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Having Perfect Peace in a World of Pandemics & Brokenness

I’m one of those people that has at least 10 tabs open on my internet at any given moment. My husband makes fun of me for this, but it’s basically a visual representation of how my brain feels. One particular night, my brain had a million tabs open. The tabs of school, parenting, adoption, and more were fully loaded, and I couldn’t fall asleep. The Spirit gently reminded me of, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3). What conviction! My mind wasn’t in perfect peace, because it was on what ifs, unknowns, & not stayed on the Lord. When my mind is focused on everything but the Lord, I’m essentially saying, “Lord, I don’t trust you. I’m trying to take matters into my own hands.” But in several places in Scripture, including Matthew 6:25, we’re commanded to not be anxious.

2020 has been such a crazy year, and at any given moment, there’s a long list of unpeaceful things we can keep our mind stayed on. With social media and news constantly at our fingertips, it’s easy to dwell on these things, instead of the Lord. When my heart is anxious, I can almost guarantee I’m thinking on pandemics, school worries, or brokenness. However, this isn’t what Christ wants for us! When we keep our mind on the God of peace, he supplies us with his peace, which surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:6-9). We know this, and it’s easy to say. However, we also know it’s easier said than done. Therefore, how, when our world bombards us with brokenness, can we keep our minds stayed on the God of peace?

  • Daily be in prayer and in God’s Word. What we feast on is what we’ll think on. If we feast on the opinions of social media or latest news stories, that’s where our minds will be. Our minds are spiritual battle fields, and the best line of defense is to daily feast on God’s Word. Each day we open God’s Word is a long-term investment. The Spirit will bring to mind what we’ve studied as we need it!
  • Spend more time in God’s Word & prayer. I know I just said this, but “more” is the key word here. We don’t have to have just one time with the Lord each day! When emotions feel like they’ll get the best of us, let’s turn to the Bible, over and over again. It’s tempting to turn to social media or TV, but usually, these things will worsen our emotions, not help them. Just because we already had our “quiet time” doesn’t mean we can’t turn to God’s Word again! I love the exhortation in Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…”. If we’re getting God’s Word in us as much as possible, we’re more likely to have our minds on it instead of things of this world. Practically, we can do this by placing Bible verses in places we frequent around our house (kitchen, mirror, etc.), on our phone lock screens, by listening to Gospel-centered podcasts, by listening to Christ-centered songs, and more.
  • Set boundaries on what we intake. This applies to social media, news outlets, etc. There are articles or comments I know will make my blood boil if I read them. This is an opportunity for us to practice self-control and to keep scrolling. It’s so unwise for us to intentionally click on a situation or watch a broadcast we know will make us angry or anxious.
  • Be wise on social media. No one is forcing us to follow anyone on social media! The “unfollow” and “mute” buttons can be our BFFs. We can curate what’s in our feeds so it’s things that help us think on what’s lovely, excellent, praiseworthy, and the other things we’re commanded in Philippians 4:8.
  • Plug into a local church. The internet is great for many things, but it’s no substitute for the fellowship of the local church. We must intentionally surround ourselves with believers (real, in-person people) who point us to Christ. In the times when our minds are so overwhelmed that we struggle to keep them on Christ, our church family can remind us of Truth. Friends, we aren’t called to do this Christian life alone! We need our brothers and sisters in Christ to come alongside us!

As we desire to keep our minds stayed on the Lord, let’s do our part to help our brothers and sisters in Christ do the same. Of course, the only person to blame for our sin is ourselves, so it’s wrong to say, “I struggle with being anxious because of what he/she posts online.” However, out of love for the lost and our Christian brothers and sisters, we should aim to not be stumbling blocks. Not only does this apply to those physically around us, but also to those who are “around” us on the internet. As we post on social media or have conversations, let’s ask ourselves, “Would this help others stay their mind on the Lord?” If not, then let’s think twice before posting/saying.

Friends, as our minds are stayed on the Lord, I think we’ll find that even on our most trying days, we have peace! We’ll fail at this, but praise the Lord, his grace covers our thoughts. When the battle is tough, cry out to the Lord. We have the Spirit who’s with us at all times and who’s able to help us in our time of need.

What would you add to this list? How can we practically keep our minds stayed on Christ?

Here’s an accurate visual of 2020- Mask on + 1000 tabs open (mentally and on my computer!)

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