to “Faith in Christ” in crisis, without “fear of fear” or pretense. Self-condemnation, non-reliance and not reaching for Christ/God from whatever position one finds oneself, are the biggest threats to Christians and humanity in both life and crisis.)
In Psalms 46:1 or Psalms 27:1-5, we are called and encouraged to have “Faith in Crisis” (i.e. distress, trouble, etc.). Likewise, Colossians 2:6-10 and Romans 8:37-39 calls and encourages us to have “Faith in Christ” in all contexts and situations faced—including the current crisis and pandemic of COVID 19 being faced by both believers and non-believers alike throughout the world. In either case, our call and responsibility to have both “Faith in Christ” and “Faith in Crisis” are presently being tested. As such, Christians everywhere are currently being invited, persuaded and compelled to increase and to have with greater resolve and integrity, “Faith in Christ” and “Faith in Crisis”. It is important to mention here the biblical concept of faith emphasized in James 2:17, 20, that faith without corresponding action and activity is dead. We have this promise and corresponding hope whenever our faith is tested, challenged, or called into active engagement that God is faithful, true and will fulfill associated promises made as we as Christians and God’s children authentically and actively place our faith and operate by faith in God (God’s word). The testing of our faith is with promise…James 1:2-4 (NIV) says,
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Therefore, the current crisis, our perpetual call as Christians, and the daily cries, screams, fears, suffering and concerns of the people whom God loves (both Christians and Non-Christians alike) all have compelling purpose for those of us with "Faith in Christ." They compel us to faith and action based on our trust in God NOW, without shame or flossing (i.e., “fear of appearing fearful), pride or doubt.)
We are not challenged to simply and I argue erroneously defend our position (reputation), status and institutions—i.e., “the church” that existed prior to crisis. Nor, are we called to the more spiritually vulnerable or futile position of attempting to defend the integrity and truth of Christ against the enemy. Faith focuses on and lives into God's truth, regardless. It is not based on getting the opposition to affirm our faith in any way. One of the purposes and foundations for this discussion is the generalized temptation Christians face to defend their position and faith in Christ when facing crisis, as opposed to advancing their position and actively increasing their faith in Christ, and as such having active faith in crisis. (Some might argue that the aforementioned statement follows the logical idiom that “the best defense is a good offense.”) However, it is stated here and any inference to the idiom is out of the promises of God and God’s superior intellect revealed and stated in Isaiah 55:11 . Likewise, in Ephesians 6:16, we are told that our shield of faith (i.e., an engaged and active faith that agrees with God’s word and operates out of God’s love), will “quench/extinguish” every fiery dart of the wicked.). Hence, standing with both Faith in Christ and Faith in Crisis, is diametrically opposed to how the world and we as humans attempt to remain upright in face of opposition. In the Spirit and in biblically espoused faith, advancing one’s position in Christ and moving forward is how we remain upright, stand, overcome and tread upon deadly and life threatening opposition to the glory of God the Father through Christ Jesus our Lord. We don’t defend where we are. Rather, we advance! WHERE THE CHURCH IS, IS WHERE THE CHURCH IS GOING as the HOLY SPIRIT LEADS! The church that stands still and pat according to world-based and human metrics loses relevancy and its effectiveness in agreement with God’s will. Hence, the present call to the church is to bring the presence of God to bear in the lives of people 24/7 and not according to prior institutional metrics and markers indicating the same. God loves people. God loves the church. Now is the church’s greatest opportunity to come into greater agreement with God’s love, will and hope for humanity.
We are called to ACTIVE Faith working out the compassions and love of Christ. We are called to as best we can, trust God, live into our trust and faith in God through Christ, and share our faith and love in Christ as empowered and instructed by the Holy Spirit, with all in need—without regard to appearances or hesitancy based on outside analysis.
