We are living in the midst of a global pandemic. This is a crisis unlike anything recent generations have ever experienced.
When we experience a crisis, it is natural to be overwhelmed by negative feelings. We look to the future with worry and fear. We look at the past, remembering what life had been like, with regret and maybe even anger because of our loss. Everything is out of control. Life is filled with uncertainty.
These overwhelming negative emotions will not change unless we shift our focus from the circumstances that engulf us to our God who lives within us. This God, who is love and who loves us unconditionally, is the sovereign ruler of the universe. He can bring good out of bad situations for He is powerfully good. To help remind us of his faithfulness, God also has given us his promises so we won’t lose hope for the future.
So how can we shift our focus from the chaos of this world to a God who offers us supernatural peace?
- Focus on GOD’S MAJESTY more than your circumstances
- Focus on GOD’S FAITHFULNESS instead of your resources
- Focus on TODAY’S BLESSINGS rather than worries about tomorrow
- Focus on THE NEXT STEP instead of predicting the future
- Focus on GOD’S SUPERNATURAL PRESENCE rather than your adversity
To find out how, read on…
1. Focus on GOD’S MAJESTY more than your circumstances
God is greater than you think
God is more than able to handle any crisis or meet any need. He has infinite abilities. God is all-powerful, sees everything, knows everything, and is in complete control. He has no limitations. Nothing is too difficult for him. God is our Waymaker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, Light in the Darkness. (Waymaker)
“Oh, Sovereign LORD, you did indeed make heaven and earth by your mighty power and great strength. Nothing is too hard for you!” — Jeremiah 32:17
Read more: God Is Greater Than You Think
God loves you more than you know
Love permeates God’s entire being. Perhaps you don’t feel worthy of being loved. The good news is that God loves you and wants a love relationship with you anyway. Nurture your love relationship with him and experience his limitless, transforming love for you. Delight in his love and let it become your constant source of assurance in all you do.
“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.” —Ephesians 3:18–19. NLT
Read more: God Loves You More Than You Know
God keeps his promises
What are you going through right now? Are you struggling? Are you worried about the future?
In these situations, it is only natural to think of possible ways to bring about change in your circumstances. And those possible solutions can give you some hope. But possibilities are not “a sure thing” and the probability of their success may even increase your worry.
But God left us a treasure trove of promises in the Bible, so there would be hope for every life situation. The best way to increase your faith is to face a situation where you must cling to a promise God has given you. In essence, that means you’re clinging to who God is and who he wants to be for you.
“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” —Hebrews 10:23, NLT
Read more: God Keeps His Promises
2. Focus on GOD’S FAITHFULNESS instead of your resources
God is dependable
God is pleased when we trust him by living our lives relying on his faithfulness. But that is a process that develops over time as our knowledge of him increases and we repeatedly experience his loving care. However, it is not without struggle. Our human nature is constantly urging us to depend on what we can see, touch, and feel. Meanwhile the Spirit encourages us to believe what God has told us and act accordingly.
Continuing to live our lives in him means trusting in him and his character. Because he is trustworthy, we are to believe what he reveals to us with confidence. Then we can follow through on our trust in God and our belief in his word, by taking the appropriate action. As we persevere in doing what God has told us, we will see the fulfillment of what he has promised.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see…Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” —Hebrews 11:1, 6
Read more:God Is Dependable
God is always with you
God never wants you to go it alone. He is with you all the time and will never leave or forsake you. In fact, he even goes ahead of you to prepare the road before you. He is with you every minute of the journey.
It’s true that the journey ahead of you might be longer than you wish. You may go through dark valleys. There might be detours and cliffs on either side of the road. Are you feeling nervous right now? Discouraged even? Trust that God hasn’t forgotten you. He’s right there with you—listening to you, loving you, and desiring a closer relationship with you. Lean on him when things seem hopeless and he will provide you with the love, strength and encouragement you need to take the next step.
“The LORD Himself goes before you; He will be with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” —Deuteronomy 31:8, BSB
Read more: God Is Always with You
God promises good out of bad
What difficulties are you currently experiencing in your life? What horrible thing has happened to you? The world says you’re supposed to be all upset, wringing your hands, wondering what to do next. But the Bible teaches us that if we walk hand in hand with God, he will bring good out of the bad situation you are now facing.
