REMAINING STABLE IN UNSTABLE TIMES

Change has been occurring at warp speed in our world during the past few years.  Change in social values, increases in food prices, health care, a violate stock market and now, we’re challenged with the PANDEMIC Covid-19.  Everyone is impacted in varying degrees.  Fear and worry can be heard in daily conversations and on the daily news.  
 
Psychologists tell us that all of our emotions originate from three basic emotions, just as all colors come from a mixture of red, yellow and blue.  The emotions are love, anger and fear.
 
Love draws us “toward” something or someone.  When we Love someone, we’re attracted to them; drawn to them. Anger causes us to be “against” someone or something.  MADD (Mother’s against drunk drivers) are against those who drink and drive, for good reason! The last basic emotion of Fear moves us “away” from someone or something.  Some fear darkness, or experience any number of phobias.  Fear of the future tends to move us away from the Lord.  That’s why the Bible tells us over 300 times not to fear. To remain stable in unstable times, we need to deal with our fears in a healthy way and not give up.
 
Don’t give in to your fears.  A hesitant driver was waiting for the traffic to clear and came to a complete stop on a freeway ramp.  The traffic thinned out, but the intimidated driver still waited. Finally, an angry voice from the driver behind said, “The sign says Yield, not Give Up!”

God wants us to exercise self-control in the midst of roller coaster emotions. Proverbs 25:28 states, “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.”  Paul reminds us in 2 Timothy 1:7 that God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. May I give you three suggestions for remaining stable in our unstable times?
 
First - Choose to PRAY, rather than worry. Prayer changes us and circumstances.  Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives us something to do, but it doesn’t take us anywhere.  Paul told us to be anxious for nothing, but to pray about everything and even on what thoughts to dwell on (Philippians 4: 4- 8).
 
Second - Remember that God is in CONTROL.  We’re stewards or managers, but He’s the owner.  We can pray.  We can follow the wisdom of social-distancing with the Pandemic and other methods to prevent infection of the Virus.  We can communicate with family, friends and neighbors via the phone, or social media.  We can find ways to serve others. We can do what we can (stewardship or management), but HE’s in control.  The story is told of an ambassador traveling on behalf of his government and had a very important meeting with the President of another country.  He didn’t sleep well and his wife asked him why he was so stressed. He told her of the important meeting and how it would impact his career and his country.  She replied by asking two questions.  “Before you were born, was God in control of this world?  After you die, will God be in control?”  “Yes,” he answered.  “Then let him handle today also”, she said.  HE was, is and will be in control.
 
Third -Stay focused on HIM. The emotion and spirit of fear wants us to focus on everything but Him. Remember, fear, moves us “away” from God.  Love attracts us to Him.  Maintain your regular devotions with Him.  Practice self-control in your thought life and the words you speak.  Just as you focus on the road when you drive, maintain your focus on Him. I once read the story of a father babysitting his four-year-old son.  The father was busy and looked for a way to occupy his young son.  He took a newspaper that had a map of the USA. He quickly tore it into several pieces and asked his son to put it together.  Thinking it would take a while, he was amazed when his son told him that he was done.  “Son,” the father asked, “how did you put the map together so quickly?”  The little boy said, “Daddy, it was easy because it was a painting of Jesus.”  Jesus was on the backside of the map. When we focus on Him, all the other pieces of life seem to come together.

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