A reader asked how we can keep up with the news and all that is happening in America and around the world without falling into fear, anxiety, and discouragement.
That is a great question!
I won’t claim that I have handled everything perfectly in recent months. Especially since I am also experiencing the craziness of peri-menopause and fluctuating emotions on top of all of this.
But I will gladly share things the Lord has been showing me, praying that these ideas may bless you, as well.
Sometimes, when we face big new challenges, our faith gets very stretched. It can take a bit of time for us to wrap our minds around things and allow the Lord to do the needed work in us as we face a difficult new reality.
Mourning Over America and the World Is Appropriate
There are times I just weep. Over America. The world. The sin in our nation. The sin in the church. Our future. My children’s freedoms.
I think it is important to mourn when a nation turns its back on the Lord. God sees those who mourn over a nation’s sin and holds them close to His heart. (Ez. 9, Ps. 119:36)
We can stand in the gap to pray for repentance and God’s healing.
It is very painful to see where we are today. I don’t like it. It’s not where I want us to be. But I know God is at work and I trust Him, His heart, His love, and His plan.
How a Christian can have peace in 2021:
(Note, you are welcome to add to the list in the comments!)
1. I try to seek God first. And spend lots of time with Him and His Word and prayer. That has to be my foundation.
2. I write down Scripture passages, promises, and truth. A LOT. And I meditate on it. When I feel tempted to be afraid, I go back to the Word. I go back to the verses I have hidden in my heart. And I remind myself of the truth of God and choose to believe Him and His Word over my feelings. I “take my thoughts captive for Christ.”
3. I repent the moment I see doubt, fear, unbelief, worry, idols, etc… rising up in my heart. I invite God to refine and purify my faith.
4. I ask God to build my faith and strengthen me for what is ahead because I realize I need to be a lot stronger in Him. I invite Him to teach me and to do anything in me that He wants to do because He knows how to get me ready.
5. I try to let go of my dreams and my will. Even for my children and America. I need to be willing to lay down all my hopes, dreams, and desires, to make room for what God wants to do. I recognize we, as believers, are promised troubles and trials in this world—as well as persecution.
6. I avoid sources that are known for spreading misinformation and lies, pushing a godless agenda, celebrating sin, promoting globalism/lawlessness, and defying the Lord and His Word.
7. If I find myself feeling overwhelmed with fear or getting upset by news I read, I stop. Sometimes I even take a break for a few days or longer and focus on the Lord.
8. I look to Christian teachers who share about current events in light of Scripture and who provide the hope of the Bible, encouraging faith and courage, not fear. They point to hope in Christ and focus on God’s faithfulness and sovereign plan for human history.
9. I recognize that I may not be able to fully trust any news sources or even pastors/Christian teachers. Humans are fallible. Only God is perfect. I must compare anything any human says with God’s Word.
10. I avoid sites that I believe are pushing unbiblical teachings, even if they call themselves “Christian.” I look to the Bible as my ultimate source, not a particular teacher. (I avoid leaders who don’t believe in the infallibility of Scripture, who have replaced the Gospel with other things, as well as NAR-leaning sites.)
11. I realize that it may be time for God’s judgment to come on America for our massive amount of sin and defiance against Him. I accept that it may be time for the Tribulation to come as globalism is rapidly rising. I believe the rapture may be very close and my time to work in the Kingdom very short. So I seek to have God’s eternal perspective. I don’t want to fight God’s timeline or His plans.
12. I pray for our leaders and our nation and the world. For the church, unbelievers, family, and friends.
13. I focus on God’s character and sovereignty throughout history.
14. I write down all of the miracles God has done in the past in the Bible and in my life and remember His goodness.
15. I sing praise songs to God and songs of hope and trust in Him.
16. I write down all the things I am thankful for.
17. I seek to rejoice in trials and suffering, eyes open for the spiritual treasures God has for me in those times.
18. I seek to be an encouragement to my family and sisters in Christ to spur others on toward love and good deeds and greater faith.
19. When fear tempts me, I go running into God’s arms for His comfort and love. As I look at Him intently, “the things of this earth grow strangely dim.”
20. We are reading Eric Metaxas’ book about Bonhoeffer as a family. I seek to find inspiration from the heroes of the faith in the past throughout history and the Bible. (The Hebrews 11 Hall of Fame of Faith list, Corrie Ten Boom, Jim and Elisabeth Elliot, and others.)
