OVERCOMING FEAR AND THE CORONA VIRUS Part 4
THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT
By Lyvenda Reckner
What are you thinking about today? What thoughts are the most predominant in your mind? Do you have questions swirling around in your head? Are you afraid? Are you concerned about getting sick or going broke or the economy collapsing and a “great” recession or depression occurring?
Or are you thinking about what God promises in His Word? Are you thinking about the fact that God says He will provide for your every need according to His riches in glory? (Philippians 4:19) Are you thinking about the fact that God has already provided for your healing before you even get sick or that He does not want you to get sick in the first place? (Isa. 53:5; 1 Pet. 2:24; Ex. 15:26; Psa. 103:3) Are you thinking about the fact that God is faithful and will never leave you to face any problem alone? (Heb. 13:5)
I would like to ask you to give me a bit of your time and attention because God has the solution for troubled hearts and minds. I have discovered that it is possible to have peace of mind when it seems as though your world is falling apart around you and I would like for you to have that experience as well. If you have read the first three parts of this blog, you have seen that it is only through the blood of Jesus that we have access to this kind of peace. You have been reminded that the Word of God is the foundation we base our faith on and we must learn to consistently speak in line with what God says rather than what the world or our feelings or circumstances are trying to tell us.
As Christians, we all need to be reminded of these things and while it may seem as though you’ve heard this many times before, I pray the Holy Spirit will help you to hear His voice in a fresh new way. If anything you hear from Scripture seems “old hat” to you, then it is not alive in your heart because the Word of God is alive and active (Heb. 4:12). Thankfully, the Holy Spirit brings life to the Word of God and all you have to do is ask Him to give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation concerning what He wants to say to you (2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:17).
Perhaps the most difficult thing for any person to do is totally trust God and hand the reins of their life over to God. But as previously stated in Part 3, that is what we all must do if we are going to consistently overcome the adversity that we face. Right now, every person in this nation and around the world is facing the issue of the coronavirus and the fallout it is causing. I’m so glad God has given us His Word and His Holy Spirit to help us overcome it!
So, back to our thoughts… Your thoughts are painting pictures in your imagination as we speak. Every thought you have and every word you hear paints a mental picture in your imagination. If your thoughts are swirling with the coronavirus and its devastating effects, you are seeing those negative things taking place in your imagination. If your thoughts are focused on the fact that God is protecting you and you are secure in His hands, you are seeing those positive things taking place in your imagination.
God has provided a way for us to think good positive thoughts in the middle of hard times. He has given us His Word and instructions on how to use it to change our perspective and the direction of our thoughts. God does not tell us to pretend the negative circumstances are not there, but He does tell us how to overcome them so they do not produce negative results in our lives.
6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:6-8 NKJV
God does not want you worried and upset. He is inviting you to come to Him with your requests. He’s waiting for you to come talk to Him about your troubles. Of course, He is already aware of what is going on in your life, but He has established certain spiritual laws that He will not break. God will never force Himself into your life, but He has given you an open invitation to come to Him 24/7. He desires for you to ask Him to help you and if you ask, He surely will help. “You have not because you ask not.” (James 4:2)
If you will ask God for what you need, thanking Him in advance because you know He is going to help, His peace will supernaturally settle into your heart and mind. The circumstances may still be there, but you will no longer be upset by them because you know they are in God’s hands and He is moving on your behalf.
While you are waiting to see a change in your circumstances with your natural eyes, God wants you to focus your thoughts on good things, positive things. He knows that if you turn your thoughts back to trying to figure out what to do about the problem and the fear it causes, then you will lose your peace. So don’t let your thoughts go there. Meditate on good things!
Second, when your thoughts do try to go back to the problem, stop them!
3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5casting down arguments [imaginations] and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NKJV
What I’m talking about has NOTHING to do with mind over matter, New Age philosophy, transcendental meditation, or the various other ways the world teaches concerning the use of our imaginations and thoughts. The Bible says that we are to bring our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, making them line up with the Word of God. When we discount a negative thought with what God says about the situation, we are taking that thought captive and bringing it into agreement with what God has already spoken. We have the ability to arrest negative thoughts and stop them in their tracks! Doing so enables us to “cast down vain imaginations” and create positive mental images in our minds that supersede the negative or unproductive ones.
It takes practice to even begin to recognize that our thoughts are going in the wrong direction. For this reason, we need to think about what we’re thinking about. When we realize the thoughts we are having are fearful, hurtful and unproductive, we must STOP THEM! Remind yourself of what God has said about whatever your thoughts are dwelling on and make the choice to focus on what He has said instead. Focus on the fact that He is most certainly moving in your behalf!
