Trusting God is easy when life is going well or at least when things are relatively comfortable. But trusting God seems a whole lot harder when the world seems to be falling apart around you.
We are not living in a unique time over the span of human history, but we’re living in a time that will surely be in the history books. COVID-19 is flipping literally everything we know on its head. And even that seems like a bit of an understatement.
The effects of this virus stretch past physical concern and into the whole of our life. I have friends and family members who are not infected with the coronavirus, but they are still being deeply affected. They are without jobs, without money, slipping into even greater depression, and overwhelmed by the change of information day to day. To not take this situation seriously is foolish.
I have no doubt that just about every Christian wants to trust in God during this time. But I also know how difficult that is based on the undeniable facts surrounding us.
It’s really easy to have inspirational quotes on a coffee mug, t-shirt, or your phone’s home screen like, “Too blessed to stress” and “Keep calm and trust God.” But it takes a lot more than that for your trust in God to be the foundation of your life when it honestly feels like life sucks.
Trusting in God right now is hard and it’s uncomfortable, but it will never be foolish. Here are 3 ways to keep trusting in God even when life is hard.
1. Remind yourself that God never said it was easy.
One Christian leader recently said that it’s going to take more than telling ourselves to have faith over fear to endure this season. Not that the phrase “faith over fear” is inherently wrong or unhelpful. But it doesn’t seem like things are getting easier. Nevertheless, it’s in the deep places of your faith that you can feel completely surrounded and still trust in God.
The story of the Isrealites crossing the Red Sea is a huge victory that foreshadows the redemption Jesus would bring to all mankind.
But I’m sure for the Israelites who were living in that moment, they had a different perspective. Just before the Red Sea parted, their point of view was choosing between two ways to die, by the Egyptian army or by the sea. There was no way for them to escape. Death was imminent.
For most of us, we’ve never been pushed to that kind of faith in Jesus. Our trust in his sovereignty has never been hanging in the balance quite like that (though maybe for some, you’ve had that kind of harrowing experience). But it seems we’re able to relate to Israel these days in ways we never could have before. We’re faced with the very real danger of death with the Coronavirus and the hard place of being without a job to provide for necessities.
Trusting in Jesus isn’t always easy. And it’s okay for you to wrestle with the difficulty of trusting him in a time like this.
2. Pay attention to what you’re allowing to enter your headspace.
Trusting in Jesus means that our thought space must be filled with him.
Right now, you have a great temptation to binge watch Netflix or be alerted by every news report being released. But you probably know that these are certainly not the best ways to bolster our trust in the Lord. Not to say that Netflix and the news are inherently evil, but they’re certainly bad for you when you consume them in large quantities.
We have to be mindful of what we allow to feed the running thoughts in our minds. Are you allowing the things around you to feed fear and anxiety, or are the things you’re consuming fueling your trust in Jesus?
It’s important for our minds to be renewed with the very words of God and his assurance that we can trust him. It’s promises in scripture passages like Psalm 91 and Psalm 46 that we need to read over and over and over again. We need this more than we need the latest updates on COVID-19. More than we Our minds should be captivated by verses like, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
We were given his promises for a reason. So they should take up space in our minds and hearts. We are in desperate need of Jesus and the hope he brings. We can’t expect to overflow with peace and hope if we’re constantly flooding our minds with the “wisdom” of the world.
3. Listen to advice from hopeful people.
This morning, Dale said something that stuck with me. “Anxiety provokes anxiety.” There’s so much truth to his offhand comment.
I’ve decided to limit my conversations regarding COVID-19 with certain people, because I find their anxious spirit becomes my own. And I’m not saying we need to be ignorant or uninformed to what’s going on around us. But there’s a difference between exercising caution and fear.
When you are listening to people who are filled with fear and panic, you will find yourself adopting that same mindset.
Regarding the current pandemic we are in the midst of, I have a few friends that I often call and ask, “Am I overreacting or am I not taking this seriously enough?” We need to select who we allow to be sounding boards in our life and who we distance ourselves from so that they don’t speak fear into our hearts. We are all new to this situation and none of us have been here before, so we are each processing this for the first time as it comes.
As we seek to trust Jesus when it’s hard, we need to let others who are doing the same thing speak into our lives. This isn’t to say that we only want to talk to people who are full of positive thoughts and clearly aren’t in touch with reality. We need to seek Jesus together and remind one another during times of doubt and fear.
Times are tough, but our God is tougher.
At the root of our trust in Jesus is the belief that he is more powerful than all the darkness that exists in this world. He has overcome the grave and promised us life everlasting. And if we trust Jesus with the life that comes after this one, then we can trust him with the life he has given us today.