We can overcome today’s fears with God’s help.
By Lesli White
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an emotional toll on many of us. Many are shaken up by the news and our anxiety about the future. Some of us may have already been laid off or aren’t sure if we’ll be employed next week. There are others who have family members or friends who are battling the virus or may have even lost loved ones. To say we are living in fearful times is an understatement.
With all the troubles in the world today, it’s hard to not be overcome with fear. Many have lost sight of hope. The same went for many well-known biblical characters. Even many great figures in the Bible struggled with fear. Even Sarah and Abraham, two of the most important figures in the Old Testament who trusted God through a lifetime of struggles and trials had trouble believing one promise God made to them. They even laughed at the thought. Yet, God followed through with His promise, and their trust in God grew. He followed through, even in their doubt. This is why it’s so important to choose faith, not fear, even in the midst of a crisis as big as the one we’re currently facing.
Many Christians profess to trust God’s will for their lives but when it comes down to letting go and letting God, they can’t. We know that God has a special plan and purpose for our lives, most of us don’t have trouble believing this. Yet, the fear develops when we realize that His will may not be the will we have for ourselves. When we’re afraid of His plan, we begin to doubt His will for our lives. We then must ask ourselves, how do we let go of that fear and begin to trust God’s plan when the future of so uncertain?
Attempting to avoid fear robs you of a deep experience of faith. If we want to choose faith over fear, it’s important that we are confident in God and His Word. If we really want to hear God and begin to trust His will for our lives, we must get involved with Scripture and hear what God’s Word is telling us. During the Coronavirus outbreak, many people are turning to God’s Word for guidance and comfort in these tumultuous times. The Bible can help us make sense of the confusion we see around us with people in fear of the Coronavirus. One great verse to turn to in these fearful times is Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
God’s Word provides transformative wisdom, and when we study the Bible and grow closer to the Word, we begin to understand where God is, especially for us. The more confident we are in God’s promises, the closer we get to transformation and renewal. When we begin to see where God is, not where the World is, we can really move towards letting go of doubt and fear and holding on to hope.
While we can’t physically hear God, it’s important that we remain confident that God hears us and confident in God’s promises offered through Scripture. This is the place where you will really begin to hear His voice. The more time we spend with Scripture, the more we can hear and know what God’s will is for us. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you especially when making decisions in the coming days. When you read the Bible and hear God speaking through the Word, you begin to see situations differently and your circumstances in a whole new light. We can’t do this without letting go and trusting God. You then can make decisions based not off a mindset of fear, but where you are being led by God.
It’s easy to trust God when things are going according to our plan for ourselves, but when the plan begins to deviate from what we think should be happening in our lives, it’s easy for us to fall off course. In these moments, we allow fear and doubt to triumph over God. We put up a shield so that we don’t get hurt, but we are only casting out God and hurting ourselves. Proverbs 3:5 which tells us to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding” is a great reminder to let go of self, the thoughts in our head that allow us to believe our plan is greater than God’s. These are the thoughts that sabotage us and will only lead us astray. We should trust God, even when we don’t understand what’s coming next.
While God calls us every single day to not be afraid, to simply trust Him in everything can be difficult especially when you don’t know what will happen tomorrow. The Christian life is a constant battle between fear and trust. Worrying can be harmful not only to our emotional health, but also to our physical health. Excessive worrying can lead to depression and can even cause us to become physically ill. When we worry, we get so lost in what might happen that we lose sight of our peace and happiness, and can no longer find our inner calm. Yet, we have hope in God. When circumstances show up that have the ability to break us down, we can trust in God’s promises.
Always remember that you are bigger than any fear you’re facing related to the COVID-19 pandemic. God is control and we can lean on God’s Word. Immerse yourself in it. While fear may continue to show up for you, when you acknowledge and truly believe that God is in control, we can rise above all battles we face. Fear can feel like it’s paralyzing you, but fear only has the power to control as much as you allow it to. Trust that you can challenge any fear with God’s help. When we do, we come out victorious.
It is difficult to walk with God when we are uncertain. Yet, faith can move us past a place of fear. Faith is moving away from God’s won’t to God will. Even if you’re struggling with doubt, know that God’s plan for our future and the future of those around us is bigger than us.Lesli White is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and a concentration in print and online journalism. In college, she took a number of religious studies courses and harnessed her talent for storytelling. White has a rich faith background. Her father, a Lutheran pastor and life coach was a big influence in her faith life, helping her to see the value of sharing the message of Christ with others. She has served in the church from an early age. Some of these roles include assisting ministry, mutual ministry, worship and music ministry and church council.