With the current climate in our nation being a mix of chaos, concern and fear, it’s no wonder that tensions are high and anxiety is rising. Stress, worry, fear, and anxiety. All of these are very real emotions in a season of Covid and national security concerns.
And if, like many Americans, we have our tvs on most of the day, tuned into the local news channel in an effort to “be aware,” the situation is made worse by the constant influx of negative reports.
Reports of cases of Covid rising. Reports of violence in our cities. Division in our nation. And really, isn’t that what we’re hearing too on social media?
So is there an alternative to living this way? Is there an alternative to living in fear?
Philippians 4:6 tells us “Be anxious for nothing. But in EVERYTHING, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, make your requests be made known to God.”
Are you in prayer daily? Are you communing with God, seeking answers and comfort from Him? Because there’s a second part to that verse from Philippians that is perhaps just as important, if not more so.
Philippians 4:7 says that “and the peace of God, that transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
The peace of God. Peace.
It is possible.
God’s Word tells us to go to Him with everything and pray. To make our requests be made known to Him.
God wants a relationship with us. And though none of this is a surprise to God- not the current Covid season, not the violence and division in our nations and even homes- God still wants to hear about it from YOU.
Our God, the God of the universe, desires an intimate relationship with each and every one of us. And that includes you. And that includes me.
If it matters to us, it matters to God. And He wants to hear about it. So tell Him.
If you’re feeling anxious, or feeling worried. If you’re confused about your next step or feeling like fear is rising, then go to God.
God already knows. But He still wants to hear about it… from you. Because you matter. And He cares for you, deeply.
1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your anxieties upon Him because He CARES FOR YOU.”
It bears repeating, too, that in the midst of all this uncertainty because this has been going on for about a year now with Covid, that depression too is a very real thing for a lot of us.
Depression is real. And it’s scary.
This whole season full of uncertainty with jobs, not knowing if yours is the next to go due to budget cuts and Covid regulations? It’s scary.
Not knowing from week to week when or if the kids are going back to school, that’s stressful. Especially for parents working outside the home who are scrambling for childcare.
Not knowing if help is coming in the form of a stimulus check and if so when- that causes anxiety.
And in a season when we need family and friends and the Church the most, but due to regulations we’re being isolated. Spending a lot of days alone. That’s scary. Because isolation is from the enemy. And the enemy knows that if he can get us alone, feeling separated, feeling isolated, he has a better chance of beating us down. Having us believe lies.
The enemy knows that if we’re alone, a lot less of a chance we can beat him. If he separates us and divides us. Makes us feel like we really are alone. And the weight of current issues and worries becomes unbearable.
Connections are more important than ever.
Which is why it’s more important than ever, in the midst of Covid, in the midst of chaos and confusion and division in our nation that we do know that hey, you’re not alone.
You are not alone.
Let me say it again. YOU are not alone.
And you dear friend, matter. You matter.
You are loved.
You are valued and valuable.
You, sweet friend, are a light in this dark world. And the world needs your light.
Fear and worry and anxiety are real. I get it. I know.
But I also know I serve a God who loves me deeply. Zephaniah 3:17 is a verse not often quoted, but it bears mentioning. “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
My God is the God who has promised to never leave me nor forsake me. Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake.”
God has told me He will meet all my needs. Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
And God has promised that He has a plan and a purpose for me, even now. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”
If ever you feel like you’re suicidal. Depressed. Unhappy. Or in pain. Know that despite what you may be feeling, I can guarantee you have friends and family out there willing to walk that road with you.
To love you until you’re you again. To support you. Be it financially, or just listening. Willing to spend time with you- even if it’s virtually. In this season, mental health is more important than ever.
And if you don’t know of anyone specific you can reach out to, look up some great nonprofits in your area. Some ministries. Start contacting churches.
Even if you’re not a member, the church is there for you. It should be, and it was meant to be.
The Church is the body of Christ. And as part of that body, we’re called to help one another. To weep with those who are weeping, but also rejoice with those who are rejoicing. Romans 12:15
I had people do that for me in past seasons because I’ve been there. And I’m grateful.
So know that you are not alone. Never. No matter what the enemy of your soul or your feelings tell you. Never.
Freedom from depression is possible. And Jesus is the answer.
And the Church is full of people willing to walk alongside you.
Never doubt that.
If you say, well I’ve reached out and I was rejected. I’ve reached out multiple times and been rejected.
Keep going. My word to you is to keep going. Because I’ve experienced the same and I know how painful it is. To finally gather the courage and strength to reach out, and ask for help, and be turned down.
I’ve been turned down by friends and by family. By even churches, yes. People who should have been there for me at my lowest, they weren’t always.
But thankfully, God did eventually send people to me, my tribe, my prayer group. A group of people who were willing to love me and support me and help. And when they couldn’t, they were willing to help me find others who could.
In this season, I would encourage you to guard your mind with the peace of God. The peace of God that transcends all understanding. Philippians 4:7
Because God promises peace. Peace in the midst of storms. Peace.
So today, are you finding peace in God? Are you seeking it and finding it? What verses or exercise are helping you? Comment below.