It is important to stay connected during this time (whilst following Govt. regulations), so this will be a focus area! Meet our three areas of stay connected:
Stay connected to God: Notice this comes first. Set aside time to spend with God.
Stay connected with your family
Stay connected with the people in your world
FEAR OR HOPE?
We have two choices before us, fear or hope.
When fear grips us, we don’t function properly. Fear distorts our vision and stops us, takes our peace and turns our eyes away from God. Fear can suck the life out of us and imprison us.
But the power of hope.
But the power of hope comes from knowing who God is and trusting in His promises (He who promised is faithful). “May the God of hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.” Romans 15:13.
Hope does the opposite of fear, hope offers life, gives peace, vision, purpose, and turns our eyes on God. As we heard in Sunday’s message: “[Earnestly] remember the former things, [which I did] of old; for I am God, and there is no one else; I am God and there is none like Me. Declaring the end and the result from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure and purpose.” (Isa 46:9-10).
Yes, there are legitimate concerns at the moment and God created us to have emotions and emotions are an important part of life. Emotions can be positive or negative, strong or weak, pleasant or unpleasant, and can repel or attract.” Emotions in themselves are not wrong; the issue is how people use them; “emotions are controlled largely by thoughts”.
Share how you have been feeling with God, share your concerns. “I cast the whole of my care [all my anxieties, all my worries, all my concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for me affectionately and cares about me watchfully.” 1 Peter 5:7
But remember, as Oswald Chambers said, “pray with your eyes on God, not on the difficulties”.
“The Bible promises the believer a sound, well-balanced mind. In 2 Timothy, Paul writes, ‘For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.’ (1:7 AMP).“Scriptural teaching about our thoughts is not just informative; it’s encouraging – and life changing.”
IF YOU FEEL WORRY IS GETTING ON TOP OF YOU:
If you have been feeling fearful or have lost hope, be encouraged, “deep in you DNA you’re an overcomer! God programmed you to heal, to overcome, and to win.” Here is a method of applying God’s word from counselor H.N. Wright to help break a pattern of worry:
Get a piece of cardboard/paper or card and on one side write the word “STOP”, in capital letters. On the other side write Philippians 4:6-9. Wright suggests the Amplified Bible translation for this, and says the following:
“It’s interesting to note that God says He will guard our hearts, but we are to guard our minds…Whenever you’re alone and begin to worry, take the card out, hold the STOP side in front of you, and say aloud, ‘Stop!’ twice with emphasis. Then turn the card over and read the Scripture aloud twice with emphasis.”
Note: if there are people around, you can do this silently in your head, or go into another room where you are alone.
What this does:
“Taking the card out interrupts your thought pattern of worry. Saying the word, ‘stop!’ further breaks your automatic habit pattern of worry. Then reading the Word of God aloud becomes the positive substitute for worry”.
Resources used for this encouragement include: Wright, H.N. (2001). Always Daddy’s Girl: Understanding your father’s impact on who you are. James 5:17 Litchfield, B., & Litchfield, N.Volume 4. Wright, H.N. A better way to think. Sheets, D. The power of hope