Tag Archives: covid 19

Perfect Peace

After months of social distancing, my 9 year old has had enough. He was frustrated last week and asked, “Why is everyone obsessed with COVID-19?” I explained that this is something new to the world and is affecting everyone. It’s causing some stores to close, and the ones that remain open have shorter hours. Businesses have shut down, people have lost their jobs and don’t know how to support their family. I also explained that no one knows how long this will last, and that the unknown causes fear. When people are afraid, they try to consume knowledge, but no one knows what information to trust because there’s a lot of misinformation out there. I said, “Because of all of those things, it appears to you that they’re obsessed with COVID, but really it’s just fear causing confusion and it shows up in people in different ways.”

Fear has been at work since the beginning. Adam and Eve were afraid that God was lying to them about the tree. Fear robs us of peace and does it’s best to distract us with the mindset that we can beat it with information. 24-hour news stations try to meet that need for people to have the most up to date information and often report things before they’re vetted. It’s easy to get addicted to the news and not realize that you’re feeding fear as it’s compelling you to keep watching. Internal peace is hard to find in an uncertain world, but it is possible. You won’t find it in the news, on the internet or from your favorite podcast. The only peace that overcomes the fear of the unknown is the kind that Jesus promised us.

John 14:27 says, “I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!” (TPT) Perfect peace is what we as believers have been given, but many of us have allowed ourselves to be robbed of it. We have yielded to fear and allowed ourselves to be troubled in this uncertain time. I’m not saying we shouldn’t take precautions or follow guidelines, but don’t let fear dictate our every move. The world is full of fear and we have the antidote with the Good News. God is still in control. He is still on His throne and has not abandoned us. Trust in Him, be courageous and yield to the Prince of Peace. I don’t need to know everything about COVID-19. I only need to know the One who holds my tomorrow in His hands and put my trust in Him to find peace in this troubled time.

Thanks to @Elijah_sad for making this photo available freely on @unsplash

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Creative Compassion

Throughout the last couple of millennia, Christianity has thrived in times of pandemics and plagues. While the world is full of fear from an unseen enemy, Christians have peace in knowing death is not the end. They know the words Jesus spoke, “Do not let your heart be troubled…Do unto others as you would have them do unto you…Love your neighbor as yourself.” They have then put those words into practice. There are stories of places where the plagues were killing everyone, but it was the Christians who tended to the sick without fear. They used times of global fear to show the love of Christ and to explain the hope of salvation while hearts were open to understanding and learning about God.

I believe today is no different. We should be on the frontlines of bringing hope and peace. We should be encouraging people rather than living in fear. These windows of opportunity only open so often and close as quickly as they open. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “If anyone asks about the hope living in you, always be ready to explain your faith” (TPT). It’s times like these that we should be helping, encouraging and sharing our faith. When we put others first, especially in crisis, they want to know why we are doing what we are doing. That’s when we share the hope we have. That’s when we tell them our lives are not our own.

Hebrews 10:24 says, “Discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love.” What creative things have you seen people doing for others lately? I’ve seen churches make masks to donate, care for widows, buy groceries for people out of work, offer drive through pantries and more. What can you do to bring hope and show compassion as an expression of God’s love? What has God put in your heart to do? Share it with others and encourage them to help you do it. This is our time to make a difference. This is our time to show others the peace they can have even in a crisis. Look for creative ways to encourage people being affected by this pandemic, and then go do it. You don’t need permission, you just need passion.

Photo by Branimir Balogović on Unsplash

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God’s Great Faithfulness

One of the great hymns of the past is called “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”. The chorus says, “Great is thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed thy hand hatch provided – Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!” It’s taken from Lamentations 3:23, and it has been on repeat in my head for a while now. It’s both a declaration and a reminder to me that each day God continues to be faithful to me and you despite our circumstances. The financial markets of the world have come crashing down, along with our 401k’s and IRA’s, but God is still faithful to us and to His promises. He continues to show His faithfulness no matter what is going on.

Psalm 31:7 says, “In mercy you have seen my troubles and you have cared for me; even during this crisis in my soul I will be radiant with joy, filled with praise for your love and mercy” (TPT). These times we’re living in are forcing us to de use where we are placing our trust. The things we have tried to build with our hands and skill are proving to be unreliable. The troubles each of us are facing during this time are real, yet God has continued to care for us. He remains our hope and our rock. When the floods of unemployment, loss of income, sickness, and change come, it’s the lives that are built on the rock of God’s Word that will last. These floods force us to decide if we really believe what we’ve been saying we believe.

