Many of us find ourselves in uncharted territory right now. Life as we know it has changed and we are having to quickly adjust to a new normal. When life takes a turn we weren’t expecting, it can leave us feeling like our world is out of control and the chaos of our emotions are threatening to overtake us.
As humans, we don’t like uncertainty and instability. When our situation seems so unstable and our future feels uncertain, it can be easy to feel afraid and anxious. Right now with the gloom and doom of COVID-19 hanging all around us, it can feel downright overwhelming. How do we find the peace we crave in the midst of our situation?
One of the phrases that God uses most in Scripture is, “Do not be afraid.” That can feel like a tall order when we are face to face with serious situations that turn life upside down. But when God repeats something in the Bible, it’s worth finding out why.
Isaiah 41:10 NLT says, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
I love The Message version too. There’s something about the simple language that cuts through the noise of my anxiety and goes straight to my fragile heart.
“Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.” Isaiah 41:10 MSG
He says this phrase, “Do not be afraid” so many times because He knows that we are going to face difficult and scary times. He wants us to know that we don’t have to give in to our fear because He is there to weather this season with us. He is mighty enough to handle whatever comes our way. He is strong enough to hold us up when we are weary and weak. He is gentle with us, and faithful to comfort us in times of need. His presence is steady; His love unconditional.
When our hearts are in turmoil, we need to remember the truth of God’s character and lean in on God’s promises. We don’t need to stay in a place of fear or worry about what’s to come, because God promises to be with us and He is in control. He knows the future and will continue to provide for His children. As we lean on God’s character and promises, He gives us the strength to face whatever comes our way, and in doing so, He brings peace to calm our troubled hearts. We can have a peace that comes from trusting in the One who created everything and is Lord of all.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
As we turn to God with our worries, fears and anxieties, He faithfully wraps us up in a peace that transcends any circumstance we face–it’s beyond understanding. When we can’t see what’s going to happen next, or we feel overwhelmed by our situation, God’s peace can be accessed in the midst of the storm, and we can begin to see the light shining through the darkness. As we allow God into our situation, He guards and protects our hearts and minds with His peace.
Almighty God, when we are facing a situation that is beyond our understanding, we need your loving peace to guard our hearts and minds. We lift up to you our circumstances and know that we may not always have the understanding we crave, but you promise to carry us through it because of your great love for us. You are the Mighty God who gives us strength and calms our anxious hearts. We praise you for all that you are in our times of trial and our times of blessing! In Jesus name, Amen.