This week Lenore and I are thankful for Hillsong Conference.  We have positioned ourselves in the environment of this Conference spanning over 20 years. Each year, we have received something personal from God and many times it has been the catalyst for a major life change.

Yesterday, we had the privilege of being part of a panel discussing “navigating crisis”.

I was chosen because at this moment my body is suffering with Motor Neurone Disease, a disease that strips the body of all its muscle and leaves the sufferer gasping for breath until their last.  In the past year, I have also met and grieved the loss of friends with this disease.

I love that at such a significant Conference with 25,000 plus people in attendance, we talked so openly about real life crisis.

The bible is not scared to talk about crisis either.  In the book of Acts, we read about the death of James, the brother of John and one of Christ’s followers. It says in Acts 12:2, “Then he (Herod) killed James the brother of John with the sword.”

Imagine the painful separation his brother John faced, losing James at such a young age with so much to live for. They were clearly close: both were fisherman, working for their father, companions of Jesus, leaders of the church. Yet one lives and one dies.

Death can be one such crisis situation. You may be facing the death of a loved one at the moment or maybe life is just hard right now.  You could be wondering, why me? You may even feel judged or blamed for the difficulty you are facing.  I am aware that even in a faith-filled environment, you may feel alone because of the crisis you are in.

Take heart from this story.  Realise that crisis can touch us all, even the friends of Jesus.  Even though you may not feel like it in a hard situation, you are God’s beloved child, His “favourite”, in and out of crisis.

The love of Jesus Christ is as much a reality for those who are living life to the full and those who are experiencing the challenges of life and crisis.

I am also encouraged by John’s reaction to the loss and crisis he faced in losing his brother James.  It did not destroy his faith or stop his walk, it did not take his courage or hinder his calling.

Like John, let’s choose to press forward.  Let’s not allow crisis to cause us to step sidewards or backwards from God’s calling for our life.

In whatever season you find yourself in today, trust me when I say this, environments of love and faith like Hillsong Conference and like your local Church will only bless your life.  So please don’t stay away.  Even if it feels like the hard thing to do, it doesn’t mean it is not the right thing to do.