You and I can have joy during uncertain times because joy is not dependent on our circumstances. Joy comes from a heart that trusts God and it produces praise no matter what things look like. Because God cares for us more than the birds of the air and the flowers in the field, we do not have to worry (Matthew 6:25-30). We can let our praises shape our cares into prayers (Philippians 4:6). Praising God during times like these remind us of His faithfulness and keep our eyes on Him. Each day gives Him the opportunity to provide for us, to show us His mercy and to prove His faithfulness. If we will take time to look for those mercies and His faithfulness, we will see them. He will provide all you need even during a crisis because His faithfulness endures forever (Psalm 117:2).

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Slowing Down

I like to say that I’m one of the busiest people I know. I hate down time and being unproductive. It’s been that way since I was a kid. I remember hating taking showers or even having to go to the restroom because they were wasting my time. I grew up to work for a company that embraced busyness and expected it. Most people there didn’t just work 9-5. They took work home and did it in the evening and at night at the expense of family time. With high expectations of busyness and productivity, I thrived and felt at home. Busyness has become a badge of honor, not just at that company, but in our world. We’re constantly on the go, juggling more balls than we can handle, and we’re teaching it to our kids.

I think that’s why so many of us are struggling with being quarantined with this pandemic. It’s forcing us to slow down and rest. It has fundamentally altered our life and schedule, and so many people are feeling unproductive because of it. I believe it’s part of God’s plan to make us rest and reset though. He’s the one who instituted a day of rest even before the fall of man, but we haven’t been good about honoring that commandment. To me, this is like God slowing us down to teach us that life goes on even if you’re not busy. The bonus is that you get to rest and reset your priorities in the process.

Psalm 23 is one of the most famous passages in scripture, but have you really listened to the 2nd and 3rd verses? They say, “He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters. He refreshes and restores my soul (life)” (AMP). The way I memorized it said, “He MAKES me lie down…” God’s plan for us is not to be busy, but to restore us and to refresh us. If we won’t take the time to do it, He’ll lead us into those places of rest. If you’re going nuts during this time, change your perspective to see that God is leading you to green pastures so that you can get unbusy and rest. Let Him refresh your life and help you to reset how you live going forward.

Photo by Hector Gomez on Unsplash

If you’d like to read up on how to do that better, my friend Dr. Garland Vance wrote a book called “Gettin’ Unbusy” to help you. Buy it here.

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A Thankful Mindset

Several years ago, I taught a sales psychology class. It was designed to help salespeople stay mentally tough because they’re rejected so often. One of the things I taught in it was the Law of Thanksgiving. It stated that the more we give thanks, the more we have to be thankful for. It was all about counting your blessings and then giving thanks for every one of them. It really is an attitude changer when you decide to be thankful each day to find something in your life to be thankful for. The first couple of weeks are pretty easy, but after that, your mind starts to get stretched and gets creative in looking for things to be thankful for. It ultimately changes your perspective on your life and changes how you look at the world.

In a time where the news is dominated by statistics of people getting sick and dying, it’s a great time to reprogram your mind to looking for things to be grateful for. Matthew Henry, a Welsh minister in the 1600’s, demonstrated this line of thinking when his wallet was stolen. He said, “I am thankful that he never robbed me before. I am thankful that although he took my wallet, he didn’t take my life. Although he took all I had, it wasn’t much. I am glad that it was I who was robbed, and not I who did the robbing.” He had adopted a mindset of being thankful and it changed his perspective on things that happened to him. It’s a mindset that we all should have, and I believe it starts with reminding ourselves that all we have has been given to us by God. He is who we need to be thankful to.

Psalm 16:5 says, “You, Lord, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands” (GNT). It’s important that we start with the thought that God is your source of everything and and that everything you have belongs to Him. “The Lord gives and the Lord takes,” is how Job put it. Being mindful of this helps keep our minds right when the future is uncertain and fear wants to creep in. He has and will continue to give you all you need. Your future is in His hands, not yours. Following the Law of Thanksgiving is a great way to remember that and to give thanks where it’s due. It will allow you to worship during calamity and to be content whether you have a little or a lot. It’s the mindset I believe God is calling us all back to.

Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

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God Is Your Protector

In times of crisis, such as the one we’re currently living in, fear is one of the greatest threats we must guard against. It brings up questions that seem rational, but at their root cause us to question God. What if I get sick? What if my kids get it? What if I lose my job? How am I going to provide for my family? All these questions are valid, but what is motivating them? For some, it’s so you have a plan in place. For others, it’s the fear of the unknown. Fear’s job is to occupy your mind, to cause you to doubt God and to put an undue burden on you to slow you down. Fear does not come from God which is why you need to find out the motivating factors behind your thoughts and feelings.

When King David had the opportunity to fear, he looked to God for protection and help. So many of the Psalms deal with his feelings and were born out of times of uncertainty in his life. He had every opportunity to be afraid, but instead of giving into it, he let those circumstances shape his prayers and the worship he created. He wrote them to remind his mind and his spirit to run to God in the time of need and to trust God’s plan above all else. His words of prayer and lyrics of praise resonate with us because were written out of honesty and intended to keep our focus on God. Instead of consuming the news during this time, feed your soul with the Psalms and with worship songs. Remind yourself that God is your protector and provider.

Here are some Bible verses on God as your protector.

1. Whoever goes to the Lord for safety, whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty, can say to him, “You are my defender and protector. You are my God; in you I trust.” He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers and from all deadly diseases.

Psalm 91:1-3 GNT

2. Lord, you are my secure shelter. Don’t ever let me down! You’re the only place of protection for me. I keep coming back to hide myself in you, for you are like a mountain-cliff fortress where I’m kept safe.

Psalms 71:1, 3 TPT

3. The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in [everything that you do] From this time forth and forever.

Psalms 121:8 AMP

4. Yes, our protection comes from the Lord, and he, the Holy One of Israel, has given us our king.

Psalms 89:18 NLT

5. GOD’s name is a place of protection— good people can run there and be safe.

Proverbs 18:10 MSG

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Bringing Healing

One of most accurate memes I’ve seen during this quarantine is, “Check on your extroverted friends. We’re not ok!” With everyone working and staying at home, people are looking for ways to connect. One way is to do a Facebook live video. In face so many are doing it now that Facebook has had to shift its resources and focus to improving that feature because of the use it’s getting. I also saw a Hallmark commercial where they are giving three free cards to everyone who requests them on their website. They’re wanting people to stay connected and to send encouraging words to someone else during this time. There is a unique opportunity right now to speak life into other people like never before.

If you watch the news, it’s hard to find hope of this ending anytime soon. The no school and stay home orders keep getting extended. Unemployment is rising every day as businesses struggle to adapt and fear keeps consumers home and from buying. Hope is what people are hungry for. In fact, I read an article yesterday from Pew research that said over 50% of people have now prayed for Coronavirus to end. People who haven’t talked to God in years or who have doubted His existence are now reaching out. The need for good news and hope is great. Have you prayed to ask God how He can use you to meet that need?

Don’t panic. Most of what God asks us to do are small steps of faith. It could be a Facebook live video, commenting on a post, sending an email (or card) or posting a prayer. Proverbs 16:24 says, “Nothing is more appealing than speaking beautiful, life-giving words. For they release sweetness to our souls and inner healing to our spirits” (TPT). You have the ability to bring healing right now. You have the ability to speak beautiful, life giving words. All it takes is for you to seek God on how He wants to use you during this time. You can do it because the same Spirit that dwelled in Christ, dwells in you. You are empowered to make a difference right now and to release sweetness to souls. You can make a difference today through the words you use.

Photo by Kane Reinholdtsen on Unsplash

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Perfect Peacefulness

In Mark 4:35-41, there’s a story we’re all familiar with. Jesus made the decision for He and the disciples to cross the Sea of Galilee. Several boats followed them too. While they were crossing the sea, the Amplified Bible says, “A fierce windstorm began to blow, and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already being swamped.” The disciples panicked because the boat was about to go under. Where was Jesus during all this? Soundly asleep in the stern of the boat. They woke Him and asked, “Do you not care that we are about to die?” Verse 39 says, “And He got up and [sternly] rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Hush, be still (muzzled)!’ And the wind died down [as if it had grown weary] and there was [at once] a great calm [a perfect peacefulness].”

If you’re like me, your boat feels like it’s taking on water and that it could capsize. The winds and waves are beating against it and are overwhelming. You might be wondering where Jesus is in all of this. Doesn’t He care that the world is on lock down? Doesn’t He care that so many of us have lost our jobs, businesses and work? I can tell you that one word from Him can calm the storm, but more than that, He can speak one word to you and send a great calm of perfect peacefulness into your life. God has always been your source of money, of security and of peace. I know it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed right now, but if you’ll take your eyes off the storm and turn them to Him, you’ll find the peace you need.

