We didn’t see it coming. All at once we were snatched from comfortable routines, woken from dreams for the future, and separated from loved ones. We find ourselves now in isolation, reading headlines that spur fear and anxiety. The illness that plagued other nations has invaded our hometowns, our hospitals, our places of work. For some, it’s even entered our homes.
The entire world, it seems, is off-kilter and we’re confronting challenges we only read about in history books. We never dreamed such things could impact us today.
Finding Good in Times of Struggle
We can always find good in difficult circumstances and our current season is no exception. There’s good in the chaos, too. We know this because God is still on His throne and shows evidence of His daily involvement:
- The Gospel is touching lives through technology.
- Neighbors are reaching out to one another, sharing supplies, encouragement, and even laughter from a distance of six+ feet.
- The pace of once crammed-full calendars has slowed leaving margin for rest, reflection, and response to God’s love.
- Dinner tables are actually used for dinner. Together.
- Society has adopted ad-hoc responses to provide for those in need.
- Care and honor toward the elderly, while sorely lacking over recent decades, is now a heartwarming trend.
One thing I’ve noticed is there is not one class or race or segment that is not impacted in some way, from Hollywood California to Las Vegas, Nevada, from Wallace, Nebraska and Mount Airy, Maryland. In the US, we see that Fortune 500 companies are feeling the sting right alongside small businesses and solopreneurs. This COVID-19 Pandemic is no respecter of persons. It shows no favoritism. It treats us all on the same basis.
Turning to God in Times of Struggle
The same is said of God. He is no respecter of persons and shows no favoritism. Acts 10:34-35 (CSB) goes on to say that “in every nation the person who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” The good news and the message of peace of Jesus Christ is for all of us. His hope transcends social circles and economic status.
That means that, even in the midst of difficult and uncertain times, we can trust and rest in the goodness of God, in His character, and in the truth of His Word. If He shows His goodness to one, He can show it to all. As God’s children, you and I can continue to turn to Him as our source of strength and encouragement during times of struggle, whether we feel and see His activity in our circumstances or not. His loving kindness is an ongoing gift to those who follow Him.
Finding peace feels a bit tricky right now. As we face new uncertainties by the hour, we’re all in need of Shalom, the kind of peace that God promises in His Word. God’s peace provides calm hearts and healthy thoughts. It pushes away fear and helps us feel whole and safe.
But how can we find peace in such troubling times? God stands at the ready to strengthen our faith and equip us to battle our fear. We can turn to His Word to find comfort from stress and anxiety.
Bible Verses In Times of Struggle
There are many verses of comfort and encouragement in God’s Word. Below is a list of 10 that often help me battle periods of fear and uncertainty.
- Exodus 33:14 And he replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
- Deuteronomy 31:8 The LORD is the one who will go before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or abandon you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”
- Psalm 27:5 For he will conceal me in his shelter in the day of adversity; he will hide me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock.
- Psalm 62:7-8 My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock. My refuge is in God. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before him. God is our refuge.
- Psalm 91:1 The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty.
- Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.
- John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful.
- Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
- Ephesians 6:10-13 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by his vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens. For this reason take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.
- Philippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Guarding Our Hearts In Times of Struggle
The help of these Scriptures becomes more profound as we ponder, meditate, and pray them back to God. Letting them move from words on a page to truth in our hearts is where their transforming work begins. Here’s how to start:
- Read the passage several times a day. Set a reminder on your phone if it helps.
- Whenever possible, say the verse out loud.
- Meditate on it. Carve out a few quiet minutes and envision its truth in your life. This is not just a passage for people in Bible times, it’s for you today. Take it to heart.
- Pray it back to God, asking Him to give you all the verse offers.
- As you review the verse repeatedly, you’ll naturally begin to memorize it. Practice reciting it from memory.
- Each time you begin to feel uncertain or anxious, call the verse to mind as a reminder of God’s sovereignty and protection.
This is one of the most globally challenging situations we’ve encountered in generations. Sadly, we can say with confidence that it won’t be the last of the struggles in our lifetime. But we can face future struggles with greater assurance. We can choose to let God equip us to walk in His peace and strength by fixing our minds on Him (see Isaiah 26:3). Then we can face this and any future trials with an increased measure of faith.
Most of us struggle to hold onto joy when life gets hard. Cathy McIntosh is passionate about helping you nourish your spirit and pursue your calling so inner joy becomes unshakable, no matter what. Read more from Cathy at www.cathymcintosh.com.