In Luke 13:31-34, we see Jesus faced with a difficult, scary season. There is a correlation between the fearful threats Jesus faced and the fears we can easily find ourselves facing at this time. But Jesus encourages us to find love and comfort in Him despite the fears. On a sheet of paper, make two columns. At the top of the left, write the word FEARS, and list some of the fears you may be feeling or facing right now. At the top of the right, write the word LOVE, and list ways that the Lord has proven His love in your life. Seek the Lord in prayer, asking Him to continue showing you His love in this season of your life.
The danger is not optional, but maybe fear is. Perhaps the opposite of fear isn’t courage or bravery. Perhaps the opposite of fear is love. John 15:9 invites us to abide in Jesus’ love. He calls us to stay, to wait, and to anticipate hope in the center of His love. When faced with troubles, we get to decide what we sit in. Do we sit in the fear and worry? Or do we choose to sit in hope and peace that Jesus offers? Think about your current situation and which you would like to sit in today. Take some time out to be still and pray, seeking the Lord to guide you as you abide in His love today.
What if the way we make the world a less fearful place is by loving it? What if we bring peace not by taking, but by giving? We find a call to generosity in Proverbs 3:27. Perhaps you can give financial relief or provide tangible goods to those in need. Or perhaps you have encouragement, relationships, prayer, and acts of kindness to share with those in need. Whatever it is you have, it is valuable, and it is worth sharing. As you pray today, ask the Lord to give you courage and guide you in the direction you need to take to extend generosity in practical ways during this unusual season of life.
The circumstances we face do not get to determine the contours of our hearts, nor the content of our minds. Be encouraged today to live out the words of Philippians 4:8. As you pray today, listen to the song MIDNIGHT by Rita Springer. Think about all the things you know to be true about God. Think about how trustworthy He is. What are some ways that faith in Christ has anchored you? What are some ways you have been able to pursue authenticity and vulnerability in Christ? Let the words to this verse in Philippians fill your heart and mind with praise for all that Jesus is, has done, and will continue to do in your life!
God cares deeply about your mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being—He always has and always will. It is normal to feel a range of emotions during times of uncertainty. Even if you are not feeling it, God wants you to know today that: You are loved. You are valued. You are not forgotten. Let the peace of the Lord take over your heart and mind today. Let the words in John 14:27 make their way into your prayer time today. Know that you can lean into the Holy Spirit and abide in His peace no matter what you are facing. Keep going—one step and one day at a time—knowing that you are not alone.
TALK IT OVER
- What is one funny story from your everyday life this past week?
- Have you learned any new skills during this time of social distancing?
- What scriptures have been encouraging you during this season?
- Who have you been reaching out to for support and connection during this season?
- What are you typically focusing your heart and mind on throughout the day?
- How are you finding rest and hope amid the many unknowns we are all facing right now?
- What are you looking forward to on the other end of this viral pandemic?