The past two years for me have been…uh, let’s see…bizarre, scary, sad, overwhelming, unpredictable…I’m sure you get the point. It’s been quite an adventure, to put it politely. I have no doubt that you can relate. And if that’s the case, you’ll agree that today’s post-Simple Ways to Find Purpose and Peace in a World of Fear and Chaos- is relevant and much needed.
It started with us moving across the country and I mean literally across the country, from Louisiana to Washington State. Being that far away from home and the people we love was hard! It took a while to adjust but once we got to know the area and met some nice people, we decided it was gonna be good.
Until Covid made its way onto the scene and ushered in the mask mandates and lockdowns. All of a sudden, we felt like prisoners. Then came the riots and protests across the country and then the 2020 Election debacle. Let’s fast forward to now. We’ve got everyone arguing about the vaccine, the heartbreaking situation going on in Afghanistan, sex trafficking running rampant, and the crisis at the border.
I know…my head is spinning, too. So, how’s it been for you?
Have you felt peaceful or have you been fearful?
I’ve had mixed emotions from day one. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid when the news of Covid first broke because at the time we were living about 15 miles from where the first case in America was reported. In the beginning I was glued to the TV, which of course fueled my fear.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that watching the news was doing more damage than good. That what I needed would come from one place, the secret place.
I’d remind myself daily, sometimes several times a day that God was in control and that nothing would happen to me or my family without his approval. I knew that his perfect will would be done in our lives because that’s how I pray, and that never once in the Bible did God ever forsake his people.
That being said, there were still days I was afraid and wanted to run away. I wondered if everyone around me was as scared as I was. I’d try to think of ways I could help but at the same time I’d be so overwhelmed by the gravity of it all, most days I’d shrink back thinking, ‘What can I do to make a difference anyway?’ and then do nothing.
I’m sad to say that too much of the time I was focused on myself and how I felt. I’d let fear paralyze me and as a result I wouldn’t do anything. I realize now that fear and panic were being used against me so that I’d have no peace.
When correction leads to inspiration
One day while thinking about it all I got really annoyed. All I could think about were the days when life seemed good, simple. I caught myself wishing that I could go back to times of less chaos and uncertainty.
Like when my kids were little and the most stressful part of my day was shuffling them from the carpool line to the baseball field while doing homework and cramming snacks. Or even further back to when I was a kid when I’d spend my summers outside making mud pies or playing with Barbies, oblivious to anything that was happening outside my safe and happy bubble of a life.
But I wasn’t able to reminisce for long because almost instantly I felt a check in my spirit. Then I heard the gentle whisper that I know so well.
The Holy Spirit quickened within me and said, “Don’t question the timing of your existence or wish that things were different. I planned for you to be right where you are right now for a reason. This has been part of your story before you were even born. And none of this is a surprise to me. I never promised you an easy life but I did promise to give you peace. Get your mind right, you were made for this!”…that goes for YOU, too friend!
GULP! It was one of those moments that I wished I could shrink down in my chair and disappear, take back what I said, and pretend it never happened.
He was right. I was being selfish, thinking of myself and my comfort. “What kind of ‘warrior’ thinks like that?”, I thought. I knew then and there that I had to find some meaning in the middle of the madness. If I could do that, things would change for the better and I would find the peace I was looking for.
perspective-AN IMPORTANT part of finding purpose
First and foremost, as children of God, our purpose is to know him and to bring honor and glory to Him by sharing the gospel.
As his children, we’re carriers of his light so we can’t hide in the shadows when the future is uncertain or things around us get crazy. It’s wrong to think that since we’re saved we’ve been given a pass to live a safe and happy life while there are people all around us trapped in sin and struggling with strongholds.
People like that would give anything to taste the liberty and peace that life with Jesus brings. It’s up to us to show them the way. And it’s not optional, we have a responsibility and it has nothing to do with us or our comfort. We must take the focus off of ourselves and put it back on the world that we’ve been sent to impact.
People need hope, encouragement, and healing. They need the Jesus that lives inside of us!
We’re not here by accident. We’re part of God’s plan to bring Heaven to earth. He created us to be bold, passionate people of vision and action, not of mediocrity or passivity. We’re called to stand up, to be brave, and to win souls for the Kingdom especially when the world seems like it’s going to hell in a handbasket.
We have to remember that we are the invisible link between life and death for the lost.
Our mission is to bring God’s love to the world around us. To show them living, breathing proof that God is real and that he wants them to be a part of his family. So, we can’t let the things happening around us make us cower down. Instead, we need to be the embodiment of the ‘bold as lions’ scripture.
Like Bill Johnson, one of my all-time favorite Bible teachers says, “We owe the world an encounter with God”. We absolutely do.
