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Philippians 4:6-7 (KJV) 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
One of the questions many people are asking during this crisis is; ‘Is this the end of days’? I often wonder how can people go from thinking, “I am loving life’, to ‘Are we all going to die’? It can happen very quickly, especially when you mix mis-information, flat out lies, and personal agendas with anxiety.
As I write this, Congress is debating how many Trillions of dollars it will take to keep the economy going during this crisis. Some corporations who just days ago were gouging us with fees, and hiking prices, (think airlines), are now asking for a bailout. ($30.00 to check your first bag after you have already overpaid for the flight. Really?)
People who just days ago were calling other people ‘socialists’ are now asking for government money to keep them going. Just days ago, some were saying ‘the poor deserve what they get’. Now they are afraid that their millions might be lost for good. How did this happen? It is because strange things happen when the pressure is on, and many people cannot handle the anxiety.
Please take note of yourself while we are in this moment of truth. Trouble has a way of revealing who you really are, and what you really think. If a crisis causes you change your morals, you probably needed an overhaul even before this happened. This can be a time to re-build yourself so that after this is all over you can really be more like Jesus, and less like the former you. But first, you have to conquer anxiety
The word ‘careful’ that Paul used in Phil.4:6 could be translated anxious today. Medically speaking the word means ‘ an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physical signs (like sweating). Anxiety is an indicator of your doubts concerning the reality and the nature of some type of threat. The threat can be real or perceived. Being anxious means that you have doubts about your ability to deal with something. It is essentially a MENTAL distress or concern.
Make no mistake about it, this crisis is real and has produced some very real concerns. But we need to remember that as believers, we have been equipped for times like this.
I have been preaching to folks for years about dealing with fear. Fear has a way of making bad situations so much worse. This happens because fear causes your mind to short circuit. Your thoughts are very different when you are afraid. And here is the thing. Fear can do this even when the threat is not real. So when you are in crisis your mind can manufacture chemicals that causes your brain to function abnormally.
Let’s consider a basic need, (toilet paper). Before the crisis, people stocked their pantries with an average of maybe 10 rolls. Add misinformation about this crisis, and we see people attempting to buy 10 CASES at a time. I get it, we all need toilet paper. But even if this thing lasted through the end of the year you will not use that much T.P. Still, it seems like a perfectly sane move when you are filled with anxiety. The run on T.P. caused by fear produced a real shortage, a very REAL problem. See how that works?
So how do we prevent fear and anxiety from causing us to make bad decisions? We do what Paul said in Philippians. (And by the way, this letter was written while Paul was ordered to stay in his home for a very long period of time, (possibly two years). He also wrote Colossians, Philemon, and Ephesians, during the times he was imprisoned. So, I won’t complain!
Paul said; ‘Do not be filled with anxiety about anything, but instead pray about everything’. Prayer is the answer for fears about the future. Prayer causes your mind to be filled with something other than fear. Prayer by itself is an answer, because it is among other things a talk with the Most High God.
In your prayers you have opportunity to thank God, praise God, and worship God. But when you are in trouble you also have every right as a child of God to ask Him for help in your time of need. You can tell Him what is really on your mind. This is no small thing because He has dominion over everything.
It’s one thing to vent to your best friend, but prayer allows you to vent to your Creator. And the first thing you should be asking for in times of trouble is His presence. His presence brings peace, and you really need God’s peace when you are making big decisions, (what is most important in a crisis and how too best deal with it). In the days to come our nation and people around the world are going to decide what kind of nation we are going to be even after this is over. We don’t need to be making these decisions filled with fear and anxiety.
When God is involved, He brings ‘His Peace’ with Him. This is not just a good optimistic feeling, or ‘something in your gut’. This is a powerful anointing that brings calm and clarity that is far beyond anything on Earth. It surpasses our humanistic understanding. This peace makes no earthly sense. His peace is what assures us that we will be alright no matter what happens.
This peace is also a ‘firewall’ for your heart and your mind. A firewall keeps viruses and other harmful things out of your electronic devices, or your computer. If your device gets a virus, then it cannot think properly. It’s the same thing with your mind.
Prayer brings the peace of GOD that allows you focus on the things you need to think about instead of being afraid about things that may or may not happen.
Once I had surgery, and while they were prepping me, they were monitoring my vital signs. I guess my B.P. and heart rate must have been way high, (I had never had surgery before). So the doctor asked me, ‘Are you nervous about the procedure’? I was like, ‘YEAH’!! (Y’all getting ready to cut me and rummage around in my body…). So he said, ‘That’s ok. I’m going to give you something to calm you down’. That’s the last thing I remember before waking up after the surgery was over.
This is what prayer does for you. Even before you get an answer talking to
God is designed to be ‘a little something’ to calm you down. You need to hear God’s voice. You need to evict fear from your mind. You need to know that everything is in God’s hands.
So don’t worry about anything. Pray about everything. And watch how quickly you go from being anxious to thinking clearly, and making good decisions.
Bishop Horace Ransom Jr. is the Senior Pastor and Founder of New Covenant Church International in Detroit, Michigan. He is a Jurisdictional Bishop and serves on the Board of Presbytery for the Jabula International Network, North America. Bishop Ransom is an outstanding teacher of the Word of God with a passion for challenging believers to become the best that they can be. Faith, Purpose and the Kingdom of God are frequently the subject matter of his dissertation.