Using Paul in Acts 22:21-23:11 as an example, Adam Tarnow showed us how to remain calm in crisis. Just like Paul was not caught off guard or surprised, Adam taught us that we don’t have to be either by giving us three reminders: Remind yourself this is not a surprise, remind yourself this is not punishment, and remind yourself of God’s promises.
- Remind yourself this is not a surprise – “In this life you will have troubles, but take heart, I have overcome the world (Jesus in John 16:33). God isn’t begging us to be in His little story, He is allowing us to be part of His grand story. Adversity is part of following Jesus.” What area of your life are you most prone to feel surprised? (marriage, kids, work, family, friends, etc.). Share this area with your community group and memorize John 16:33 to combat being surprised in that area.
- Remind yourself this is not punishment – “We think we are being punished with silly things and with serious things. We don’t face punishment as followers of Jesus Christ. Yes, we may face discipline and we may face consequences for foolish or sinful choices, but the punishment was fully paid for and absorbed by Jesus. If we are facing discipline or consequences, we need to repent.” Where in your life do you need to repent? Share this with your community group and ask them to hold you accountable to not just confessing (acknowledgment), but actually repenting (taking action).
- Remind yourself of God’s promises – “I will never leave you or forsake you (God in Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:5, and Hebrews 13:5). This is the God of the universe giving you His promise.” Pick one of the three verses—Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:5, or Hebrews 13:5— and memorize it. Over the next week, recite the verse to yourself whenever you are most prone to forget God’s promises.