God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea… (Psalm 46).
The word of God is living and active; it feeds our souls and keeps us healthy. There is a lot of fear sweeping all around us, there is huge uncertainty of what these next weeks and months will bring. The psalmist tells us that God is our refuge and strength therefore — because of this truth, because he is our refuge and strength, we will not fear. We can feel like all the things that we usually take for granted, all of a sudden are out of our control. We then have a choice — we can let this feeling of being unable to control things lead us to live in fear or we can choose to use it to propel us to be more fully dependent on God.
Corrie Ten Boom once said, “Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrows, it empties today of its strength.”
We don’t know everything about the virus or what will happen over the next days, weeks and months but what I do know is this — I will fix my eyes on Jesus, he is the anchor of my soul, he is on the throne, he is still sovereign over all, he is the same yesterday, today and forever. The challenges we look to be facing have not changed these facts — God is still good, he is still moving, he is powerful.
Yes we need to be wise — follow the guidelines, wash your hands more often than usual, keep cleaning surfaces, etc. — these things are good to protect our bodies, but what about our minds and souls? What precautions are you taking in this regard? If you are constantly watching or reading the news, you become at risk to the fear pandemic. I wonder what the current statistics are regarding the increase in people checking news apps each day. Most of us haven’t experienced a situation like this where things are literally changing all the time. While we do need to know what is happening, for us as Christians, we need to increase our time in the Bible more than we do in the news, we need to increase our time in prayer and in the presence of God, allowing scripture to feed our minds and souls.
Psalm 62 says these words:
Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I shall never be shaken…
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him…
Trust in him at all times, you people;
Pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
We will NOT now be gathering tomorrow evening (Tuesday) to pray together. But even if you don’t usually come to the weeklyprayer meetings, think of tomorrow evening as an opportunity to get on your own, to refocus on God, to say no to fear, and to declare God’s faithfulness and goodness, knowing that your brothers and sisters are doing the same in their homes. If the government knew the benefit to our minds and souls of being in the presence of God, of declaring truth and of knowing that God answers our prayers, I’m sure it would feature alongside their other guidelines.
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life. (Philippians 4:6-7, The Message).