The TV blares from its perch above the fireplace. It begins to capture my attention with all the stats and reality of a PANDEMIC. Plastered across the screen, the word PANDEMIC immerses me in words and pictures of fear and the onset of global panic.
The fearful pictures of physical reality do not have to dictate my spiritual reality- the truest part of myself directing my thoughts and actions.
To promote better health in the community social distancing has been prescribed. However, spiritual distancing from God will only promote harmful perceptions leading to unhealthy fear.
Fact about Faith
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 NET
Hope is the anchor of faith. We hope for the full restoration of our relationship with God for eternity. This hope is a confident expectation, not a wishful desire.
Faith reliance in God through hope is courageously defiant of fear.
Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord! Psalm 31:24 AMPC
Heart, a noun in this verse, means the totality of one’s mind, will, soul and understanding. The Hebrew words of action for this heart is to be strong, take courage, wait and hope. I.E. the totality of our being does not passively wait on God but actively lives in the reality of God’s presence.
How can I shelter in place and be strong and take courage?
“Remember what you (God) said to me, your servant— I hang on to these words for dear life! These words hold me up in bad times; yes, your promises rejuvenate me. “Light, space, zest— that’s GOD! So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing.” Psalm 119:49 Psalm 27:1 MSG
Shelter in place anchored in the hope of God who keeps his word by:
- Actively engage in recalling God’s promises. Suggestions: use the YOU VERSION APP, Goggle “God’s Promises”, find online Bible studies
- Reach out to trusted friends and family for encouragement via text, FaceTime, Skype or voice calls.
- Pray regularly alone or with a family member or friend using social media or voice calls. Be intimate with God, He promises not to forsake us:
“[God] has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5–6)
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
4. Be aware of your thoughts and emotions. Direct your thoughts toward gratefulness (Philippians 4:8). Keep a daily gratitude journal, share it with the family. Gratefulness is wonderful for brain health!
What if I am fearful, anxious, angry and sad?
Those are normal emotions in a time of extreme uncertainty. Emotions are not fact, they are feelings. However, they do have a function. Emotions can protect, inform, adjust and sustain us through life. Be aware of your emotions, be patient with your struggles of wavering faith. That is a normal reaction in the face of such uncertainty.
We can control our emotions by controlling our thinking. Some fear-based thoughts are not based on truth. It is important to self-regulate our thoughts to comply with our faith-based realities or our eternal hope in God.
We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5. MSG
“Being strong and letting your heart take courage” has a ripple effect!…Having a CONFIDENT HOPE, trusting that God will keep his word, strengthens FAITH.
Hope is defiant reliance on God keeping His Word.Ann VosKamp
The light of a strong FAITH ignites a heart-felt JOY of eternally belonging to God. This JOY, based on the truth of God’s love, infuses the soul with a PEACE that endures regardless of the circumstances
Even in these times of a PANDEMIC, we can have PEACE!
God is Fighting for You, let this music encourage you and give your peace…
Love you my friend. I love reading your wonderful information.
This is strong encouragement, Cathy. Thank you for this much needed reminder to renew our mind, and not to be discouraged in moments when our Faith doesn’t seem strong. Blessings!