Facing Fear in Unprecedented Times
For many of us, August is a time of getting back to normal rhythms. Summer is ending and kids are going back to school. Alarm clocks will be set, homework will be due, and practices will resume. Even for people like me, who are single (or empty nesters), August represents a time of order after a lazy summer.
And then there’s football! For football fans, August represents the beginning of a beloved football season. Go Dawgs!!
But today, nothing looks normal.
School schedules are being pushed back. Classrooms are implementing online/in-person hybrids. Worship services have changed with social distancings guidelines ruling congregation interactions. AND our beloved football season is in jeopardy.
The calendar has changed and so have our normal routines.
What Do We Do When Things Change?
You know, we’re not the first to experience major changes in society. I’m sure we won’t be the last either. The question is not will things change in our world, but how do we handle change when it arises.
If we believe God has a plan for this planet and a plan for eternity, then we can be confident we were made for this time in history. The changes we are experiencing are no surprise to God and He is certainly not surprised that you and I were born at this time.
That’s the exciting part of living these days- you and I have a part to play!
What's our assignment?
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, ESV
We have a mission of reconciliation. We have been reconciled to Christ and through our own reconciliation have become Ambassadors for Christ. Right here. Right now.
Are you scared? Me too. Let’s face it, take it to Jesus, and keep going. We have a calling to fulfill!
How to Handle Unprecedented Times As A Christian
I’m actually pretty tired of the phrase, “unprecedented times.” I hear it over and over on news outlets every day. “These are unprecedented times,” they say. Honestly, I’m not worried about these being unprecedented times. I’m more concerned about how to move forward. And what part do I play?
So, how do we handle “unprecedented times” as a Christian?
We Pray For Wisdom
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:5-8, ESV
Yes, things look different right now, but time is still moving. And we must keep moving with it. This is not the time to give up, but to put it in gear! Let’s pray for God to gives us the wisdom we need to navigate this season. We are living our own for such a time as this (Esther 4:14) moment! I wrote about Esther's story in my post, "You Can Do Hard Things: Esther And My Obsession With Weddings."
We Trust God’s Character
God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Numbers 23:19, ESV
This God--his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30, ESV
One thing that we can remain confident in is God’s unchanging character. God has not changed and neither has His Word. No matter what you encounter today you have a solid foundation for your feet and your heart.
We Face Our Fears
So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6, ESV
Having courage in the midst of chaos is not for the faint of heart. And guess what, friend? You are not faint of heart (okay, maybe sometimes). You are empowered and helped by the Holy Spirit in you. What can man do to you?
We Share Our Hope
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16, ESV
And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. John 17:3, ESV
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:36, ESV
Remember how you were saved? The grace, hope, and peace we have from our relationship with Jesus are exactly what the world needs. It’s not the time to keep the Good News to ourselves.
You’ve Got This!
Today may feel hard and overwhelming or just plain “blah.” Whatever the case, we were made for this. We can do this by the power of Jesus in us! These are exciting times!
Remember when Paul said he knew how to live in every season- to have and not to have. He said, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13, ESV).” That same strength is available to us.
You don’t have to muster up the strength. Take that energy you would normally use to muster up your own strength and lay it down. From a place of rest, turn toward Jesus. Let Him strengthen you.
Want to spend more time meditating on verses to settle your heart? Subscribe to our email list here and you’ll receive my free 14- Day Prayer Guide: Reset My Anxious Heart.
Let’s chat! What scares you most during this season? And how is God showing Himself faithful?
Verses for Further Study:
Psalm 34:4 ESV: I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
Isaiah 26:3 ESV: You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
1 Peter 5:7 ESV: And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 6:33 ESV: But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.