Hearing God Amidst A Pandemic

Coronavirus outbreak. Young caucasian woman wearing medical protection face mask praying over coronavirus global pandemic, for salvation of humanity, health, anxiety and depression reduction

These times are not like anything we have ever experienced in our lifetime. The numbers of those tested positive for COVID-19 and deceased continues to increase. We turn on the news that fuel messages of fear and panic. We are cut of from one another, with each day passing of different degrees of isolation. Worries about our health, finances and the future we planned now control our thoughts. But, as believers we are to see God in all things, yet we may find ourselves wondering, “where is God in all this chaos? It may feel to some that God is no longer present.

So much anxiety and fear has arisen from this pandemic: What if I get sick? What if my loved one gets sick? What if I lose my job? What happens now that I have lost my job? What if the store runs out of toilet paper and cleaning supplies? We are so fixated on what we lost—our routines, our plans, our jobs etc.…we fail to see the good that will come out of this. What unforeseen good might God bring out of these troubled times? How about asking the question: what is God trying to say to me now that He’s got my attention? Beloved, we don’t need to be afraid God does not desire our suffering, but rather constantly working on us to “change.” COVID-19 has disrupted business and organizations worldwide and forced many to closed down or furlough their employees, what if God is telling you now is the time to start the business!? For many of us, we experience this uncomfortableness in our daily lives as something negative instead of opening our eyes to see how far we have strayed away form God. It’s time for us to refocus, while this pandemic has brought additional stress and uncertainty and our lives have come to an abrupt stop, this is something we would have never done ourselves. Many of us have been like Martha who was focused on tasks that we have lost sight of what is important. Now, however in the mist of this global pandemic, we can finally slow down and hear the voice of God and what He is calling us to do. Whether this time turns out to be a change for the better depends our ability to change the way we think, our willingness to unlearn some things to learn new things, and to let go of what was to embrace what is.

God Is Concerned About Social Injustice

Racism In America

When you hear the words “social injustice” what emotion does it evoke? For some, the word evokes thoughts of “equality” for them or their community. Other people hear the words “social injustice” and they equate it with action taken by an advocacy group or organization.

According to the KJV Dictionary injustice is defined as:

1. Iniquity; wrong; any violation of another’s rights, as fraud in contracts, or the withholding of what is due. It has a particular reference to an unequal distribution of rights, property or privileges among persons who have equal claims.

2. The withholding from another merited praise or ascribing to him unmerited blame.

When it comes to the injustice of a group of people; God is concerned about social injustice, but how we pursue or fight for social injustice is another thing. It is the Believers responsibility to participate in the fight against social injustice; not just because it is wrong but also belief in the Bible and what it stands for. For you to say that you are a follower of Christ, but you do not speak out against social injustice that is oxymoronic.

Psalm 64:6

They search out injustice, saying, “We have accomplished a diligent search. “ For the inward  mind and heart of a man are deep!

Galatians 3:28

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Micah 6:8

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Isaiah 1:17

Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.

Social injustice if one of the fundamentals issues that the Bible addresses. At its core social injustice seeks to advocate equality for humankind. As with any protests, there are people who take things to the extreme and behave in ways that takes away from the purpose of the protests. White America can spend time criticizing and debating which is not the purpose for this post. My intention is not to discuss the “effect” or the outcomes of an oppressed people who finally said enough, we want to be heard and we want change! My intention is to admonish to you the heart of God on this issue. So, laying the rioting and looting aside, I ask the simple question, “Is God concerned about social injustice?” “And if so, to what extent?”

When You Feel Overwhelmed By The Pressures Of Life

Depressed woman sitting with her hands covering her face overwhelmed with emotion

God, I’m overwhelmed, you pray as the hours go by throughout the night. You know your alarm is set to go off in a few hours, but you haven’t gotten any sleep. You feel too irritable to relax and not worry about what the day has in store. You may be facing hardships right now—and you don’t know how to deal with the anxiety. You may feel that at the end of each day, you got nothing done and feel completely unproductive, even though you were up early and didn’t go to bed until late at night. Perhaps you committed to something that you now feel is too big for you to handle, and you feel fearful.