Here are some Bible verses on not being overwhelmed.

1. This is what I’ve learned through it all: All believers should confess their sins to God; do it every time God has uncovered you in the time of exposing. For if you do this, when sudden storms of life overwhelm, you’ll be kept safe.

Psalms 32:6 TPT

2. When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you. When you pass through fire, you will not be burned; the hard trials that come will not hurt you.

Isaiah 43:2 GNT

3. We’ve been overwhelmed with grief; come now and overwhelm us with gladness. Replace our years of trouble with decades of delight.

Psalms 90:15 TPT

4. Do not let the floodwater overwhelm me, Nor the deep waters swallow me up, Nor the pit [of Sheol] shut its mouth over me.

Psalms 69:15 AMP

5. No evil can overwhelm a good person, but the wicked have their hands full of it.

Proverbs 12:21 MSG

Bonus verse:

And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!


‭‭John‬ ‭16:33‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Photo by Linus Nylund on Unsplash

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The Law Of Generosity

In this time of hoarding, panic buying and shortages, it’s good to hear stories of how people are helping others. I’ve got friends who give toilet paper to people who are saying they’re running out. I’ve seen someone over tip for their takeout dinner knowing that the server isn’t getting a lot right now. I also heard of someone who sent their hairdresser the money they were going to spend on haircuts this month even though they weren’t going to be able to go in. These people are not succumbing to the fear. Instead, they’re being generous in a time when hoarding and selfishness is the norm.

If you were to take a pen, hold it out in front of you and let go of it, what would happen? Of course it would drop. But what if you did it again? And again? And again a million times? It would drop every time. Why? Because the Law of Gravity is at work. God has laws too, that when enacted, will give you the same results over and over just like gravity. One of those is the Law of Generosity. In Luke 6:38, Jesus told us that if we give, it will be given back to us, full measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over. Our motives can’t be that we’re giving just so we get. They have to be from the heart of generosity. You must be giving so that you’re blessing those who have no ability to pay you back.

Proverbs 11:25 says, “Be generous, and you will be prosperous. Help others, and you will be helped” (GNT). The Law of Generosity was established in the Old Testament. God loves it when we put away our selfishness in order to help someone else. He blesses that. It’s not even about the amount you give either. Remember there was a widow who gave two pennies, and Jesus said she had given more than all the others who had brought in bags of money. God is always looking at our heart. He’s also always prompting us to give to others. Look around you today. Who is God asking you to be generous to? Look past the fear that is so rampant in today’s world and listen to the voice of God. We need to Law of Generosity in our world activated now more than ever.

Photo by Elaine Casap on Unsplash

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Your Firm Foundation

In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus told the people that people who listen to what He says and applies it is like a wise person who builds their house on a firm and unshakable foundation. Then He said that those who hear His words and doesn’t apply them is like a foolish person who built their house on sand instead of a foundation. When the storms of life come, and it rains day after day, one of those houses will collapse and the other will stand strong no matter what comes against it. Hearing what Jesus says is important, that’s where faith comes from, but it’s not enough. We must apply the godly principles to our lives if we want the blessings that they produce. You can’t get the foundation He was talking about unless you do something with His teachings.

In today’s world, we are watching the rain come down day after day. The wind is blowing against everyone’s houses. Financial markets are crashing across the world. Education systems are under stress trying to figure out how to respond in this time of crisis. Governments across the world are scrambling trying to protect their people and keep their country afloat. The flood waters are rising and the houses that have been built on the sand are crashing down. Fear and panic have taken over the world as people watch what they’ve built get destroyed. Believers are no different. The things they have built are being affected by the storm and floods too, but there is a difference. We have a firm foundation that will remain no matter what comes.

Proverbs 10:25 says, “When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation” (NLT). There is no need to fear or panic as a person who has applied God’s Word to their life. He is still in control and He is still your source. He is your Jehovah Jireh, your provider. No matter how high the waters rise or how long the storm lasts, the godly, the ones who have built their lives on applying God’s Word, have a lasting foundation that is unshakable. You have an anchor of hope that will not let you be moved in this time. Hold onto your faith. Hold onto the promises of God. Rest on your foundation that He has given you. He will be true to His Word. Even Job lost everything, but he held onto his foundation and was able to worship in the storm.

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