Notes from the church lady: God can lift your spirit in uncertain times

"…Be strong and of a good courage…for the Lord thy God is with thee…" Joshua 1:9

Discouragement. Despair. Depression. Disbelief.

Do one or more of these words describe your countenance over this past month? There were certainly enough things happen in our world this past month to send a person into a state of mind contrary to what the Bible teaches.

I think our media added to our state of mind as we heard reports from Boston around the clock. Even though we weren't in the immediate area, we were sucked into the trauma unfolding.

No one thought anything like this would happen. After all, it was a happy day celebrating athletes not necessarily racing against each other, but against their own abilities. It is unfortunate that terrorism crept in leaving participants and spectators fearful for their own safety.

We were returning to a sense of normalcy when a small town in Texas was devastated by a massive explosion. These were people much like us who started their day as any other and by nightfall were mourning the loss of family, friends, and their homes. The first responders didn't think about their own safety but the job at hand of protecting others.

To top it all off, we are in the midst of a severe drought while the Midwest is plagued with flooding. It is certainly an unusual Spring making it difficult to deal with such extreme weather. One last note, we could always think about the earthquake in China…

For many, negative emotions are our enemy as we face illness, death, financial problems, relationship problems and others of our very own. There are those who can block out events happening in other places but when it comes to their lives it is a different story.

No matter how major or minor, it is your problem that is plaguing you. No one knows exactly how you feel or are coping with a situation except you and God.

The children of Israel were facing uncertain times as they prepared to enter the Promised Land. Their leader, Moses, was dead and they didn't know what would happen next.

I wonder if Joshua wasn't a little uncertain as well, but God commanded him to not be afraid or dismayed as the Lord would be with them every step of the way. We too can claim this promise and many others in the Bible as our own. Can we take the promise and "be strong and of a good courage" as we are faced with problems in our lives?

The entire Bible has so much wisdom to offer on every situation and problem we face. In Romans 15:4 we read: "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope".

Words of hope, encouragement, instruction, and so many other positive things were written long ago but are just as relevant today. While our world is changing so fast, the message found in the Bible stays the same.

As the Bible stays the same so does our Savior who is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

When you feel fearful, meditate on Psalm 62:5-6 (NIV):

"Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken."

Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at:

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