Courage for Times of Trouble
Words from Jesus
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“Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor Me.”—Psalm 50:15
You are My prized possession (James 1:18), and you can claim My promises of safekeeping and protection, and trust in My care for you, no matter what illness, natural disaster, or calamity is occurring in the world. You abide under My shadow, and I am your refuge and fortress, the One in whom you can trust. I can keep you in the midst of calamity or disease, so there’s no reason to fear “the pestilence that walketh in darkness,” or “the destruction that wasteth at noonday” (Psalm 91:6). Your eternal future is guaranteed no matter what conditions you face in your earthly life.
You can do your part and take some practical measures to avoid infection in cases of infectious disease such as washing your hands regularly, and keeping your immune system strong by eating nutritious food, getting the rest you need, and taking time for regular exercise. Most of all, commit your health and your loved ones to Me in prayer. Then rest assured that no matter what you face, I am with you.
Times of widespread epidemic or calamity can be a good opportunity to reach out to others who are worried or fearful, as a chance to give them peace, hope, faith—and most of all, salvation. Problems are often opportunities to minister to those you might not have been able to reach otherwise, and to help those who already know Me to get to know Me in a deeper way.
Men and women who do not know Me often fear death, what they sometimes call “the great unknown.” But it’s not an unknown to those who know Me, and you can share that peace with others by helping them come to know Me and receive My gift of salvation—Whom to know is eternal life (John 17:3).
Those who know Me not only have the promise of a wonderful future in heaven, but they can be filled with peace and faith here and now, knowing beyond a doubt that I love them and care for them. They can replace worry and fear with trust and dependence on Me, as they come to understand that whether they live or they die, they live or die with Me, and nothing can separate them from My love or the eternal future I have promised (Romans 14:8, 8:38–39).
Be at peace when you hear or read media accounts of natural disasters and epidemics. The governments of the world cannot offer true hope and the peace you can have as you cast your cares on Me and trust your life to Me. Instead, they prepare for the worst, and when this results in feelings of fear or panic, they then try to calm and reassure their people. The media often focuses on reporting the worst and then trying to soothe the fears that they’ve provoked, profiting in either case.
So have faith, My dear ones. While it’s wise to be careful and prayerful, and to take the precautions that I show you to, you won’t benefit by being swayed by the media. I am in control of both life and death. You are Mine, and I love you and will work everything together for good in your life. Trust in Me, depend on Me, and teach others to do the same, for your future is as bright as My promises.
Hope for times of conflict
“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”—Psalm 9:9–10
It’s a sad day for the poor. I weep tears of sorrow for the poor and those who are suffering. “Offenses must come, but woe unto that man by whom the offense cometh” (Matthew 18:7). I know that it causes great sorrow in your hearts as you see such destruction and oppression. I too sorrow for the suffering of the innocents.
Is there anything you can do? You can pray. You can pray for those who know Me to be empowered and protected and supported as they show My love to others. You can pray for My comfort to be manifested to those who are suffering. You can pray for answers to the prayers of the afflicted. You can pray for peace despite the turmoil.
You can also pray for the lives that are broken and for the comfort of those who have lost children, brothers, sisters, husbands, and wives. Pray that they will be open to My Spirit and come to Me and take refuge in Me. You can pray earnestly that they might find Me in their suffering, and the comfort of My Spirit.
You can speak out against injustice, against atrocities, against the evils. You can join the many millions of Christians around the world who are praying for the oppressed. You can sympathize with their plight. You can help with aid or relief or some other physical form of support or local refugee programs in your country.
Your calling is to stand for truth and righteousness and peace. You can tell others that you deplore violence and reject it as a solution to problems. You can explain that you are deeply saddened by the loss of life on both sides and you are praying for all the people who are suffering.
You can ask your friends to join with you in prayer for resolution to the conflict and that peace will be restored. You can pray for a lasting peace and an end to the suffering. Pray for the poor and needy, the injured and the bereaved, and commit the perpetrators of violence to Me.
Pray that the gospel of My love will be preached to reach those who are suffering in the midst of cruel wars. Continue to share My love and My truth far and wide, in heart after heart and nation after nation, and teach others to be witnesses as well! Share My Word with others so that your light can shine in darkness and others may come to know My love and hope and life!
The best preparation
“Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace—because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock.”—Isaiah 26:3–4
As you trust Me for every aspect of your future, I will give you My joy and peace. Come to Me with all your worries and cares, and trust that in the midst of times of stress and turmoil, I am always with You. My joy will give you strength and will sustain you no matter what happens in the world around you.
Keep your eyes stayed on Me. Don’t focus on the wind and the waves. If you focus on the wind, you might feel as if you’re going to be blown away. If you look at the waves, it might look as if you’re going to drown. But if you look to Me, then you’ll have faith that you can make it, that you can go the distance, that you can lift the load, that you can do all that I’m asking of you.
The best preparation for what lies ahead and for troubling times in the world is the preparation of your heart. Stay close to Me. Lean on Me. Spend time praying. Spend time memorizing and reminding yourself of the Word you’ve hidden in your heart. Stay close to Me and trust that I will always be with you.
Originally published in 2009. Adapted and republished March 2023.
Read by Jon Marc. Music by Michael Dooley.