Faith Over Fear

We continue to see negative circumstances dramatized before our eyes in the news, on social media – seemingly everywhere we look.  I was struck by a statement from a minister from California.

“Fear always attracts the information needed to legitimize its existence.” 

Bill Johnson

Fear is a powerful emotion.  If we don’t keep fear in check, we will see through the cloudy lens of that emotion.  Too often we let biases and emotions take over and we don’t view our circumstances through the lens of the truth of Scripture.  In crazy times like ours, we need to cling to truth.  We need the grace and wisdom of God to guide us through the bombardment of information and opinions.

There are scary things going on.  However, God promises to take care of us.  We are more important than birds and flowers, but God takes care of all of us.  Matthew 6 reminds us of that. So, friend, don’t worry about tomorrow.  Allow God’s grace and wisdom to guide your thoughts and decisions each day.

Dear Heavenly Father, we struggle with fear.  Please shape our thoughts according to Your truth. Thank You for caring for even the birds and flowers as well as us.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Sleep in Peace

One of the biggest battles we have fought in the last 4 months is fear.  The fears are as diverse as the population.  Much of the fear is turning into anger.  Anger at anyone who disagrees or doesn’t seem to understand.  There are facts, misinformation, and opinions being shared at every turn.  Each of those sway our emotions again and again.

How do we survive times like this? How can anyone sleep at night?  King David wrote Psalm 4. He had experience in many difficult situations, frequently counseling himself to trust in God.  Psalm 4:8 shows how he could “lie down and sleep.”  He knows that God is in control.  God is the means of our safety.  I am all for making wise choices, but no matter how good the choice is we don’t have ultimate control over the results.  With all the disagreement lately, our choices have been somewhat limited. 

Friends, whether we believe it or not…whether we live it or not, God IS in control and will provide safety when we ask.

Dear Heavenly Father, we are facing so much fear. Please help us to turn to You instead of turning against each other. Please guide us in following You.  Thank you for the safety that You provide.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Gentle Wisdom for Tumultuous Times

As I tried to figure out what to write for today – another day in the life of COVID-19 changing our lives – I went back to verses I have put on pictures and found this one.  We need to seek wisdom to navigate the changes this virus has brought.  We should pray for wisdom for those making decisions.  We should evaluate the wisdom (or lack thereof) in the “news” that we hear.  None of us will figure everything out.  Only God knows everything – everything that has happened, will happen, or even could have happened.  We can’t even keep track of everything that has happened. Our finite minds and intellect have limitations.

The people that I have appreciated the most – the stories that I have followed are from those who look at the facts and seek to interpret them with a calm and gentle spirit.  Pandemonium doesn’t help our situation.   Gentle wisdom is provided by a God Who cares enough to allow trials to mold and shape us.  Read the book of James.

As you go along whichever path God has you walking, don’t forget to seek “the gentleness that wisdom brings.”  You’ll find blessing even on the roughest parts of the road.

Dear Heavenly Father, please give the wisdom You have promised.  Please help our hearts to be open to the true wisdom that only comes from You. Thank You for all You have done and all You will continue to do in our lives.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Cheer for the Soul

When the cares of my heart are many,
    your consolations cheer my soul.

Psalm 94:19 ESV

Let’s face it – this week was rough.  The media often sensationalizes the truth – no matter how big or small it is.  COVID-19 is the news story for right now.  As usual there are numerous opinions – and few agree.  No matter where you stand on the issue – no matter your vantage point, I think you’ll find that mass hysteria and overwhelming fear don’t help anything.  If you study emotions, you will find that emotions can take over our rational thinking.  That doesn’t mean we suppress our emotions; we just need to make sure they are in balance with the rational thinking God gave us.

We all have cares.  There were many things people faced before we heard about COVID-19.  This has added to some of those cares in different ways.  No matter what your cares are, God has comfort and help available.  The best thing to do with any care is to take it to God first and ask for His help.  Then as we are able, we can share those cares with others who can help us.  I have been blessed with a church family that I can pray and share with.  If you don’t have one, I would encourage you to look.  There are many good churches and many resources available to help you cling to Christ.  We need one another.

Dear Heavenly Father, we have so many burdens weighing us down right now.  It feels like the world is in a shamble with the varied effects of this virus.  We know You are ultimately in control and have a plan for us.  Please help us as we wait on You.  Thank You for all You have done and all You will do.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

A Special Tulip

Psalm 62 1-2

The tulip in this picture is called the Marilyn tulip.  I’m not sure which Marilyn anyone had in mind when naming this variety, but we will think of my mom’s sister. I shared a couple of weeks ago that my family was grieving the loss of my aunt.  While there is sadness, we take comfort in the knowledge that she is with Jesus.

Her memorial service was last weekend – right at the tail end of tulip time in Holland, MI.  Some of my family took time to enjoy the beautiful flowers.  My mom’s brother took this photo of the Marilyn tulip.

Psalm 62 became special to my aunt as she started realizing that her mind was succumbing to dementia.   Many forms of dementia come on gradually and the person has awareness of what is happening to them.  This can be a frightening time.  However, God is still good and provides protection and aid in our time of need.  Whatever that need may be.

So friend, wherever you are in life – whatever God is asking of you; He has a plan to take care of you.