I recently read about three famous people who committed suicide in just one month. It seemed unusually high to me, so in thinking about the current world situation, I thought I would do a little research. The results were amazing. An ABC news story in San Francisco reported seeing a year’s worth of suicides in four weeks (5/21/20). A psychologist was quoted describing current stressors as a “perfect storm”. A study that was reported on the American Psychological Website estimated that we could have from 75,000 – 100,000 additional deaths from suicide alone (5/8/20). In my research experts listed job loss, disrupted routines, families forced to stay at home or enforced distancing when they are not, dread of the future, loneliness, isolation, lack of belonging, financial concerns, and for some a lack of housing as homelessness numbers increase, and lack of food. Last week (7/21) The Census bureau’s weekly Household Pulse Survey reported that 30 million people in the US reported not having enough to eat.
To say the least, these are difficult times. Times that can easily put fear in anyone. We all need to seek the help we need, whether medical, emotional, or in a practical physical way. But there are times, a doctor or any other person can’t help. Especially if we’re afraid.
A. W. Tozer once said: “Outside of the will of God, there is nothing I want. And in the will of God there is nothing I fear.”
The Bible says: “The God of peace fill you with all joy and peace in believing ….” (Hebrews 13:21a) “The steadfast of mind (faith firm in God) You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3) “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the LORD your God the Holy One of Israel, your Savior ….” (Isaiah 43:1b-3a) “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
In His Word, God reminds us that He took care of the Hebrew people as they wandered through the desert, supplying them with food and water. He says “fear not” 365 times in the Bible. In Matthew chapter 2, we are reminded that He came down from heaven and lived among us, and in John 3:16, that He died to save us.
Sometimes it’s hard to live in our changed environment, the “new normal”, but when we remember that God is with us, He is for us and will always love and help us, and most especially, that this is all temporary and not our permanent home, we can embrace His call to “fear not”. I need this reminder to remember His promises, my future home, and not to be afraid. I think many of us have days when we need it, too.