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"Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice... Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:4-7
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Pandemic peace. Some days when I wake up in the morning and remind myself that the world is still in quarantine. I can hardly believe the pandemic continues to be upon us, affecting every aspect of our lives. And, like most, I think it's been here way too long. If I let myself travel along on that path of thinking beyond a passing thought, it's easy to feel overwhelmed, isolated, fearful, alone, angry, sad, even disappointed, because it's not over yet. When I am able to better monitor my thinking, I soon recognize that I need to have a positive attitude adjustment to start my day off right. I try to remind myself that we all get to choose the thoughts we entertain.
Like weeds in a beautiful garden, negativity and fear can take over your thoughts and control your day, if you let them. At that point, we need to weed the 'garden of our mind,' so to speak, lest our negative thinking overcome us, dictating what kind of day we will have.
So we have to choose between a positive attitude and optimism; negativity and fear, even and especially, in times of adversity, like now. It is a choice we have to make each and every day. Truth is, negativity drags us down, zaps our energy, disrupts relationships, and can even make us sick in mind and body. Negativity and fear also take the people around us down with us, too, like nothing else can.
According to Philippians 4:4-7 in the New Testament, the Bible tells us to "rejoice always." But that seems like a tall order--so unrealistic at a time like this--doesn't it? How is that really possible with what we face today with this Covid-19 pandemic? Sequestered day after day for many weeks, isolated from others, and walking in ongoing fear of getting seriously ill from the corona-virus, it hard to see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Many have lost their jobs or risked their health - even their lives - trying help others and some to save their jobs. Hard to believe that grocery shopping is even a big deal right now. And we wonder how our lives will be when the quarantine is lifted, and we resume the 'new-normal.' Truth is, it just is what it is, and we need find a way to look ahead with all the optimism we can muster.
"Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer." Romans 12:12
How to Rejoice In All Things
But scripture calls us to rejoice in all things. Worry can be eliminated if we can just believe:
- This is a time-limited experience - a temporary one.
- God loves us and is with us through it all.
- Jesus is comforting, protecting us, and helping us cope.
- With God's help, it is possible to rejoice despite our circumstances.
- We can have pandemic peace if we opt for positivity, hope, and grow in faith, trusting in Jesus' saving hand.
We all have to believe in something. So why not pray and trust that Jesus is with us through the Covid-19 pandemic, as we try to grow in faith and believe in what we cannot see? When we are able to squarely place our trust and hope in Jesus, we experience a sense of confidence in a positive outcome. We can have a contagious calm, and can revel in the deep, abiding, unshakeable peace that follows--something sorely needed in this difficult times. Only then are we able and free to rejoice and find 'pandemic peace,' knowing that God sent His Only Son to help us through this life, including this pandemic, and that all is well.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
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