It goes without saying that all of us are struggling in some way during this time of self-quarantine and isolation. We may be struggling with loneliness or fear of what the future will look like when our nation and world emerges from the effects of COVID-19.
To keep our spirits up, it could be beneficial to think about the things that have helped us make it through challenges we previously experienced in life. For me, that means remembering God’s promises to be faithful to me and my family, no matter what life throws our way.
When I think about God’s promises to love me unconditionally, and to be present with me always, it doesn’t necessarily make the problems go away, but they become manageable.
Here are a few principles about God’s love found in God’s word that can bring us hope and peace as we all seek to navigate life’s new normal.
God has promised to renew us when we get tired.
Renew means to regenerate, make new, or to restore freshness. It’s the idea found in passages like Isaiah 40:31, “But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles,they run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.”
When we realize we are struggling with life, we can remember that God will give us strength to make it through our times of weakness.
The writer of Psalm 29:11 says, “God makes his people strong. God gives his people peace.”
Since God has promised to strengthen us, we can find a certain level of peace, even when the news we regularly hear says otherwise.
Isaiah 41:10 says, “Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.”
Our ability/opportunities to trust in God don’t mean that we shouldn’t practice safety for ourselves and others, but it does give us the opportunity to not panic or stress when life seems uncertain.
When we feel alone, we can remember that God has promised to always be with us.
The first passage from the Bible that I ever memorized was Psalm 23. I was about 10 years old when I memorized it with Derrell and our cousin. I didn’t fully understand the meaning of the passage then, but as I have grown older, its words bring me comfort on a daily basis.
Psalm 23:1-3, “God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word,you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction. Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure.”
Like you, I never intentionally stroll through Death Valley, but when we find ourselves in unfamiliar places, it’s good to know that we don’t walk alone. God, the greatest shepherd walks with us, promising that nothing from the landscape will take God’s eyes off us.
We can trust God’s promises because God has never failed us.
Although they may not turn out exactly as we had hoped, God’s promises never fail. That is the eternal hope in which we can find peace.
1 Kings 8:56 says, “Blessed be God, who has given peace to his people Israel just as he said he’d do. Not one of all those good and wonderful words that he spoke through Moses has misfired. May God, our very own God, continue to be with us just as he was with our ancestors—may he never give up and walk out on us. May he keep us centered and devoted to him, following the life path he has cleared, watching the signposts, walking at the pace and rhythms he laid down for our ancestors.”
God has consistently shown us, and the ones we love, that God has the power to fulfill these promises.
What can we do with God’s promises?
Learn them. Remember them. Trust them.
Rev. Albert Simpson, founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance wrote:
“How often we trust each other, and only doubt our Lord.
We take the word of mortals, and yet distrust His word.
But, oh, what light and glory would shine o’er all our days,
If we always would remember God means just what He says.”
May we all remember God’s intentions for us in the coming days. Amen.