The Christian life doesn’t free you from trouble. It doesn’t free you from perplexities. What it does is give you a new spirit as you handle them. With God you don’t need to fear. No matter how bad your circumstances, God wants you to look to him and trust him. Why? Because he is able to use any adversity for your ultimate good. Yes, it will be difficult for a season. But in the end you can’t lose because he is stacking the deck in your favor.
“And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose,” —Romans 8:28
Read more: God Promises Good Out of Bad
3. Focus on TODAY’S BLESSINGS rather than worries about tomorrow
God has blessed you today
God is at work in our lives every day. But sadly, all too often, we are so preoccupied with worry and fear about tomorrow that we don’t notice what God is doing right now. He has blessed you today with good things. Shift your focus from the future to the present and acknowledge the gifts God has already given you.
During your devotional time jot down your observations of God’s love and goodness to you right now. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude and contentment. Focus on what you have and thank God for it.
Some entries are “biggies”—like being protected from an accident, receiving something you critically needed, or an answer to a prayer. But many entries may recount little things that happened which you noticed as being a special reminder of God’s involvement in your day. The item doesn’t have to be impressive—it just needs to be something that the Holy Spirit helped you notice as a special sign of God’s love and goodness.
Thankfulness is a choice. It is intentional. You can’t experience gratitude if you are focusing on negative circumstances. Regardless of your difficulties, God is still a loving, good God.
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” —1 Thessalonians 5:18
Read more: God Has Blessed You Today
God provides for you daily
Sometimes we get confused about the difference between our needs and wants. But it is clear to God. What is it that you really need for today in order to fulfill God’s purpose? God will supply what you need so you can accomplish his plan. However, it is human nature for us to want tomorrow’s needs supplied today. Why? Because then we can see our provision for the future, and we get peace based on the provision, not based on the provider.
Since our Loving Father is in the business of helping us learn to live the life of faith, he asks us to trust him in the moment. Faith grows moment by moment, day by day. And as we add more and more “moments” to our experience of God interacting in our lives, our expectation that he will provide what we need for today becomes a reality.
It pleases God when we live by faith, trusting in his loving kindness to us. God wants us to live in dependence on him. He wants us to rely on him and to realize that he is the source of all good blessings that come into our life.
“Fear the Lord, you chosen people of his, for those who fear him lack nothing! Even young lions sometimes lack food and are hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” —Psalm 34:9-10
Read more: God Provides for You Daily
God has a good plan for you
God can see the consequences of decisions made today, even years into the future. We, on the other hand, are anchored in the present moment. As a result, our choices are based on limited insight and are influenced by what we believe will bring immediate happiness. We assume that what makes us happy today will certainly be good for us tomorrow. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
According to society, best is whatever helps us the most quickly in our current situation. It produces favorable circumstances and accomplishes what I desire. However, according to God, best is whatever helps me the most, not just for this moment in time, but forever. It produces favorable character and accomplishes God’s purposes over a long period of time.
“For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the LORD. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope.” —Jeremiah 29:11
Read more: God Has a Good Plan for You
4. Focus on the next step instead of predicting the future
God guides your steps
God’s plan for our lives is usually revealed progressively, one situation at a time. Obviously, most of us would like to see the entire road map now, but that is not how God operates. He wants us to walk by faith, taking one step at a time in the direction he is guiding us. Doing that without fear requires a communicative and trusting relationship with him.
He is your guide, companion, provider, and protector. He wants you to trust him because you know him and have a history of adventures with him. You don’t know what the future holds. You don’t know what lies around the next bend of life. But he does. And he is committed to caring for you as you walk the road together. God is more capable and involved in guiding your steps and orchestrating your circumstances than you can imagine.
“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” —Proverbs 16:9
Read more: God Guides Your Steps
God responds to prayer
Is there something specific that you need God to do on your behalf? Are you wondering what He is doing in your life? Are you trying to ascertain a specific direction to take?
It is very common for Christians to know about prayer, study prayer, memorize prayer verses, read books about it, and still not believe that prayer makes any difference. We prove we don’t really believe what God says about it when we don’t actually pray.
Prayer changes things in the physical and spiritual realm when you ask according to God’s guidelines. But it may take time before that change becomes noticeable. Are you watching for his answer? You can demonstrate your faith and anticipation while you are waiting by “seeking” and “knocking.” God has told us in His Word to ask and seek and knock … He will answer.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” —Matthew 7:7-8
Read more: God Responds to Prayer
God’s help is on the way
When you’re experiencing tough times, the last thing you want to do is wait for relief. Don’t be discouraged! God knows what you are going through and wants the very best for you. He is the only One who knows what is truly best.