21. I find great comfort, strength, and encouragement in Psalms.
22. I seek to be cheerful and to overcome evil with good.
23. I try to savor each day and the precious time I have with loved ones and make the most of it.
24. I listen to my husband’s leading and perspective a lot. He is very calming.
25. Sometimes, I talk and pray with a godly sister in Christ if I need extra encouragement.
26. I remind myself of God’s promises and faithfulness that will never fail and I seek to root myself firmly in them.
27. I ask God to direct my steps and show me my role in His Kingdom during such a time as this.
We must pray for repentance and God’s healing in case there is still a chance for our nation, or at least for individuals, to turn back to Him. Perhaps He will bring a great harvest to Himself through these trials and the shaking we are seeing.
I believe they are a divine wakeup call. God is graciously pleading with us all to be reconciled to Him while there is time.
I am excited for the chance to grow so much in my faith. I know God is bringing much good from this that will last forever.
Supernatural Peace Is Possible Even Now!
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isa. 26:3
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be apparent to all. The Lord is near.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me, put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.Phil. 4:4-9
How is the Lord leading you to grow and respond in this time so that you are alert, prayerful, and watchful, but not overcome by fear and anxiety?
Much love to you, precious sisters!
If I have learned anything from 2020, it has finally gotten through that I need to, and can, fully rely on God. We had a rough year like everyone else on earth! We had a senior in high school and a senior in college. Neither one got a traditional “graduation”, or prom, or senior baseball season. BUT, we walked through it as a family, and we grew in the Lord.
We lost a very, very close friend to cancer in September. We dealt with the election craziness like the rest of America, and we were cut off by a relative who we don’t see eye to eye with politically. To pour salt on the scars of 2020, the youth pastor from the church my kids grew up in was arrested for a sin that no one knew he struggled with. He will most likely be imprisoned for many years, and tragically he leaves a wonderful wife and three beautiful daughters behind.
With all of that, you’d think I’d succumb to feelings of woe. But miraculously, God has used all of this to strengthen my faith and to strengthen my family. I began walking much closer with the Lord. I began crying out to Him in prayer much more frequently, and realizing I should be praying even more. But instead of beating myself up as I would in the past, I pray for help and try to do better the next day. I’ve been able to focus on helping those with greater needs. My burden for souls has increased. My desire to live for God and to glorify God has increased. My pridefulness has decreased. I still struggle but it has decreased to the point where I have much, much more peace.
I know that God is the only Truth. The Bible is the only 100% trustworthy source. I am honestly amazed at the peace I have during such an intense point in history. But I take comfort in the knowledge that God is who He says He is, and that He is sovereign, and He is in control. I don’t worry too much about what is going to happen, because I know God already knows. And I take great comfort in the knowledge that I can relax and let God be in charge.
What a joy to hear from you and to hear about the miracles the Lord has been doing in your life!
I am very sorry to hear about the losses you have suffered and how difficult things have been. And what a tragic situation with the youth pastor. That is heartbreaking!
But I can’t begin to tell you how many huge answers to my prayers you are describing as you share the way the Lord has been refining and growing you. Wow!
Praise God for His goodness! Praise God that you are walking in peace and letting go of toxic ways.
This is my prayer for all of those who profess Christ, that He will refine us and purify our faith, strengthening us for what is to come, that we may be faithful to Him and fruitful for His kingdom!
It puts the biggest smile ever on my face to read what you have shared. If I could, I would cover my whole blog with confetti and streamers to celebrate!
Much love, dear sister. Thank you so much for sharing!
Hi April. I haven’t been to your site for a long time. It popped in my head the other day but I didn’t know if you still worked the site. I read your update from January. I’m so sorry for all the health issues you’ve been struggling with.
I thank you for sharing your grief and mourning about America. I too have felt the same to the point of tears sometimes. We moved not long before coronavirus began and had started looking for another church. But because of the virus we have been isolating and haven’t met many people. I kinda thought I was weird for being sad over America. We moved to a county outside of a big city that had violence over the summer. Some of the businesses in our county boarded windows in case the protesters came north. It was quite shocking to see amongst all the stress that came with coronavirus. I just wanted to thank you for helping me not feel so alone.
It’s so great to hear from you!
I am going to be writing a post soon about how the Lord has healed me in so many ways since I wrote that post! My hormones have been inexplicably normal since January. My sugar intolerance and digestive issues have miraculously disappeared and in the past few weeks, I have been able to eat normal veggies, fruits, breads, and even a half of a brownie for my birthday last Friday without any tummy issues!?!?!
God is at work. I praise and thank Him with all my heart!
It is very difficult to watch America’s implosion and destruction. I have absolutely mourned over our country and wept over her. I believe that time is short before the Tribulation period. I hope to write more about that, too, God-wiling.
I’m so sorry for what your city has experienced. It is heartbreaking!
There is a massive spiritual battle raging. May we be strong and courageous to stand firmly for the Lord until He comes. No matter the cost.
Sending you a huge hug, dear sister!
Much love in Christ!
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