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Anxiety and the Word of God

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Wow! What a crazy week across the globe. One new phrase introduced to our vocabulary is “social distancing”. So how do we interpret this in the context of the church? Social distancing and a healthy church seem to be a contradiction in terms. But as we follow the precautionary measures of our government and health officials, we will strive to reconcile the two. Under the current circumstances, we are thankful for opportunities to stay virtually connected as a church through digital communication and social media.

During this time of unprecedented change, it’s important that we stay grounded in the unchanging word of God. If you are anything like me, you have faced many and varied emotions as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and its potential ramifications. Where should we run for stability in an unstable and unpredictable environment? To the Word of God!

As I have been reading and meditating on Psalm 46 this week, faith has begun to drive out fear and the promises of God’s word are bringing hope. 

Psalm 46:1-2,7

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea… The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

When circumstances are big, God will seem small. But when God is big, circumstances seem small. It’s all a matter of perspective. What occupies and dominates our thoughts determines the perspective of our heart. In the midst of adverse circumstances, the psalmists often ran to the character of God. God is our refuge and strength. God is our ever-present help in trouble. The Lord Almighty is with us. He is our fortress. And what was the result? Did you see it? “Therefore, we will not fear.” Faith in the unchanging character of God will drive out fear in the multitude of changing circumstances around us. 

Fear and anxiety cannot be willed away. They must be replaced with a greater truth. Yes, the virus is unpredictable. Yes, it will have devastating effects on many. Yes, we are unsure of the outcome. But God has not left his throne. He is sovereign and He is good. He is our refuge and strength and an ever-present help in trouble. He is the one we depend on and He is mighty to save!

A very familiar passage in Lamentations 3:22-23 reminds us of God’s great love, compassion, and faithfulness. “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” But let’s not forget Lamentations 3:21: “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope”.

Today, let’s call to mind the fact that God is our refuge and strength. Let’s call to mind the reality that the Lord Almighty is with us. And let’s remind ourselves that He and He alone is our fortress and deliverer. And as we do, let’s trust that faith and hope will drive out fear!

Praying with and for you,

Pastor Steve Lindenmeyer

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