This past year has seen more than its share of trouble. Riots, unrest, shootings, political, racial, social divides, pandemics, lock downs… It’s a lot!
So, what do we do?
Here are five things that will help you navigate trouble times:
- Hold steady.
It’s easy to hop on the roller coaster of everything that’s going on, but then we get off exhausted. I’ve found it’s like the tortoise and the hare… Slow and steady wins the race. Keep your pace. The up’s and down’s will come. Hold steady!Try this: Try sitting in silence for 5-minutes each day or when you feel anxious.“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Filter what you’re taking in and how much. We won’t be any good to anybody if we’re not where we need to be spiritually. It is no secret that too much news and social media are unhealthy for you especially when they take priority over key relationships and time with God. Make sure you’re staying centered and grounded in the Word of God and healthy relationships.Try this: When you wake up in the morning, before anything else, read a Psalm. Read the Gospel of John. Read Psalm 90 and listen to this Shane & Shane song that goes along with it.“’I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive.” (1 Corinthians 10:23)
- Resist the urge.
We all feel the urge to post or speak or comment. But what if more people resisted that urge? Better yet, what if more people checked in with God first before they posted? Wouldn’t our world be a better place?! True, if the Holy Spirit says “post” then prayerfully let it rip. But if not, we’re not helping the problem, we’re only making it worse. Sometimes God says… “shhhh”.Try this: Pray before you post! Give yourself time (a cooling off period) to know it’s not being driven by unhealthy emotions and you are speaking only what God wants you to speak.“The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” (Proverbs 17:27–28)“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:29–32)
- Build others up.
Anything that comes out of our mouths originates from our heart. Scripture is clear, we’re never to speak about others in a way that tears them down. In timers of trouble, we are called to say and do things that overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). There are times we must speak, but anything we do and say must be done in love. If you can’t do it in love, for the building up of the other person, that’s a good indicator you shouldn’t do it. Serve someone this week with a word or action that builds them up.Try this: Before doing or saying anything, ask two questions: 1) Am I doing this in love? and 2) Will this build others up?“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14–16)
- Pray for peace.
Scripture reminds us, that the real fight is taking place on another playing field – a spiritual one. This battle is won with prayer. Oswald Chambers said “Prayer is not preparation for the battle, it is the battle.” We pray for unity, peace, faith and strength for the people of God, wisdom, protection, and focus. We have to keep our eyes on the spiritual battle and not lose sight of what God is doing.Try this: Take your troubled times to God in prayer.“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18)“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:10–12)
I am heartbroken over what I see, but I’m also reminded of what God’s Word says. All of us are in need of God’s repair through Jesus Christ.
In the midst of troubled times, we unite around, and place our hope in the Good News that God’s love and saving grace are redeeming and changing our world one person at a time.
Praying for you!
Josh Hossler | Lead Pastor
Josh is the founding and Lead Pastor of Evident Church. He is passionate about helping people find their purpose and follow Jesus. Josh enjoys his family, preaching, leadership, writing, and is also is an adjunct professor of philosophy at Rochester University in Rochester Hills, MI. He and his wife Raelyn, have three daughters, AvaRae, AdaLyn, and AnaBel.