Yes, I’ve noticed that often I’m reluctant to turn on the news. Maybe you’re feeling the same way. While I want to know what’s happening in the world, I sometimes find it overwhelming. You too?
Then I remember something I’ve had to learn—how the Lord can make a difference in what I hear and know. That is, if I’m honest with him about what is bothering me. If I turn to him it’s like getting a hug from someone I love.
It helps me to follow a daily Bible reading program. The one I use lists a chapter from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament, and a Psalm or chapter from Proverbs. If no one can hear me, I begin by singing—worshipping the Lord. Then I tell him specifically what is making me afraid. I write down my question and fill in the blank, asking, “Lord, what do you want me to know about…….?”
I never grow tired of seeing what he does. It’s as though a verse or thought jumps off the page—illuminated by a holy spotlight. A gift of encouragement straight from the Lord—something he wants me to know for that day. I call it finding the promise.
Years ago, when I was diagnosed with life-threatening cancer I wondered what would happen to my husband and our children. As fear threatened to overwhelm me, I prayed specifically for them. The Lord answered by spotlighting the words of Philippians 1:6: “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
I took hold of that promise, praying, “Lord, that’s for me! I’m taking you at your word.” Then I prayed the promise, saying, “Lord, you have said you will bring to completion a good work begun in me. Whether I live or die, I believe your promise. In the name of Jesus I ask you to take care of my husband. Carry on your good work in the lives of our children. Bring all three of them to mature Christian adulthood. I trust you to do that.” In the time since, he has!
Sometimes the Lord’s peace in my heart lasts two hours, three, or four. Then something happens where I need to go back to the promise I received that morning. I call it standing or kneeling on the promise. I repeat the words the Holy Spirit brought alive to me until they seem real again.
Maybe we all need to memorize Psalm 91 right now.