God’s timing is very different from our own. “Waiting on the Lord” is a strong theme throughout the Bible. Those waiting times can be some of our deepest, most meaningful times of fellowship with God.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you! Don’t be frightened, for I am your God! I strengthen you–yes, I help you–yes, I uphold you with my saving right hand!” —Isaiah 41:10
Read more: God’s Help Is On The Way
5. Focus on God’s supernatural presence rather than your adversity
God offers supernatural power
God never intended for us to face life’s challenges or to live the Christian life by relying on our own self effort. That is a recipe for failure. Instead, God wants us to rely on the Holy Spirit’s supernatural power so we are able to live victoriously above our circumstances.
We know that God has infinite power and abilities that make it possible for him to do amazing things. But God also wants to empower us so he can do his amazing works in and through us. Yes, you may feel overwhelmed by all that is happening around you. Yes, you may be at your emotional and physical limits. But when you turn to God and ask him to fill you with his power, you will be able to do far more than you ever could have imagined. You will be able to say with the apostle Paul, “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13, NLT). Indeed, you will be able to do what seems impossible because of God’s power at work within you.
“Now to him who by the power that is working within us is able to do far beyond all that we ask or think, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” —Ephesians 3:20-21
Read more: God Offers Supernatural Power
God offers supernatural freedom
Jesus gave his disciples a remarkable promise: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32, HCSB). Jesus wants to free us from the bondage of Satan’s lies through the truth of his Word. God’s truth frees us from the elaborate deceptions Satan uses to manipulate our thoughts, feelings and decisions.
When God reveals Truth to us, those supernatural insights shatter the carefully crafted illusions of the evil one that prevent us from experiencing the full and meaningful life that Jesus offers (John 10:10).
In Christ, you have been set free from the bondage of sin and guilt, the spirit of rejection and condemnation, the yoke of demonic deception, worry and anxiety, and all fear – including the fear of men, evil, death, and hell.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” — 2 Timothy 1:7, HCSB
Read more: God Offers Supernatural Freedom
God offers supernatural peace
We all want inner peace. Normally we associate the presence of peace with the absence of turmoil in our life. Under the right circumstances, we can temporarily experience this this natural peace. However, Jesus offers us a peace, which exceeds anything we can understand (Philippians 4:7). It is a supernatural peace — an inner calmness despite the fact we are surrounded by calamity. This peace stems from the confident assurance that the God who created the universe, and who resides within us, is in control of our circumstances and our future.
To experience Christ’s supernatural peace, you need to keep your eyes focused on him and not on the turbulent circumstances around you. Peter was able to walk on the water as long as his gaze was fixed on Jesus. The moment he focused his attention on the stormy waves, he began to sink. He lost peace because he took his eyes off of Jesus.
No matter how rough the waves may be in your life, God can empower you to face them with his perfect peace that surpasses all understanding.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” —John 14:27
Read more: God Offers Supernatural Peace
Your journey with God
There are seasons in life when we find ourselves on a journey focused on a specific destination. Some journeys are about accomplishing a challenging goal. Other journeys are about overcoming trials and may involve suffering. These can be special times with God if we realize that he is traveling with us and seek his involvement.
Your current situation is such a journey.
Adversity looks a whole lot better when you see it through your rear-view mirror. It’s only when a crisis is far enough in your past that you can see the bigger picture and appreciate the good that God accomplished through pain and suffering.
Through adversity, God refines us and increases our capacity for greatness if we press into Him. God molds us and shapes us through trials. Difficult life experiences shape us. Through those experiences, God allows us the opportunity to grow in our spiritual character so we reflect more of his values and strength. But it is our choice whether we allow that transformation to take place. If we harbor resentment toward God and others, we will leave the valley diminished instead of stronger.
Whether the journey lasts days, months or years, we need to embrace the adventure with God so we will experience the joys and hardships together. As a result, our relationship with God will become closer and more intimate.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”—James 1:2–4
Read more: Growing in Tough Times
“Go in peace. The LORD is watching over your journey.” —Judges 18:6, BSB
Read more: Journey Time with God