Hi Christian Sister! I don’t normally write this frequently, but the news depressing me, Girl! I heard a news story today and it prompted me to share a few words for those who may feel at this moment like I feel as a result: sad, scared, or anxious. Senseless mass murders affect us and shake us. People shopping in grocery stores, children going to school, racists acts of violence – it’s a lot to process. It threatens our sense of control in the world and our freedom to do normal, everyday things and feel safe doing them. I speak to myself and you too when I say, in all honesty, the world seems to be falling apart in unprecedented ways. But, I refuse to give up my hope or my peace! I know you refuse too! Let me remind you when you feel scared, don’t surrender your peace, ok?
So, when you wake up on days like today, shrouded in national sadness, what do you do?
What do you think?
How do you proceed?
I seriously believe so many people coming out of 2020 and living in 2021 will experience some sort of post-traumatic stress in the future. It has been a very challenging year. No, it has been very challenging in the last several years. Hard times indeed!
People are afraid. For so long, people of been fearful of what lurks in the air that could kill them or their loved ones, but add to that civil unrest, mass shootings and you have an evil recipe for anxiety.
I’d like to say I am never affected by any of this “worldly” stuff. Sure, I wish I could hide behind spiritual platitudes and fake happiness. But, I can’t. Like you, I am hurting in my heart. Like you, I care deeply about the families who are devastated by all the pain of the world. Yes, it’s been a lot of it of late and over time it takes a toll, doesn’t it?
Oh yeah! About those Christians are out there. Waiting to get on my nerves.
What bugs me most is the people who pretend nothing affects them. They spout spiritual clichés and live almost in a sense of denial. I’m sick of those kinds of conversations and I no longer participate in them. If I told some people “Hey, the news depressing me lately”, they would either judge my faith level or start preaching at me.
Before you doubt my Christianity, let me make a few things clear.
Yes, I am a woman of faith and I believe strongly in Jesus Christ.
Yes, I trust and believe in His sovereignty.
Of course, I understand that I see only in part but He sees the whole of an issue.
Plus, I discern that He makes decisions based on things we will never understand nor do we have the capacity to comprehend.
I remind myself in times like this God is still gracious. He is still loving. All of His actions are rooted in lovingkindness and wisdom…even those I don’t understand. That’s faith.GodsyGirl
I still have faith, but I refuse to whitewash it in phoniness. Life is hard. Not to mention these news stories sting my soul and make me feel vulnerable and powerless. There I said it! I feel helpless.
Why this bad stuff happens…
The bottom line is the reason bad things occur is that we live in a fallen world. It’s not our fault, it’s a system we were born into. The Bible calls Satan the prince of the power of the air. And because he is, men make wicked decisions as they are influenced by him. Those decisions affect us because we share a world with those evil pawns.
Add to that the freedom of choice that God allows humanity, and you understand they have the freedom to make those decisions. This again it’s not our fault it is the world we live in. Nevertheless, we are equipped and Jesus addressed it in our life manual:
33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.John 16:33
Ha! I called the Bible our life manual. Well, it is.
With all this, the most important thing to remember and control is how we respond to these things that happen. We can’t control the world system, necessarily. We can’t control what men (i.e. humans) do. Yet, we’re NOT powerless.
We’re NOT unprotected. We are NOT helpless – even if we feel we are.
While this system is something we must live in at this time, we can’t allow it to live in us.
We cannot be paralyzed by fear or worry as though we have no hope. If we do, it means we neglect to utilize the resources Jesus Christ has given us to survive the system.
Here’s what I was reminded of and what I’m reminding myself of as I write this.
When you say “the news depressing me”…remember Jesus Christ as your Comfort.
One of my favorite scriptures is when Jesus said He would not leave us comfortless.
“If you love me, obey me; and I will ask the Father and he will give you another Comforter, and he will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, for it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you do, for he lives with you now and some day shall be in you. No, I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm—I will come to you. ~ John 15-18
He left us with the Holy Spirit – the most beautiful and sweetest presence of Himself. He lives inside of us and leads us, guides us, and gives us peace and comfort to get through anything that happens in our world. Isn’t that good news?
With that, today – especially today – I am reminded I must tap into the comfort of the Holy Spirit. I must pray and trust Him to take care of me, guard my mental health, and the anxious thoughts swirling around in my head.
Want to know how? Let me tell you…
Step one is to access my comfort and cry out to Him.
Just like they did in Psalm 107:6, we are to do the same… “they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He delivered them out of their distresses”.
Just knowing that I have a Deliverer helps me manage the struggle and the strain of the news stories or the problems of daily life for that matter.
Yes, Christian woman. In times like this, call out to Jesus. Still your world and pray.
Let me tell you a tip: don’t expect to receive comfort by praying while you go about doing other things. No. Stop what you’re doing. Cry out to the Lord. Sit still in it. Wait for his peace to come. Wait for Him to tell you what to do next.
You may have to wake up early to do this; you may have to stay up late. Either way, you need to connect with Him in a meaningful way to get what you need.
