How to Respond When in a Crisis


when in a crisis


How do you respond when in a crisis? What is your default when you face a challenge- whether it’s your doing or someone else’s? Whatever the trial you face- be it a marriage, child, finance, friend, or foe…how you respond is no little matter. And how you choose to respond becomes your character.

There is a Bible story of two men who encountered a major crisis. Certain religious leaders threw these two innocent men, named Peter and John, into prison. By morning, they were set free but the leaders told them to speak no further in Jesus’ name.

To share the Gospel was their mission though. How unjust and frustrating! This was their passion and purpose. And now they were told to shut up and go away. How did they respond? They didn’t freak out, start a gossip circle, or fight back. They didn’t lose hope, get focused on erroneous things, or become consumed with right and wrong.

These were two “confident, uneducated, and untrained men, who restrained their words and had calm spirits”. Instead of fretting, they got together and prayed. This is how I want my response to when in a crisis. 

And this is what I want to talk with you about…your new “crisis default”. 


But first, how do you currently respond when in a crisis? 

  • Do you fall back on calling your friends and venting?
  • Or perhaps you scheme up a plan, fret over the wrong that occurred, and what you think you deserve. 
  • Are withdrawal and isolation your go-to’s? 
  • Or do you curl up emotionally, hold a grudge, and wait for others to make it right?
  • Maybe you’ve created the nasty habit of promoting and proving yourself, laying out your defenses in a colorful array.


Let’s check out four other ways to deal with crises. But first, let me clarify what I mean when I use the term crisis. A crisis is defined as a “turning point for better or worse, an attack of pain or distress, a time of a distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome, a time when a difficult or important decision must be made.” Synonyms include “moment of truth” and “crossroads.”
These definitions give us the key in how to handle a crisis. Crises aren’t just emergencies, catastrophes, or hard times. It’s a dilemma with a crossroads or a moment of truth. What decision will you make? Which characteristics will reveal itself at these “crossroads”?
What moment of truth will come about because of your hardship? Will you let it get you down and out? Or will you let it bring about something beautiful inside you and overflow into your children’s lives? 



when in a crisis


4 Ways to Deal With a Crisis

Crises are inevitable so we must learn how to walk through them and become stronger, healthier, and wiser. You do this by creating a game plan and deciding on certain values for handling hard times. Choose beforehand what you will do and refuse to do.


1. Don’t Play the Blame Game. 

In other words, take responsibility. Own your part because whether we know it or not, we usually play a little part in what affects us. Blaming others only makes you a victim. Victims act helpless and you’re not helpless to do your part.

Let me ask you if you tried to blame the thing or person for your troubles or feelings right now, would it be the truth? Could you live with yourself in good conscience? Or do you know that deep down you’ve played a part in how you feel? 


  • Teens

Is it really your teen’s attitude or disobedience that’s the problem? You raised them. They “caught” whatever you “taught”. There are exceptions, but we need to look at ourselves when there are problems with our children. Look at the underlying issues, your marriage, and your priorities. What are you doing or not doing? Change starts with mommy.


  • Spouse

Is your husband the one to blame for your marriage problems? As much as I struggle in mine, I know deep down it’s not all his fault (though I’m very tempted to camp here). The bottom line is that they’re not responsible for our happiness or our security. Blaming my husband only made me miserable. If I have choices, then why would I want to slosh around in his shortcomings? There’s a better way.


  • Family

Is it really your family member’s fault for your current state or the pain you still feel from years ago? True, they might’ve hurt you immensely and should go to a fiery furnace for certain horrible things, but they are still not responsible for who you are today. Some people get dealt the same hand and win with it. So can you.

“You are the only variable, the only constant in who you have become” -Coach Anna
  • Boss

Is it your boss’s fault for your lack of income and time freedom? You might see it that way, but you don’t have to stay there. You’re not a prisoner. Sure, it pays the bills, but you can take responsibility and make a plan to get out of that job and be better off.


  • “Unlucky” Situations

Do you blame others for the “bad luck” things that happen? For the jobs you lose, the houses you get kicked out of, the friends who stopped calling, the churches that don’t excite, the jobs that don’t “work out,” the relationships that don’t satisfy, and the hobbies that don’t fulfill? The question is, can you truthfully point at all these external factors and blame them or can you take responsibility for your circumstances and choices? You faced many “turning points” during these crises. What did you choose? 


when in a crisis


2. Center Yourself in Truth- Not in Human Beings.


Humans are flawed, but God is perfect. Humans will disappoint, but He knows all and is a Man of His Word. Please do not get into the habit (or get out of the habit) of running to your friends or family first thing to vent and get advice. There is a better way.

