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Stir crazy yet?

In the midst of radically changing times, the Bible has stayed remarkably consistent. 

 

We have been having our Bible Study online called "Fear Not: Unchanging Truth for Uncertain Times" that deals with deep truths that settle us during unsettling times. (We have another one Wednesday at 9AM right HERE. Hope you will tune in!) The aim of the time is to give very practical truths that can get us through these seemingly precarious times we live in AND give us hope and confidence as we move into an uncertain future.

The stress and anxiety is so prevalent right now that the CDC has a whole website dedicated to mental health and coping during COVID-19. Two things are very clear from the site.

  1. This present time has some factors that are conducive to stress.
  2. The potential for stress does not end when the stay at home order is lifted. They say that: 

Emotional reactions to coming out of quarantine may include

  • Mixed emotions, including relief after quarantine
  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Stress from the experience of monitoring yourself or being monitored by others for signs and symptoms of COVID-19
  • Sadness, anger, or frustration because friends or loved ones have unfounded fears of contracting the disease from contact with you, even though you have been determined not to be contagious
  • Guilt about not being able to perform normal work or parenting duties during quarantine
  • Other emotional or mental health changes

The journalist Eric Sevareid once said “The biggest business in America is not steel, automobiles, or television. It is the manufacture, refinement, and distribution of anxiety.". Anxiety is on the rise right now. Last week on the bible study we looked at Philippians 4 and a couple weeks before that we talked about Matthew 6. I continue to be amazed at how practical the Bible is.

If you were not one of the couple hundred that made the livestream last time or watched it afterwards, let me offer some key points from the Scriptures about stress (Matt 6:25-34, Phil 4:4-7).

  1. Our anxiety does us no good and generally does us harm (Matt 6:27). The reason we keep at it is either old patterns or it gives us the illusion of control.
  2. Our stress is a faith issue more than a circumstances issue (Matt 6:30). We don't just address it with tactics and medicine (though both can be helpful). We deepen our faith and trust God more. Spiritual growth aids in defeating worry.
  3. Even if we stress to try and get through today, we are only promised that tomorrow will have the same issues to deal with. We need to learn how to be a person who deals with stress well, rather than just looking for fires to put out constantly (Matt 6:34).
  4. With anything that could bring worry and bring requests to God instead (Philippians 4:6).
    AND
  5. The peace that only God can give, something far greater than any level of resolved stress can provide, is promised (Phil 4:7).

Stress is not from God, so...good news. Every time stress arises, we have an opportunity to stick it to Satan. We have an opportunity for a mini worship service right then and there.

"See" you Sunday!
(Or Wednesday on YouTube!)

I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. 
Job 19:25

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