Everyone is talking about COVID-19. So many voices and opinions and so much information. Who do we listen to? What’s the truth? And if the external voices weren’t enough, the inner ones speak even louder.
What’s going to happen? When will this end? Will small businesses and wage earners make it? How can I both teach and be with my kids and work? Will I lose someone I love? Are we overreacting? Are we doing enough? Will the market crash? Can I leave my house? What if I run out of toilet paper? … See what I mean.
Uncertainty… trouble. But this is not new. In John 16:33, Jesus said, “In this world, we will have trouble….” Pastor Greg Surratt spoke of our underlying trouble in his sermon last week, by saying fear spreads just like germs. The fear pandemic may just rival the coronavirus pandemic. In the grocery store, you go to buy milk, but come out with three of each staple item because of the DEFCON3-level atmosphere.
God’s Word is our only absolute truth. In John 16:33, Jesus goes on to say that although we will have trouble in this world, to: “Take heart, for I have overcome the world.” Take heart! But how?
How To Take Heart And Reclaim Confidence During An Uncertain Time:
1. Fill your mind with what God says instead of what the world says.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
Take inventory of what you are listening to, speaking about, scrolling through or watching. Is it life-giving or life-stealing?
The world tells us to obsess over and try to control situations, but God says to trust him, to seek him. Let God renew your mind and change the way you think so you will know how to respond in any situation.
- Each day, remind yourself how big God is. Read his Word and remind yourself of his miracles and promises.
- Set healthy parameters. Be mindful of what you are taking in and turn from toxicity.
2. Interrupt fear and negative thinking by speaking truth.
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. (Romans 10:17)
Interrupt a thought or feeling with a spoken word. Identify and write out go-to verses to recite when uncertainty hits.
You will believe what you hear—and you hear yourself the most (a nugget picked up from Pastor Chip Judd). The next time you start to lose your peace, try the “I feel…but I know” technique. Take your feelings to God and speak his Word over them.
- “I feel anxious, but I know Philippians 4:6-7 says, don’t be anxious but instead, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present my requests to God, and his peace will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”
- “I feel frustrated, but I know Hebrews 12:14 says, make every effort to live in peace with everyone and be holy because without holiness no one will see the Lord.”
- “I feel afraid, but I know 2 Timothy 1:7 says, God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.”
3. Look for the good instead of dwelling on the bad.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Look for the good that God is doing even in the midst of this pandemic. Find things to be thankful for, no matter how small.
Although we live in a divisive culture, such a time as this shows us that we are all the same— fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God (Psalm 139:14, Genesis 1:27). Use this time to recognize the good and to be a positive influence for others. Shift your perspective.
- Use this time to teach yourself or your children something new or to address a particular challenge.
- Focus on how you’re treating others in this time of stress. Be especially supportive and positive to teachers and people you come in contact with in places like the grocery store (even if they don’t have what you’re looking for.)
Tips taken from The Believer’s Battle Strategy by Christie Michaud.