 “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people.”  -Psalm 118:8

Go to God first. Hear what He has to say. His thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are His ways our ways.

Involving humans tends to make things messy. God tends to make things better. Somehow. 

If you’re listening to Him, He’ll guide you on the best path. He’ll convict your heart to do the right thing. Though it may be a difficult thing. He uses all things for the good; even hard times. These turning points are what “changes us from glory to glory”. It’s in these big and even small moments that allow us to “work out our salvation” or walk in darkness. 

  • So pray.
  • Seek His wisdom.
  • Meditate.
  • Make a decision to stop fretting right now.
  • Breathe.
  • Be still. He will fight your battles. 
  • Find a quiet place to journal your feelings and thoughts.
  • Listen to uplifting music.
  • Get on your knees and ask God to show you where you’ve been wrong. 
  • Be humble and ask forgiveness. 
  • Take responsibility for your part.
  • Make a plan for how to respond better next time.


3.  Seek Counsel From the Right People. 

After you’ve sought God’s wisdom,  and you feel it’s necessary, seek counsel from those who have experience and wisdom in the area you need help. Talk to those whom you can trust. If you can’t talk to an actual person, pack some new tools into your tool belt using online courses, audiobooks, podcasts, or virtual mentors. Here are a few tips to help you find the right people. 


  • Money problems? Don’t ask for advice from broke people. Question those who are in a good place and got there ethically or google finance wizards like Dave Ramsey. Also, committing to monetary obligations when you can’t afford it no matter how “right it feels” is not wise. Check out Jim Kwik’s podcast on how to make the right decisions
  • Marriage problems? Seeking marital counsel from someone who’s on their third divorce is pointless. Pay attention to who you’re talking to. Find a solid marriage counselor or a couple you know has it fairly together and glean from them. 
  • Problems in general? Be careful who you confide in. Some will act like they have your best interest in mind as they “share your mistakes with others trying to find you the right family resource” (a.k.a. gossip). Yes, I’m sure it’s happened to all of us. So learn from your mistakes. Sometimes we don’t actually need advice from people, just God’s Word. Besides, it’s the safest place to be. 
  • Remember that the impulsive decision is usually the wrong one. There’s something to be said about weighing out your options and waiting on the Lord. Let His Word be a lamp unto your feet. 


The Best Way to Respond When in a Crisis

when in a crisis, pray

4. Pray.


Is prayer your last resort after you’ve exhausted all other resources? 

In case you forgot or didn’t know, prayer is our most powerful weapon- stronger than any two-edged sword. I admit that prayer was not always my first choice, but it’s getting there. Venting to God and spending time in prayer is a habit I’m working on all day. 

But don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying to isolate yourself from humans. I’m saying that when it comes to problem-solving our crises (or any problem), seeking truth from the Word of God should be your new default if it’s not already. Running to friends to vent is not a healthy habit for us to get into. 

Involving too many people has made me feel like a fool far too often. Try processing crises without involving all the people, words, and drama. Taking a step back and separating the emotion from the problem will cause you to see with more clarity. Check out the podcast I mentioned above. 

 “Choose to use trials as catalysts for growth instead of “woe is me” grounds to wallow in” 

-Coach Anna


pray when you're in a crisis



My mind is flooded with people in tough times; like friends judging and abandoning you when you’ve made a bad choice instead of helping you through it. Like when a stranger swoops in and buys your dream house from under your nose. Or when you hear that people have gossiped and maligned you behind your back. What about when the marriage you have is NOTHING like what you thought it should or would be.

Remember that in a crisis, your true help is in the Lord and in taking responsibility for your life and your part. It’s two-fold. A crisis can be productive when you allow it to push you closer to Jesus as it did for Peter and John. It’s in the storms and the bad times that we learn to trust God’s goodness and become people of godly character. If not then, then when? 

 The true change and growth, as you weave your way through trials, comes from intentionally choosing to respond rightly. Take your burdens to Him first, pour out your heart, and then seek counsel if necessary. You can do this! I believe in God in you. You’re reading this post for a reason and you have strength, otherwise, you wouldn’t be here.

Get into the habit of praying to the God who knows all and sees all. He’s got your back. If this post helped you or you think it might help your friend, please share it. 


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