By Gina Smith, Crosswalk.com
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love..." (Prayer of St. Francis)
My husband’s father grew up in the 1930s and ’40s when many of the citizens of our country embraced what would be considered more conservative values. In fact, most people in our country would have considered themselves Christian and probably attended church regularly. My father-in-law passed away in 2016, right before he turned 90. One of the things I remember about him was how he would often talk about the way things used to be when he was growing up and raising his family and how the world had changed so drastically since then. He often talked about how he was seeing things happen that he never could have imagined he would see in his lifetime.
A few months before he passed, my husband and I traveled to the retirement community in the Amish country, where he and my mother-in-law had retired and had been living for several years. My mother-in-law had passed away two years before; he needed round-the-clock nursing care and was connected to a monitor that constantly kept track of his vital signs. That day, when we walked into his little one-room apartment, he was watching the news on TV. We joined him on the couch and began talking about what was being reported.
After a few minutes, a nurse walked into the room to check and see how he was doing. After she checked his vital signs, she became alarmed and looked at us with concern. “Mr. Smith,” she said, “I think you should turn off the news. Your heart rate is up because you are stressed.”
He adamantly assured her he felt fine, but the monitor revealed another story. He was unaware of how his body responded to the disturbing events he was seeing played out on the news. The nurse walked over to the television, turned it off, and strongly suggested we keep it off for the rest of the day.
We are living in a world that has quickly become increasingly more chaotic than ever before. What would you say if someone asked you how you are affected by what you see being lived out in our society and the world? If you are a Bible-believing Christian, you are in the minority. I now understand how my father-in-law felt when he said he was seeing things going on in our world that he never thought he would see in his lifetime. I can easily find myself getting stressed and tempted toward the faulty thinking that our world is in a hopeless state.
Verses to Help You When Our World Is in Turmoil
PSALM 46:1-2 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth gives way, and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”
Meditating on verses like Psalm 46:1-2 can calm your anxious heart. It is too easy to focus on the turmoil and forget about God’s part in it all. This verse helps shift our focus and puts it right back on the One who is in control of it all. He is our refuge, strength, and help. We do not need to fear.
2 CORINTHIANS 4:8-9 “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
There is a comfort to be found in the knowledge that God will only allow things to go so far. He is holding out for just the right time for him to return and rescue us from all the evil that we are observing. Until then, he will sustain us and strengthen us. We can count on him for that!
PSALM 91:2 “I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
It is a normal human response to feel anxious when we see all that is happening around us, and, like my father-in-law, we might not even realize the impact that the chaos in our world is having on us physically and emotionally. We have the privilege of going to God, who is the only One we can fully trust. Our rest, strength, and comfort will only be found in Him. He is our refuge.
What Good Comes When Our World Is in Turmoil
- When we see everything going on in our world, and so much of it is out of our control, we are given yet another opportunity to lean on and trust the One who is in control and who will give us the comfort and hope we need.
- Inevitably, we will find ourselves in conversations about what we see on the news and how scary it is. When this happens, we are given an opportunity to offer hope to those we are in conversation with. We can share with them the God who is our refuge and strength.
- When we are put in stressful situations that are much bigger than us and that we have no control over, we are given an opportunity to see where our own hope lies and evaluate our hearts. This is an opportunity to ask God to help us look to him alone for what we need and for the strength we need to handle what comes our way each day and to be able to offer that strength to others.
Find Biblical Joy by Focusing on God
1. Thank Him for Who He Is:
Father, thank you for being Omnipotent – an all-powerful God. You are strong and mighty and can accomplish anything you desire. You have all authority over everything that happens in this world, and we can trust you no matter what we see happening around us. This gives me comfort in chaotic times.
2. Thank Him for His Faithfulness:
Father, you have been faithful in my life and the world over the years. You hold all things together. Thank you that I can count on you to be faithful even when everything around us seems unstable.
3. Thank Him for His Promises:
Father, thank you for your Word that offers hope and comfort in unstable times. The world continues to change, and there is more chaos than ever. You and your Word never change. I am so grateful.
4. Thank Him for His Provisions:
Father, thank you for how you have provided for me all my life. In every way, you have provided what I need. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You have provided all I need to live in this world, and I know you will continue to do so. Thank you!
To learn more about how to choose biblical joy, check out my book “Everyday Prayers for Joy”!
For weekly encouragement on how to choose biblical joy in all circumstances, subscribe to “Choose Biblical Joy Today”
This article is part of a series by Gina Smith on biblical joy. Here are more of her articles:
Premium PDF Compilation - Finding Biblical Joy in the Midst of Trials