We are presently living through turbulent times. With the volatile stock market, many folks are worried about their retirement funds. As the Corona Virus escalates, Americans are panicking. An ugly frenzy over how much toilet paper to buy, not to mention hand sanitizer and food items, are evident inside every Costco. Being wise and taking precautions during this pandemic is smart but we need not panic. God has our backs!
“I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4 (NKJV)
The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.”
Psalm 121: 7-8 (NKJV)
The phrases, Fear not or Be not afraid, occur 103 times in the King James Version of the Bible. The repetition of this command leads me to believe that God recognizes our tendency to have a fearful nature. However, God has not given us a spirit of fear! Rather, the Spirit living within us is of power, love, and a sound mind. We need to corral our thoughts and keep our vain imaginations in check. The human imagination is a powerful force. It can create a beautiful vision of the future or conjure up the worst scenario. It takes the same amount of energy to pray or worry. One leads to peace and the other to panic. God’s power banishes fear and produces a sound mind. We control fear by bringing every thought captive. Don’t let thoughts rob your peace. Fill your mind with Scripture!
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
Because fear, worry, and anxiety rob us of peace, we must take every thought captive. The minute we feel one of these emotions arise within us, we need to pray. Put on your spiritual armor and ask God to strengthen your resolve to trust Him! Remember how valuable you are to the Lord!
“Then He said to His disciples, ‘Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?’ ” Luke 12:22-26 (NKJV)
While we weather this storm, and it’s a big one, God will bestow us with daily opportunities and blessings. We need to recognize and thank God for them. Non-believers will notice our calm during this historic pandemic. They’ll be attracted and drawn to us! We can be a light during this dark time
(1 Jn. 1:5). We can be the messenger of God’s saving grace (Mark 16:15). We can teach people about the peace that transcends all understanding (Phil. 4:6-7). We can be the prayer warrior who releases angels from strongholds, enabling them to fight battles in the heavenly realm (Daniel 10 and Ephesians 1:3). Through this trial, we have been gifted with an opportunity to grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4 (NIV)
Do not be dismayed or overwhelmed by this season. Don’t give the devil a foothold. God will provide for our needs and direct our path, so long as we are seeking Him. Father God will never abandon His people.
“And the Lord, He is the one who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (NKJV)
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”
Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)
I end by saying that God has given us simple instructions to follow. They are found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. I encourage you to memorize this verse and start your day off by reciting it.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering. The love of God did not protect His own Son. He will not necessarily protect us- not from anything it takes to make us like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process. ~ Elisabeth Elliot