Sometimes unexpected events push us into unwanted places. And right now the coronavirus has pushed many of us into places of fear, anxiety, or panic. We don’t want our loved ones unsafe. We don’t want our finances unstable. We don’t want our routines upended.
But here we are: in the lonely space of social distancing, holding on to all the positive thoughts we can muster, but hoping for the deep peace that seems to evade.
In the unwanted places where God has allowed us to be placed, I believe we can know his peace.
3 Steps Toward Peace Instead of Panic
Admit Where We Are.
Denial leaves us barricaded behind a facade where peace cannot penetrate. It’s okay and not “unChristian” to have both fear and faith. We need to be honest with all the thoughts and feelings so that God can enter into our unwanted places.
The first step toward genuine peace is admitting our lack of peace and the reality of what we feel.
Honestly Talk to God
This is where the breakthrough starts—where hidden panic and worry is laid out before the maker of heaven and earth. We are not promised he’ll send in the extraction team. But he does listen to a heart that turns toward him in humble faith.
Sometimes God removes us from unwanted places, or sometimes he stays with us in those spaces—but either way, the path to peace is with him.
In the place of prayer we are able to discern what we can do—and what we need to trust God to do.
Renew Our Minds
What we feed our minds, nourishes our hearts. In times where we are prone to panic, renewing our minds with God’s word is a powerful and effective way to fight back the lies rooted in fear.
My favorite go-to in unwanted places is reading the Psalms. These poems express King David’s prayers, laments, and praises to the Lord and are very helpful in expressing our own.
Also, all of God’s word is profitable (2 Tim. 3:16-17). So, flooding our minds with truth during difficult seasons is one of the best steps toward peace. The more truth we think about, the less fear and lies can cultivate in our souls.
Here are some helpful ways to soak in truth:
- Read a psalm and pray through it.
- Listen to worship music that sings scripture.
- Play the audio Bible.
- Choose a verse from a passage you read and repeat it in your mind throughout the day as you memorize it.
- Write scripture on paper and post them around your home or work space.
- Make a list of fears and replace them with verses. Keep the list handy for you to reference.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.Isaiah 26:3
Repeat As Needed
Peace is a process that needs repeating. The more we meditate on truth, pray honestly, and practice trusting in God rather than our own understanding, the more peace results. But it is not a “one and done” event.
I have known Jesus for more than 25 years—and I need this reminder as I sit in the unwanted place of social distancing, instant homeschooling, and crashing long-term savings.
God is here. God is good. And when we trust in Him, our panic turns into peace.
What is one practical way we can practice peace instead of panic?