Most Popular Bible Verse
Kelly Smith of our team here did some research and learned the Bible verse most Googled in 2019. Can you guess what it was?
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
No surprise. It will probably be the most popular verse for 2020 as well! Humans are typically anxious people. Do any of these words describe you?
Uneasiness, concern, care, worry, doubt, tension, alarm, distress, suspicion, angst, apprehension, misgiving, suspense, nervousness, disquiet, trepidation, foreboding, restlessness, perturbation, watchfulness, fretfulness, disquietude?
We struggle greatly in this area. If we are unable to control specific areas of our life, there is a compelling invitation to partake in anxious thoughts.
No wonder God compares us to sheep. Sheep believe that if there is a change, it will almost certainly be bad. Only sameness with a trusted shepherd allows them to lie down in green pastures. David said (Psalm 23) that our Shepherd is so powerful and trustworthy that we can pass through valleys of the shadow of death and fear no evil because He is with us!
Uncertain Worse Than Bad
The way we view uncertainty while continuing to move forward is called “ambiguity tolerance.” Good leaders have to have high ambiguity tolerance as they move people forward to a “preferable future” that is far from certain. That’s why they are leaders. Regular people struggle with changes to the norm. We don’t do well with deviations from our daily routine, workplace, and normal companions. And now, enter Covid-19.
The new coronavirus at present has caused over 15 000 documented deaths worldwide (in a few days this number will sound wonderfully low). Just a few months ago no one really spoke about a coronavirus, now everyone talks about it. Countries and economies are shutting down to isolate and try to prevent spreading. Schools, church meetings, non-essential jobs, concerts, sports, and any large gatherings have been cancelled or greatly restricted.
In a matter of a few weeks our world has changed. There is so much fear, and even worse than what we see that is bad is the uncertainty about the future; our health, our finances, our food, our security.
But our God has not changed.
Relief – Your Importance
How can we find relief? It feels like we are caught up in a never ending web. We think we are starting to get on top of things, and then we hear of something new that sends us flying into the anxiety abyss. 😦
I have good news.
There is a way out.
The Lord will not test us above what we are able (1 Corinthians 10:13). He promises to guide us through the temptations to be anxious, if we will let Him.
He says, “Look at the birds.” You can consider sparrows that are everywhere on earth. You can pick out your favorite bird nearby – one of ours is the European Bee-eater [pics] – and ponder the importance of that little one to God.
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
He knows everything that you are anxious about. He loves you. These difficulties and challenges that plague you are not without reason. You are being shaped by them.
Relief – Your Connection
In this heat of the trial of the unknown, there is a prescription from our Father.
If you have reconciled with God, then you can call out to Him with your angst and worries, and accompany your requests with thanksgiving, He will pour over you supernatural peace. Peace that will fill your entire being and guard your emotions and your mental thoughts. That is a promise that He makes to us in Philippians 4:7 and He never ever goes back on His promises.
If there is unfinished business between you and your Creator, you must deal with it. Get things sorted out. This is not the time to delay!
He will direct your path, whether staying home here or going home to the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:6-9). In either case, it’s going to be ok. His ‘ok’ should be your ‘ok.’
Relief – Being Th(i)nkful
How about getting a piece of paper right now and writing down all your concerns before the Lord. Then connect each item with thanksgiving. Yeah I know, at first it feels impossible, but power through. Discover just a few things that you can give thanks for in the middle of the test.
My Thinkful List for Covid-19:
- The virus has a ‘wake-up’ element for humanity
- The virus is humbling the arrogance of nations and of scientism
- Around the globe, we are unified in a strange sense
- People become aware of how we affect each other
- Families are spending quantity and quality time together
- Prayer is becoming more popular
- People are talking about God and the afterlife
- As we prepare ourselves for harder times, we take stock and shift priorities
- The brokenness of the earth makes us eager for heaven
- Turns up the volume on the need to share the Good News of Christ
How about letting these words describe you:
Security, confidence, relief, assurance, serenity, contentment, calmness, tranquil, halcyon, untroubled, unruffled, mild, temperate, restful, composed, sedate, peaceful, amicable, irenic, collected, gentle, sober-minded, steady, genial, equable.
“Thanking in the midst of a trial is the intentional exercise of a spiritual muscle, a choice to believe Him instead of our circumstances or feelings.”