In the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, political uncertainty, social unrest and general chaos and confusion, it’s hard to find peace of mind and calmness for your heart. More and more, people are searching for something to fill that void in their hearts that is evident today more than ever.
To help in that search, here are five scriptures that can help you make sense out of stressful days and provide a sense of stability and understanding for your life. Some are longer than others, but the context is essential. Still, for further context, you may want to read the entire chapter.
But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.
Isaiah 43:1-2 (NASB)
If you feel like God has forgotten your address, this verse is for you. Remember the guys named Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from Daniel 3? If so, you’ll recall that Nebuchadnezzar threw them in the fiery furnace to be burned alive. But in one of the Old Testament instances of types and shadows, God showed up on the scene. When the king checked on the three young Hebrew men, he saw four people walking around in the fire: “…the fourth like the son of God.”
You are no different if you have been redeemed! You have a comforter, a protector and a defender walking ahead of you every step. And, He’s got your back too!
No weapon formed against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord. ~Isaiah 54:17
I like this scripture because it identifies my heritage. In other words, I have a legacy, a right, and it’s part of my ancestry as a servant of God. Not only does God say He will protect and defend, but that He will be proactive against those who speak out against you! Furthermore, the Almighty God Himself will vindicate you! That brings to mind Exodus 14:14: “The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.”
Well okay, then.
Now notice this, however. Many scriptures are conditional and refer to those who have a relationship with God. In other words, let the redeemed of the Lord say so! There is a difference between someone who is on the inside, and someone is on the outside looking in. God loves everyone, but the “servants of the Lord” and those who are “called by My name” have special privileges. To be clear, you are on the “inside” if you have been saved by grace.
But this particular scripture is a keeper, worthy of your refigerator, highlighter or bookmark.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. ~Colossians 2:8
There’s a lot of junk out there today. Everything from conspiracy theories to half-truths to misleading innuendo to downright hypocrisy. This admonition requires you be smart and be reasoned in your approach, testing everything you hear and see. Several years after he wrote the gospel, John penned 1 John, where he appealed to his readers: “…do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out in the world.”
True then, and perhaps more accurate now. Whether secular or spiritual, information is often permeated with deceit, so don’t get sucked into wild conversations of the day. Indeed, the operative warning is “see to it that no one takes you captive…”
Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves;
so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. ~Matthew 10:16.
This verse relates to the one above in some ways but is actually a powerful reminder of who you are and a stark warning about your enemy. You’re in a constant battle and, frankly, you have to get involved. No more sitting on the sideline watching the battle. No more namby-pamby, wishy-washy approach. You can’t be a pushover and a doormat to the enemy of your soul! It’s a battle, a daily battle, and everyone must consistently and continually take up arms. Read Ephesians 6. In addition to suiting up in the armor, there are other key phrases there.
- “…having done all, stand firm.”
- “…pray at all times…”
- “…be on the alert with all perserverance…”
There are several paradoxes. We generally associate traits like shrewd and crafty with negative connotations, but we must adopt those characteristics (play the game) as sheep and doves if we want to live the overcoming life.
Finally, 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV) warns of the enemy that “roams about like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” In this context, you must become someone whom he may NOT devour by being “alert and of sober mind”.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 (NASB)
Got a few trials going on in your life right now? Well, if you don’t, I’ll send someone over to check your pulse. Friends, we live in remarkable days, but if we will walk through them rather than run from or shy away from them, we will grow in maturity. God promises deliverance as we persevere: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19 (ESV)
But, while we are guaranteed afflictions, “various trials” and “weapons” and “words” to be hurled at us, James exhorts us to “consider it all joy”. You know you’re in a good place when you can laugh at the tough times. Yes, your trials are a serious matter, but it’s the joy that brings you to the peace that passes all understanding, which results in your endurance that brings you to the other side and that “perfect result”.
Hang onto these passages and allow them (and others) to help you get through these crazy times. And, let us know your go-to verses for these extraordinary times in the comments below.