I know we are all trying to figure out how to respond to what’s happening in our world. It can feel like things are spiralling quickly. Fear and panic feel like they continue to creep into all areas of life. I’m with you in the midst of this. How do we respond to something like this as Christ-followers?
The verse I’ve been leaning into is 2 Timothy 1:7.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
I think it’s interesting how Paul opposes fear with 3 words; power, love, and self-discipline. I think they give us a great framework for how we respond to this situation.
The power we have comes from God’s Spirit. It’s a power that we can call on to strengthen us. It’s a power that reminds us of the living hope we have in Jesus. It speaks to our hearts. I preached on that hope on Sunday.
Remind yourself of the living hope in God by remembering his faithfulness. Make time to worship in the face of worry. Turn off Netflix, put some worship music on, and spend some time reading your Bible and in prayer. In a changing world, ground yourself in what you know is true and doesn’t change.
As a resource, a number of people have told me that the “Bulletproof” series I shared recently has been helpful at this time. Feel free to check it out.
Remember, hope is what you have and faith is what you build.
The word love is one that challenges us to make it a priority to be FOR people around us. While you can’t connect with people in physical gatherings, you can reach out online. Text and call friends and family. Be sure to join our Connexus Facebook community groups (Barrie, Orillia, Midland) It’s a great spot to connect with people from your Connexus location. Our staff are all on there.
Also, this is a great opportunity for us to be FOR those around us. Look out for those who are most vulnerable. People over the age of 65 or single moms who may be struggling to get what they need. We are currently doing our best to do that as a staff. People will ultimately know we are followers of Jesus by how we love them. These days are an incredible opportunity to do that.
Self-discipline seems like a funny word here, but another translation talks about a sound mind. It’s about making wise choices. At a time like this, it’s important to make wise choices. We don’t want to panic, but we want to prepare. We don’t want to be hoarders but we do want to be wise and follow the recommendations of professionals. It’s one of the reasons we aren’t meeting in person at Connexus but instead, we have moved our services online.
In these times, you can feel overwhelmed, but you and I have a living hope that lasts beyond this world. Keep leaning into that and keep sharing it. Let’s not keep our hope a secret, but be agents of hope in our cities.
Praying for you.