A Sound Mind in Times of Chaos
Let’s just get to it. For the first time in any of our lifetimes, the whole world is facing a common enemy. One that threatens our way of life. But it’s not a dangerous person, or a hostile nation.
It’s a virus.
Literally overnight, we might be faced with disruptions in our lives that no one has experienced before. It all seems to have come from nowhere.
Fear is cropping up everywhere. It matters a lot how each of us faces that fear.
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Such a beautiful verse. Did you notice that…God has given us a sound mind? A sound mind. Even the words are comforting, those three words.
During tough times, God made you to stand. You can’t control a lot, but you can be calm and a help to others. Think about people from the past that stood calmly during incredibly difficult moments. They learned from life that scary things can be overcome and you can go on to thrive, not just survive.
In this time of uncertainty, you can be certain that God’s Word is true. It always has been, for past generations, a thousand times over.
Believe what God told you. Trade your fear for fierceness in the face of an enemy.
Let’s pray. Lord, our world gives us moments of decision. We will keep our eyes focused on you, no matter what! Amen.
You Are His
For some of us, nothing is scarier than the thought of being vulnerable on the open ocean. Bobbing around on a raft or lifeboat, if you’re not used to sailing, would be frightening.
Our current dilemma with the Coronavirus seems a little like that. In the 1944 film, Lifeboat, a group of people tried not to let fear overtake them in a small lifeboat after their ship was torpedoed.
God knew what our fears would be long before we were born.
Isaiah 43:1 says, “But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”
Alfred Hitchcock, the Master of Terror Films, knew how to get audiences to react to his onscreen images. He knew how to stoke fear and string you along.
Not God. He is the Master Director, and His People do not react with fear when threatened. Isaiah said it perfectly: God says to each of us: You Are Mine.
Think on that for a minute. Sixty Seconds. Believe what God told us in His Word.
At the end of Lifeboat, the survivors are rescued, but not before their survival was in doubt the entire time fear climbed up their backs.
No such scenario for those who lean on God. As we wait for the outcome of this global sickness, just concentrate on one thing all the time:
You are His.
Let’s pray. Lord, you do not leave us alone on the open ocean of life. You are always with us, and we are so grateful for that. We love you! Amen.
Be A Joshua
Even during times of calm and security, the honest truth is, there are very few examples of really strong and steady leaders.
It’s a given then that when times are scary, brave leaders that reassure us are really rare!
The Bible speaks of one such person.
Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua was an especially passionate and courageous leader. A born leader. God used him during a time the Israelites were ‘going all wobbly,’ as a political leader once said.
The Israelites had seen it all. A plague in Egypt. An army bearing down on them. Mass hunger. Homelessness for years.
But Joshua played it all with a chip on his shoulder. An edge of anger really that caused him to never be afraid. In his community, he was boss -- and everyone knew it. God made him that way.
You have a responsibility right now, in the face of a global pandemic without a predictable end date.
In your own community—your family at home, your church family, a group of scared co-workers—be a Joshua. Be strong and courageous. Set your feet so that your legs don’t go wobbly, and then tell your people that God has this.
He is with you, wherever this situation goes.
Let’s pray. Lord, Joshua is our human example of courage. Help us keep others safe and calm in the midst of crisis. Amen.
He Won’t Let You Fall
Do you get tired of being alone or afraid? Have you had enough of feeling like you can’t take any more stress? If you’re honest with yourself, there are times when you think you’re just going to lose it.
The cares of this world can be like that. You stress about not having enough money each month just to pay your bills. You can’t sleep at night because your mind is racing, striving to create a workable plan for every possible scenario.
And no one can actually do that successfully.
So what do you do?
Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”
God—who has proven Himself billions of times, literally—tells us exactly what we need to do. It’s so simple.
Give your cares to God. You can’t take any more stress. Your body and mind can’t sustain it. Truthfully, that realization opens you up to a whole new way of looking at things.
Give your cares to God. Feel that stress dissipate. Have the best nights’ sleep tonight you’ve had in ages.
He won’t let you fall.
Let’s pray. Lord, your mercy and grace are so easy for us. We can cry out to you and give you our tired minds and hearts. Thank you for loving us no matter what. Amen.
He Has Overcome the World
It’s not pretty watching the whole world lose its collective mind.
A crisis is like that.
As believers though, we have a duty to be different. We are supposed to stand out for Christ.
John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
This is one of the most beautiful verses in all of Scripture. It was meant for a time just like this.
Jesus is telling us straight up that He has already won the victory. What that does is take the burden off us to save everyone. We don’t have to solve the world’s problems. We don’t have to fold up and be scared to death in a crisis.
And remember this: many believers have gone on before us. They have already won their races and finished their assignments. They paved the way.
Jesus built that road through His sacrifice on the Cross. If you are dealing with family and friends losing it over our present circumstances, meditate on this astonishing promise from Jesus:
He has overcome the world!
Let’s pray. Lord, please give us strength each day to meet what comes. You are our Savior, in this life and the next. Amen.
See the t-shirt this devotional was inspired by here