Hey, when you’re ravaged with thirst from heat or exercise, you don’t just dip your tongue in a glass of water and walk away. No, you stop, pause and drink. Actually, you GUZZLE it! You take many sips until you’re satisfied. Same with prayer. Be quiet with Him and take many sips of His presence until you’re at peace.
And I’m so sick of people saying prayer doesn’t work when the truth of the matter is they didn’t “work it. “
They pray five seconds – while driving to work – and consider themselves with an active prayer life. I’m no different. I‘ve treated prayer flippantly as well. The consequence of that is a heavy spirit. Sadness can result. Stress and anxiety find their way into your life and camp there.
Crying out to the Lord it’s not just crying and then walking into the kitchen to make cinnamon rolls. It’s laying on your face before Him and saying “God unless you fix this I’m gonna lose my mind!” Then, waiting for a spiritual release.
Turn to the word of God.
Inside the Word of God are the riches and the secret sauce to a peaceful life.
I feel the Bible is the doorway into how the Holy Spirit operates. He speaks to us through it. He brings scriptures that will help us feel secure and confident and He even brings them back to our memory so we don’t fall prey to despair.
Now is a good time to make my distinction between studying the word of God and crawling into it for help in our times of need.
See, when you study the word of God you dig deep. It’s like walking into an ocean full throttle! Studying the Bible is similar. It’s when you pull things out of it. You research what things mean and then you analyze them. Studying is more like that. I’m not talking about “studying” the Bible on horrible days like today.
In times of trouble, studying can’t happen I don’t believe.
Here is why: it is because of the way our brain works under stress. The physical response often prohibits us from concentration. Do you agree? Tell me below.
Instead of studying and conducting an exegesis of the scripture, these are the times you approach the Word of God and you just lay in it. You rest in it. Using my ocean analogy again, it’s like when you go on the edge of a beach and you just lay in there in the sand, under the warm sun allowing the water to kind a sweep over you and around you. And when I hear about horrible shootings or bad things in the world I go to God’s word and I just allow it to sweep over me.
I LITERALLY had to do this…a few minutes ago!
As I wrote this, penning the previous paragraph, I had to stop writing.
Tears welled in my eyes thinking of what happened. I took a break to cry, pray, sit – that’s exactly what I’m talking about.
We have to treat God’s presence, and His availability, as a slow IV drip throughout our perilous days.
That means we have to literally cease the world and turn to Him. We have to freeze the moment and say:
“Lord, I can’t handle all that goes on in this world right now. I’m saddened by the mass shooting, Lord touch the families give peace and comfort.
Further, at this very moment I submit them to You understanding you’re able to take care of them and you’re able to bring about justice. I care about what happened and you’re able to perfect all those things that I care about.”
That’s how I prayed. It gave me release. I may need another moment like that in the next ten minutes. Sobeit, this is what works for me. It’s very hard to feel anxiety after that.
Woman of God, when you need to stop the world and pray, do it! It doesn’t have to be long and exhausting. Not at all. Those little stolen moments with the Lord can bring so much peace when the tension is a bit much. Hey, if you’re at work, take a break. Go to your car. Or go into a stall in the women’s bathroom – just get with Him!
You’re going to be OK, Sweetie.
Finally, Christian Sister, I need you to know full on wholeheartedly, and without a doubt no matter what comes your way you’re going to be OK.
There is safety in Jesus Christ and He loves you so much.
Even though the world is looking and acting crazy, you’re going to be OK. He’s not gonna leave you and He’s not going to forsake you. He’s got a plan for your life, and it is a good plan.
It’s important to remember that things are going to get better. Don’t you dare allow Satan and his wicked Kingdom to tell you anything different.
Additionally, you better know your Word and by that I mean you better know your scriptures. Not just memorizing them, But reading and spending time in the promises of God so you know who you are in the Lord and be reminded of the great and awesome power that stands with you.
Now is not a time to punk out. The world needs Christians like us to speak hope and faith.
The Lord can’t afford to have you down. He needs you up and battling. Even if the battle is in our own mind, We’ve got a defeat that since of despondency that can often happen when we hear some of these new stories.
So … get up!
Dust yourself off!
Remind yourself you’re going to be OK.
Pray for your family and trust the Lord to take care of them, you and the entire world! Guess what: He can!
You’re a blessed Chick!
The truth of the matter is you’re blessed. Just like psalm 112:1 says!
It says: “blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights in his commandments.”
You are not going to fear evil tidings or bad news. The Lord is your shield and He is your help. (Psalm 113:7, 115:11)
God has your back and He has mine too! Even in bad times!
He loves you into eternity. He loves me too! Even if we have to suffer hardship for a season, we have to hold on to this reality so we never lose hope.
Hey I feel better, don’t you? Praise GOD!!! Now, let me go and make those cinnamon rolls! Share a comment of encouragement below – for me and for anyone else who may read this.
Note: if you don’t know Jesus as intimately as I mention here, you can! Click here to learn more:
How to deal with bad news
How to Release Sadness