As we advance against the enemy’s chaotic schematics, and strategies. Remember, we are the Kingdom of light by Christ’s proclamation. Matthew 5:16 tells us that we are the light of the world—not in mere appearance only. Light exposes, strips away the covertness of demonic activity and transforms the very nature of darkness. Darkness cannot comprehend light or transform light into something that it is not. That is, darkness cannot extinguish light by its mere presence. It can only, through nefarious and covert activity attempt to disconnect the light mechanism from its power source. However, light diminishes and extinguishes darkness by its mere presence alone. Therefore, Faith in Christ and Faith in Crisis require humble (no fear of appearing fearful), intentional, active and increased pursuit, purposed at maintaining and increasing our connection and intimacy with our power source—God through Christ our Lord (i.e., the Word, active faith and love in agreement with God’s will.)
Below are some biblically based and proven principles and rules for engagement for both “Faith in Christ” and “Faith in Crisis”. They are all with promise. Note: the promises and the corresponding manifestations are only revealed as we engage our faith in Christ and faith in Christ in crisis, authentically and fearlessly without pretense. Keep the faith, and let’s go get it to the glory of God through Christ, in Jesus’ name. Peace.
Some Principles for Engagement & Active Faith in Christ during current crisis:
Pray in your Home & with Family. (Matt. 18:18-20)
Seek & Meditate upon Scriptures that promise relief or rescue or comfort or hope beyond. (Psalms 1; Romans 8:28-39)
Seek & Meditate upon Scriptures that situate, hide and protect all trusting Christ beyond this physical world and the pleasures of this temporal existence. (I.E., scriptures that situate eternal life in Christ beyond what our physical eyes can see and mental imaginations can hold. #ETERNALLIFEISREAL) (Psa. 91; I Cor. 2:9-12)
Following instructions for your own safety in homage and honor of your God through Christ and His promise to Shepherd and guide you in all circumstances—even in the Valley of the Shadow of death. (Psa. 23)
Seek, desperately pursue, receive and walk in supernatural peace and fearlessness that is only available through Christ—God’s love present, active, living and expressing in, from and through the hearts of those who love Christ, living in the earth. Share the same with everyone, at every opportunity. (Isa. 26:1-4; Psa. 23; Psa. 27; Phil. 4:6-7)
Engage humble pursuit of God, over prideful appearance (James 4:6-10; Philippians 2:2-11). The name of Jesus does not have effectiveness in our realm based on the metrics for fearlessness established and lauded in this world (i.e., hollering, intimidation, appearing fearless, your enemy’s affirmation, etc.). Rather, its effectiveness is based on faith in the name. Faith in Christ proclaims that Christ is and rewards those who believe and diligently and actively seek Him. Translated: You don’t have to sound like you are on top to speak Jesus in order for the associated authority to manifest and take place. You don’t have to see, discern or even seek your enemy’s attention to speak, receive and release its authority to God’s glory. THE NAME of JESUS IS and has the authority above all others that God has proclaimed and reveals to us by God’s Spirit. All others will bow. Don’t seek proof. Allow your faith activity and proclamations in agreement with God’s word to rest, reign and manifest.
Have compassion and love for others as Christ loved/Gloves you—without regard to scrutiny or judgment. Truth be told, “love” (i.e., God’s love, God) is the true resistance and overcoming force against fear. Faith in Christ and Faith in Crisis provide victory over the world and victory over our enemies-- because the love and care of Christ is shed abroad through our hearts and alive in our actions, to the glory of God and the saving of the world. (I Cor. 13:8,13)
Romans 1:17(NKJV) 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
John 4:23-24(NRSV) 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Psalms 46:1 (NRSV) 1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present[a] help in trouble.
Psalm 27:1-5(NRSV) 1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh, my adversaries and foes,they shall stumble and fall. 3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident. 4 One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. 5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock.
Colossians 2:6-10 (NRSV) 6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives[a] in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe,[b] and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority.
Romans 8:37-39 (KJV) 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
James 2:17-20 (NRSV) 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. 20 Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren?
Matthew 5:16 (NRSV) 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. [Col. 1:13(NRSV) 13 He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son,]