By Pastor Colin Ruddock
One of the biggest and hardest things to recognise as we go through this time is that no one we know has ever experienced anything like this before. In life, we like to look for people that have been through something, that can help you when you face a similar situation.
In a world crisis such as this pandemic of the Coronavirus, we need each other more than we’ve needed them before. This is not a time to isolate but to insulate. This means that we stay connected, we lookout for our family, our neighbours, our community.
One of the challenges with this pandemic is that most of the news related to it is bad news. This states that when you keep hearing bad news, it then allows fear to influence your mind and your thoughts. When fear overtakes your mind, it then causes anxiety, it causes worry, and depression sets in. And in certain situations, fear causes you to even doubt your existence and why you are even living. I stress this is quite extreme, but unfortunately becoming more common.
So, how do we combat fear? Before we get involved with the spiritual answer, and what the bible says, let’s look at some practical examples.
What do you allow your ears to listen to? Do you surround yourself with positive, joyful people? Are you open to sharing how you feel with others?
I myself had a real fear of speaking publicly. I had decided in my mind that everyone would be judging me, looking at our how I spoke, would see my nervousness, would queue up to judge me on what I said. And because I knew there were more accomplished people that spoke well sat in front of me, I decided why would anyone listen to me. I was so intimidated. Now I just deal with this better.
I had to recognise as a Christian, that God wants me to share the Good News and encourage people from the pulpit, and to be real. Secondly, that He is with me, I am led by the Spirit, and not my own desires and that if I prayed for boldness he would grant this to me.
Public speaking in the secular arena, you have to be confident that what you are saying is going to make a difference to someone in your audience.
As a follower of Christ, a believer of the gospel (good news) and as a Christian, my final authority comes from the word of God.
2 Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
Fear does not come from God, timidity is not a spirit that He connects with. He has given us the power to overcome fear, love yourself, and a mind under the control of the Spirit.
When you think of fear, you think of something that has a stronghold over you. It might be a fear of spiders, or the dark, or heights, maybe flying, or again public speaking. He who fears something, gives it power over him. In this season of so much uncertainty one of the biggest weapons the enemy will use is fear.
As Christians, we are called to bring hope in this time. We are called to be the answer to the solution, not add problems. Hope keeps people thinking forwards. Hope keeps our heads up. Fear cannot enter into someone when hope is at the forefront. To conclude, the bible tells us to wear the armour of God. The armour of God protects us against the fiery darts from the devil. One of those darts being fear.
I encourage you to read Ephesians 6:10-17 and put on your armour!