Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Man Of Sorrows Wondrous Name"1 (Lyrics)
Each time I turn on the radio or connect to the Internet, I am inundated with news about COVID-19 and new developments. It seems that my social media feeds are peppered with conspiracy theories which verge on the scary, but which are closer to ridiculous. There are accusations of government cover-ups, evil agendas by wealthy industrialists, secret laboratories, 5G cell towers, quack cures, and the list goes on. The Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918 also carried with it some odd conspiracy theories: Bayer® Aspirin was thought to carry the contagion, and German submarines were rumoured to be infiltrating coastline communities to spread the disease.
Much of what the soldiers and civilians experienced then, we are living through today: social isolation, the controversial face mask, families torn with grief, ships full of sick people carrying the contagion around the world, and a desperate race to develop a vaccine. Why do our minds seek to make sense of it all through wild conspiracy theories, though? There is fear of social disintegration, collapse of the economy, a distrust of authority in all its forms, and a desire to preserve normalcy, but at heart, a great dis-ease and perplexity.
There has never been a better season to remember the wise counsel of the apostle Paul:
Philippians 4:5b-7 – The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (ESV)
Instead of repeating with wide-eyed fear the latest pseudo-science conjecture, let's do as Paul urges and present our requests to God. He already knows them before we pray, but He waits patiently for our part in coming to Him for the answer. When we approach His throne with thanksgiving, the peace of God comes as a welcome treasure, bought for us by our relationship with the Lord Jesus, a peace beyond any speculation or human comprehension, because it is not of our world, but His. God's peace is there to be experienced, a strong grace to stoutly guard our anxious hearts and minds.
Stay grounded in God's Word, not social media, as He counselled Joshua:
Joshua 1:8 – This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (ESV)
Prayer: Dearest Lord, as each day it seems that we are inundated with sadder news and wild imaginings, we ask that You would pluck us up from our anxious wanderings and flood us with Your wonderful peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.
Forward this devotional Share this devotional on Facebook Like PresbyCan on Facebook
Amen, Amen, Amen!
Good advice, Shirley.
Amen. Trust and obey.
Thanks, Shirley, for this wise counsel.
Thank you, Shirley, comforting words for many in these troubling times.
Amen, Shirley, let’s keep our eyes fixed on Jesus instead of the howling storm around us. Blessings.
Thoughtful and well-said, Shirley! What a blessing. I hit my keyboard to print out the Philippians quote and place it where I can see it! With my thanks.
Again, this is a wonderfully written and wonderfully inspiring message. Thank you so much!
With Blessings and Gratitude.
Another great devotional Shirley.
Thank you. I am so thankful I have Jesus Christ. I would not want to go through life and especially now without Him.
This certainly stirred up an assortment of anxiety-producing situations. The chaos we are very aware of is so unhelpful that Jesus must work all day to relieve it. Thank you, Jesus, for your agenda and standard operating procedure of peace, hope, and love. And praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Very well said Shirley.
This was so timely and thought-provoking. It makes me cringe when I hear Christians parrot some of the theories they do. You gave some good advice.