Whatever situation you find yourself in, you’re now wrestling all night long with the heavy burden with the feelings of failure and regrets. Do you know the way you should turn when you are feeling burdened down by the stresses of life? Don’t search for strength within your own ability. Don’t think, if I just allow myself to wallow in self-pity, I’ll feel better tomorrow. No, my friends. That is not the answer; The answer is in the Lord.

Cry out to Him—if you don’t have it all figure out, that’s okay , God doesn’t tell us to figure it out on our own. God will give you wisdom in that situation that is not only taking all of your time, energy and heart, but He will give you strength to go through. Turn it over to God. Tell Him how overwhelmed you feel. He won’t be disappointed in you. There is no way you could ever disappoint God, He’s omniscient (all knowing) He knows all of your past, present and future mistakes and He still loves you. Tonight, turn to the Father. Run into His loving arms, He is full of love, grace and mercy. Don’t worry Child of God. The Lord is fighting for you. You don’t need to be under the weight of anxiety and depression any longer. You can emerge out of that dark place, encouraged by the goodness and faithfulness of God.

Are you exhausted by the pressures of life right now? Are you overwhelmed from the weight of it all? Rest in Jesus today, He can carry you through.

Kingdom Resource

BUILT TO LAST

Negative Self-Talk

Winter depression sad woman with Seasonal affective disorder girl grief stricken alone at home window thinking negative thoughts. Mental health banner panorama background.

Envision a day in your life when you are completely unaffected by what other people say or do. Seems impossible, right? Trust me, I get it. When it comes to being critical of ourselves, we all have an inner critic. The world says that the little voice in your head can actually be helpful in keeping you motivated towards your goals. For the Believer, the Holy Spirit is our voice of conviction and transformation that pushes us towards our purpose and destiny. On the other hand, when the voice you hear is negative and it brings you down this is not God this is the voice of the enemy. Negative self-talk is something we all have experienced, and it creates significant stress and can cause us to become depressed, not only is it harmful to us but to those around us if we are not careful. Here’s what you need to know: negative self-talk does not only have an effect on your mind, your life, those around you but it also impacts your health.

Negative self-talk can sound like you are just “keeping it real” so you say things like, “I should avoid this because I’m not good at it”  or it can sound down right hateful “ and you say things like, “man, I can never do anything right because I’m so stupid.” It may take on the view of just being realistic about a situation. For example, “ I just got a C on this test. I guess I suck at Math”  then it escalates into fear, “I’ll probably fail this course and never get my degree.” Being realistic about a situation as it relates to negative self-talk may sound like there is no harm in that but not only are you limiting yourself, you are liming God. Is there any situation that diminishes the power of God to make changes in your life or are you having confidence in your own ability to change?

Because of this, not only can it be extremely frustrating and stressful, but it can hinder your progress. It can affect you in some seriously damaging ways. Study shows that negative self-talk has been linked to mental heath issues. Focusing on negative thoughts leads to decrease motivation and a greater feeling of hopelessness. This type of negative internal dialogue has also been linked to depression so it’s definitely something we need to ask  the Holy Spirit to help us with. Those who engage in daily negative self-talk tend to be more stressed out. Partly, because their reality is having an inability to achieve the goals that they set for themselves. This is both due to not seeing God properly and themselves. This means this is due to perception that comes with a behavior (i.e. limited thinking, perfectionism, depression, relationship issues etc.).When your thoughts are negative it influences your mood. Start shifting your perceptive instead of looking at things that are wrong praise God for the things that are good. Say it aloud: “Lord I may not have the money I want to have, but I thank you that I’m not under a bridge.” Lord I may not have what I want to eat, but I thank you that I’m not going hungry.” When praises go up, blessings come down. Combat your negative thoughts with the Word of God. Mediate on that Word until it gets in your spirit.