Something to think about
I think sometimes we take for granted how easy it is for us to access peace and hope. All we have to do is ask for it and believe it and boom, it’s there. When we’re anxious or upset it’s second nature for us to tap into that. But can you imagine the feeling of hopelessness someone that doesn’t know God must feel?
You and I, we stand on the Rock. We know that we can trust him with our lives and our future. But the lost? Where is their hope?
This is why we can’t run away or bury our heads in the sand when things go haywire. People all around us are suffering and God is depending on us to lead them to Him.
Jesus said in Matthew 9:37, that the fields are ripe for harvest but the workers are few. That means there’s work to be done. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be one that isn’t willing to work for the Lord. Not to mention, do we really want to let the opportunity to be a part of the end-time harvest pass us by? We must be determined to make a difference and refuse to quit. And we’re not alone, God promises to go with us into battle.
Plus, we have all of heaven cheering us on, counting on us to finish what they started. (If you need a faith boost, read Hebrews 11)
People of Purpose
We can’t forget who we are and why we were created. When times get tough and we’re tempted to throw in the towel, we can’t. Remember-the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the grave lives inside us and will empower us to do everything we’ve been called to do.
But we must be ready so that when we cross paths with someone that doesn’t know Him, we can give them the encounter they are longing for.
Now, let’s take a second to breathe in the truth of this scripture. It reminds us that for centuries Christians have suffered but praise the Lord, if we hang in there, the reward will be great!
“We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in us.”2 Corinthians 4:8-10
Practical WAYS we CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
- It’s really simple, so don’t overthink it. Use what you’ve got. Put the gifts you’ve been given into practice to bless someone today. That’s all he’s asking. He doesn’t need a bunch of superstar evangelists. He just needs you to be you for Him, to show the world who He is.
- Don’t focus on the big things. Think of things you can do on a small scale to make an impact close to home. Don’t underestimate the ripple effect and don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Our callings are different expressions of the same goal and purpose. So do what you love to do, what you’re passionate about/good at, just make sharing God’s heart a part of it.
- Pray for God to open a door for you to be a witness for him, and he will!
a few simple ideas
For me, it’s trying to be present so that I can share God’s love with others in everyday settings. I don’t work so my circle is pretty small, but that’s ok! My husband, my children, my friends, people in line with me at the grocery store, etc. Really listening when they talk, giving advice when they ask, and praying for them if the door opens.
I also love offering hugs to people. More times than not, they welcome it. Sometimes a physical reminder that they are loved is just what they need. And SO many times this opens a door for me to be a witness for Jesus.
Then there’s writing. It’s a simple way to share what God reveals to me.
And last, but certainly not least, is my prayer time in private and with my prayer partner. I can’t see the fruit of it right now, but I know God is listening and moving in the lives of the people we pray for.
Keep it simple. Simple can be powerful.
overcome your fear by taking a leap into purpose
Listen, I get it. Sometimes It’s tempting to want to shrink back whether it be out of fear or trying to protect ourselves but we can’t do that. When we prepare to step out of our comfort zone, we need to remember that God has already gone before us and that he will lead us.
After all, it’s his name and reputation on the line and he’s got a plan. If we’re obedient and follow his lead, we can bank on amazing things happening and the lives of people around us being radically changed.
Is it scary to step out? YES! Still to this day when I feel God nudging me to pray for someone, I feel like I’m standing on the edge of a cliff with my heart beating out of my chest. But as soon as I start praying, the Holy Spirit speaks through me and the Presence of God fills the atmosphere. Every. Time.
“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you”1 Chronicles 28:20
(**This post shares one of my favorite stories about prayer that I think will melt your heart!**)
Simple tips to help you stay focused on your purpose
- Renew your mind daily with prayer, Bible reading, and worship throughout the day. It will fill you and transform you so that you’ll be prepared for whatever comes. (Romans 12:2)
2. Resist the temptation to isolate yourself. Stay connected to your church family and Christian friends so that you won’t feel like you’re doing this alone. We’re all in this together and the people around you need you as much as you need them!
3. Take a break from the news and social media accounts that constantly pump fear and panic, and remember that we are not fighting flesh and blood.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.Ephesians 6:11-12
The world is waiting
The bottom line is that the world needs what you’ve got. God planned it that way.
So how can you share it? How can you show up and make a difference today? What can you do to help point people to Jesus and make the most of your time here?
You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.Matthew 5:14-16
If I’m preaching to the choir and you’re already making moves and walking with purpose, share with us in the comments the things you do to impact the world around you. Give us some ideas! And if you know someone that’s stuck and could use some encouragement, share this post with them.
Let’s be cheerleaders of faith and build each other up as we run this race.
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Until next time, be brave and be bold! We are The Warrior Bride of Christ.