God’s Plan for You Before Crisis Strikes

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Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Alex was a highschooler who had already developed an interest in investing. So, he opened an account with the trading app Robinhood.

He began trading options, an investment strategy with the potential for high rewards, but not without more risk than traditional investing.

A couple years later on June 11, Alex believed he was $730,000 in the hole and on the hook for $170,000 of it within the next few days.

Later that day, his parents got a knock on the door and received the worst news any parent could: their son, Alex, had taken his own life.

If you were Alex in this situation, what would you have done?

Alex’s story is a sad one. Heartbreaking, really.

It’s one that tells of someone who was facing a crisis and did not know what to do. “He thought he blew up his life. He thought he screwed up beyond repair,” said Alex’s dad…

I don’t share Alex’s story to suggest what he should have done. I share it because no matter what we may be going through, financially or emotionally, our life is never beyond repair.

Alex’s story reminds us that we must all ask ourselves what we would do during a crisis.

It’s a very important question everyone should have an answer to. However, there’s one question that’s even more important:

How do you prepare for a crisis?

Usually, a crisis isn’t something we can predict. That’s why preparing for it is our best line of defense. Because it’s easier to make the right decisions and navigate the storm when we are first prepared for it.

It’s not easy to do what’s in your best interest during a sudden change in your life, because you do not have the time nor do you have the mental or emotional peace to think clearly. So, we need to prepare for a crisis before it comes by taking the time now to create a plan…

The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

–Matthew 7:25

When you start by creating a plan, you’re building a framework for your mind. In other words, you’re giving yourself detailed, step-by-step instructions ahead of time,,, so that when the time comes, you don’t have to think; instead you just have to read and follow the instructions you’ve given yourself.

This plan you create will probably require you to think hard and think long. But don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. None of us knows what crisis (or crises) we will face. Don’t try to prepare for everything.

Instead, think about what you may need if a crisis of any kind comes your way by asking yourself these three questions:

1. Is it going to cost me something?

Practically everything in this world costs money. Set aside some savings to fall back on in case of emergency, aka a crisis. Even if it’s just a little each day, work on building some savings, because every little bit counts.

2. Will I need help/advice from anyone?

It’s always good to ask for help in time of need. So, thinking ahead about someone or a few people you can turn to during a crisis is wise. Even if it’s just for prayer.

3. What can I do without if I had to make the choice?

Lastly, you want to get rid of anything that may make going through a crisis even more difficult for you. Would you lug a heavy backpack full of unimportant or useless stuff when you have to climb a mountain? No. You wouldn’t.

So, if the crisis is a job loss, for example, some of the “unimportant or useless” stuff you can get rid of would be money you spend on things like eating out or meal subscriptions, shopping for extra clothes, or leisurely travel. These are all things that will drag you down even further.

Now, those three questions are just to start. If you can think of anything else that will help you create your plan, by all means, do so. But don’t forget to write your plan down.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,  in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

–1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Once you have a plan, go back and ask: What should I do during a crisis?

1. Pray about your situation

The Bible says to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). That means we must pray during the good times and the bad.

Prayer is your direct line to God. It’s how you communicate with Him and how He’ll communicate with you. And He wants to keep the line open. He wants us to call on Him.

He is our Father. And children who trust their parents will first cry out to them when they are in trouble, hurt or confused. So, that is what we must do with God.

2. Follow the plan

If you took the time to create a plan and write it down, then it’s there for a reason. Take the time to read and follow it. If it was carefully written and thought out, it has done most of the thinking for you. So, follow the instructions you laid out.

3. Be thankful and give praise

In all things, we must give thanks. There’s a hymn:

Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One, give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

We must thank and praise God for the things He has already done and is doing for us, even during our times of need, because He has given us so much.

God is still good, no matter what. And He is worthy to be praised.

Even when it doesn’t feel like it, God is still for you. And the more you praise Him, the better you will feel during your situation. You may not be able to say you’re happy, but you will be able to say you have joy, which is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

4. Pray for others

The Covid-19 global pandemic… Russia-Ukraine War… Hurricane Ian (Florida’s Gulf Coast)… Turkey-Syria earthquake… Israel-Hamas War… a rising housing market… the holiday season…

Illness, conflict, natural disasters, economic fluctuations, and even stress, depression and loneliness have either taken or devastated the lives of many.

Here’s the thing, though: None of these life events may be a crisis for you, but for someone out there… it is.

If you’re going through a crisis right now, I want you to pray for someone else.

No matter how bad your situation is… there’s always someone out there whose situation is worse. And knowing that should fill you with compassion.

I’m not negating your situation at all. I’m not saying that what you’re going through isn’t terrible. And I’m not saying that it doesn’t matter.

What I am saying is that thinking about someone else’s situation will allow you to be thankful for what you do have, and it will allow you to draw your attention to someone and something else.

The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.

–Proverbs 11:25

“What you make happen for others, God will make happen for you.”

It’s a statement I firmly believe in. Your breakthrough may rest on someone else’s breakthrough (Proverbs 11:24-26).

If you lost your job while someone you know just got hired, don’t say, “What about me?” Instead, celebrate them. Be happy for them, not envious. If your relationship led to heartbreak instead of marriage, don’t be jealous of the person who is happily married. Cheer for them and pray that their union will not separate. If you lost your home while your neighbor is still living comfortably next door, pray that the Lord will bless their home.

Christmas—and the anticipation that builds up weeks before it—is a time that many of us look forward to. And as the holiday celebrates the gift of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, many people are more joyful, generous, kind, and helpful to others.

But if you are feeling stressed, depressed, or lonely, know you are not alone. Many people do not spend time with family during Christmastime, while many get stressed preparing for family gatherings. Others feel a severe financial strain because of the pressure to buy gifts.

If that is you, I guarantee someone else feels the same way. And that is an opportunity for you to do something kind.

I want to share this verse again: Proverbs 11:25. It says, “… those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” That emptiness you may feel in your heart can be filled with warmth, if you make someone else’s day a little brighter.

Your heart is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22). And whatever affects your heart can and will affect your life. So, speak and breathe life. Breathe life into people, and you will have life.

If you’ve never been in a crisis, that means right now is the best time to prepare for one.

Compass’ Building Your Finances God’s Way financial discipleship study teaches on this topic. So, sign up for a small group study now, and learn God’s plan for you before the crisis: https://compass1.org/online-small-groups-studies/.

The Bible warns that storms will come in our lives. But do not be afraid!

The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock (Matthew 7:25).

With gratitude,

Melody Stampley

Managing Editor


Melody is the founder of financial coaching business Centsible Finance LLC. She earned a bachelor’s in public relations from the University of Florida in 2014, and a master’s in global strategic communications from Florida International University in 2017; but she discovered her passion in personal finance and writing, as well as a closer relationship with the Lord after joining a Compass – finances God’s way study in 2020. She now serves as a volunteer on the Compass Florida board, is the editor for the Compass blog, and a facilitator and trainer for financial discipleship studies. Melody, and her husband, Nate, have one son, Isaiah, and live in South Florida.

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