Currently, every person in America that listens to the news broadcasts and participates in social media is being bombarded with negative news. While there may be factual evidence in the reports we hear, the truth of God trumps those facts. As believers, we understand that God is NOT glorified in the current situation. How can God be glorified in the great numbers of deaths due to the coronavirus and the financial hardship of so many people? God is glorified when His people are healthy, strong, and prosperous, not when they are weak, sick, and afraid. God is NOT the source of this current crisis; He is the remedy for the crisis.
Third, get in God’s Word.
There are numerous Scriptures that promise God’s protection to those who will only trust Him. Circumstances have led to many being quarantined at home. Be careful of what you watch on television and listen to in the media because whatever you watch and listen to is communicating images into your imagination. Instead of binge-watching television, why not binge on the Word of God?
Don’t let anyone deceive you. Associating with bad people will ruin decent people. 1 Corinthians 15:33 GW
22The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is unclouded, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eye is evil, your whole body will be full of darkness. If the light in you is darkness, how dark it will be! Matthew 6:22-23 GW
Watching movies and television programs full of violence, immorality, cursing, and fear is associating with “evil” things. When God speaks of something being “evil,” He is talking about anything that does not have its source in Him and in what is good. Jesus taught the importance of what you are looking at or focusing on. If you are focusing on good and truthful things, your mind’s eye or imagination will be full of light. If you give your attention to things that have their roots in darkness, your imagination will be full of darkness.
The things that you give your attention to the most will be the things that direct your thought processes about everything in your life. Would you rather be able to think about things clearly from a truthful and positive point of view or from a darkened point of view? The following verse helps us get the picture. There are people that have a positive point of view even in negative circumstances and then there are people that can’t see anything good even in the best of circumstances. They always look for and focus on the negative side of things; their cup is half empty rather than half full.
Everything is clean to those who are clean. But nothing is clean to corrupt unbelievers. Indeed, their minds and their consciences are corrupted. Titus 1:15 GW
Your cell phone provides the technology you need to search for Scriptures that apply to your specific needs for any given day. Today you may need to focus on healing. Tomorrow you may need to focus on protection or finances. Whatever your need may be, God has a Word to you for it. You do not have to face this situation alone. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you and teach you the Truth of God’s Word. He promises that He will. All He needs is for you to give Him the opportunity to speak to you.
Fourth, change the way you think.
If you’ve stuck with me this far, there is one more important point God needs you to understand that will help you overcome fear and anxiety about the current crisis (or any other time fear or anxiety come knocking on your door). This is another thing that requires you to make an investment of your time. The Bible calls it “renewing your mind.”
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2 NKJV
The Passion Translation puts it like this:
Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes. Romans 12:2 TPT
We will receive a changed perspective and a much better outlook on life if we will allow God to renew our minds with His Word. “Renewing the mind” is simply changing the way you think about things and the only way to do that correctly is by getting into the Word of God. It’s great to listen to good Bible preachers and teachers, but it is no substitute for taking time alone to sit down and read the Word (even for those who don’t like to read). The Bible is different than any other book you will ever read. It is the Word of God and it is alive! Something happens on the inside of you, in your spirit when you read the Word.
For we have the living Word of God, which is full of energy, and it pierces more sharply than a two-edged sword. It will even penetrate to the very core of our being where soul and spirit, bone and marrow meet! It interprets and reveals the true thoughts and secret motives of our hearts. Hebrews 4:12 TPT
Faith comes only one way, by hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). If you will read the Word of God out loud to yourself, you may feel silly at first, but you will experience dramatic results. Little by little, your old way of thinking will be transformed, and you will begin to see circumstances from God’s point of view instead of your own. Once you see His point of view, your actions will begin to change. Your emotions will begin to change. What once made you upset will no longer be upsetting. I am not saying that you will never be challenged in your emotions again, but I am saying that God desires to give you the ability to avoid becoming upset when adversity comes your way.
To sum it up, we cannot go on thinking like the rest of the world and expect to have any peace. God intends for ALL of His people to live peaceful and productive lives no matter what is going on around them. He wants us to enjoy overcoming trouble so we can help others do the same!
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4 NKJV
If you need help getting started or if you have questions and want to talk to someone about the things you read in Scripture, call someone that you trust. Just make sure that person is someone who believes and stands firm on the Word of God. It won’t do you any good to call someone who is full of fear and doubts that God’s Word is true. As Jesus said, “If the blind lead the blind, they’ll both fall into a ditch.”
God offers each and every one of us His protection and His guidance. Jesus paid the price so that we can have access to the very throne of God where we can obtain mercy (what we do not deserve) and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Heb. 4:16)
Trust God! He’ll never let you down!