As we grow from childhood to adulthood, we usually outgrow many of our childish fears. Unfortunately, we sometimes develop new ones along the way, especially when troubles disrupt our lives in unexpected ways like it has with the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if the virus doesn’t infect our bodies, it may still infect our minds with fear. We may worry about our physical, financial and mental health. We may worry about our aging parents or grandparents, our children, our friends and neighbours. We may worry about our jobs, finances or what the future may hold. But, that’s not the way God wants us to live.
Scripture provides some very practical help when our hearts are infected with fear. It tells us to let fearful thoughts lead us to prayer. Instead of thinking about these things by ourselves when we are worried, we’re told to bring them before God. Philippians 4:6-7, Paul says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
This promise in Philippians can be a tremendous source of strength. Each morning, and throughout the day, whenever you feel anxious about anything, let those thoughts lead you to prayer. Tell God what is on your heart, what is weighing you down and thank him for His unfailing goodness and graciousness. Tell Him that you trust Him for His power and provision for the future. Do this with a humble and expectant heart, and as you do, the clouds that hover over your heart will began to break up, and the weight will begin to lift. Even if the circumstances of your life don’t change right away, the condition of your heart will. As He promised, the peace of God will begin to overcome the fear, the worry and anxiety in your heart. You will be better able to step into the challenges of your life with a new sense of stability and hope.
As we face the uncertainties and challenges in our lives brought on by the pandemic, or by any other adverse situation, we must remember this important truth: when fear comes over us, we can overcome fear by turning to God in prayer, and relying on His mercy, power, and strength.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we face challenges and difficulties every day that threaten to overwhelm us. We worry about our families and friends and the troubles we all face. When Jesus walked on earth as a human being, He faced these same kinds of adversities as us, and so much more, and yet overcame them all by His unfailing faith and obedience to you. He understands our plight, and so we ask that by Your Holy Spirit you would strengthen us to face these worries, confident in Your all-sufficient love and mercy. This we pray in the mighty name of our risen Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.