Guest Contributor: Rona Kirby

Maybe the corona virus was something that you took lightly when you first heard about it, but as you’ve watched it move across the globe, your lightheartedness has been transformed into anxiety and worry.

And watching the news, looking at online sources, and engrossing yourself in social media doesn’t help. In fact, it only makes it worse. I’ve found myself, at times, beginning to become overwhelmed by fear and worry. This usually happens after I’ve read a news story, heard updated numbers of cases and deaths, or read a story or article that someone shared on Facebook. NONE of these things has done anything to calm my fears. It has only heightened them. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. Can you relate?

Don’t let what you hear on the news drive you to despair. Instead, let it drive you to the One who has the answers and who is in control of it all. What does calm my fears and renew my trust? Saturating myself with God’s word.

I’m not saying that we should hide our heads in the sand and pretend none of this is going on. We should be aware of what is happening around us. I’m not saying we should be nonchalant and act like it’s not serious. It is very serious, and our actions should reflect that.
What I am saying is that there is a balance we must maintain.

There is a pendulum that we are all on that swings from extreme worry on one end to full trust in the Lord on the other end. And to be honest, even we Christians (the ones who know where and Who to turn to) can find ourselves way out on the end of worry and fear.
Let’s swing ourselves to the other end and go the resource God has given his children.

I’m not saying to stop watching the news, but what if we immersed ourselves in the word WAY more than the news? What a difference it would make! We’d probably be less worried, less self-serving (or less self-preserving), and we just might find ourselves becoming restful, calm, and at peace.

When worry begins to take over, turn to Him for comfort, encouragement, strength and rest.
When I begin to swing on the pendulum toward fear, I’ve found myself turning to God’s word, and most recently I have been turning to the Psalms. Reading and pondering verses from one psalm leads to other psalms, which then leads me to another one. It’s like a story of God’s rule and reign, his steadfast love and faithfulness, and his promised goodness is unfolding before my very eyes. And I find my response is to simply rest, wait, and be still.

Below I’ve included some of the verses that have brought me back to a place of trust and reliance. My prayer is that as you read through them, the words of Yahweh will lift you up and point your eyes to the One who is ruling and reigning and to the One who deserves all our praise.

Be encouraged! He is enthroned on high above it all!

The verses below have been the path of my journey through the Psalms just in the last few weeks, but there is so much more. Go on your own journey and see where God leads you.
I’ve also found that listening to praise music calms my soul, renews my trust in the Lord, and reminds me of what I know to be true. Below are a few songs that have offered comfort and have helped me offer praise to our Maker in recent days.

Yet Not I but Through Christ in Me
The Goodness of Jesus
Behold Our God
Sovereign over Us
Sinking Deep
It Is So

My Journey through the Psalms

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of
the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward (Psalm 19:7-11).
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Whoever is
wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord (Psalm
107:1, 43).

The steadfast love of God endures all the day. But I am like a green olive tree in the house of
God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly. (Psalm 52:1, 8-9)

I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known
your faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 89:1

For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 100:5)

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for
the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:13-14)

Your flock found a dwelling in it; in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy. . . .
Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. (Psalm 68:10, 19)

Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and
worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind! Love the Lord, all you his saints! The Lord preserves the faithful, but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD! (Psalm 31, 19, 23-24)

For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady, he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries. (Psalm 112: 6-8)

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright. (Psalm 20: 7-8)

Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you. (Psalm 33:19-21)

He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful. He
provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever. (Psalm 111:4-5)

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge—no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot. “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (Psalm 91)

Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered. . . . He remembers his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations. . . . For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham, his servant. (Psalm 105:5, 8, 42)

Then I said, “I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will
remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all
your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph. (Psalm 77:10-15)

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. . . .But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. (Psalm 103:1-5, 17-19)

He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills. He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry. His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. (Psalm 147:8-11)

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. . . . “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.  (Psalm 46:1-3, 10-11)

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. (Psalm 61:1-3)

I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:1-2)

The Lord reigns; he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring. Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty! Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O Lord, forevermore. (Psalm 93)

The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! (Psalm 97:1)

The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth
quake! (Psalm 99:1)

But the Lord sits enthroned forever; he has established his throne for justice. . . . And those
who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. Sing praises to the Lord, who sits enthroned in Zion! Tell among the peoples his deeds! (Psalm 9:7, 10-11)

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations. (Psalm 22:27-28)

God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne. (Psalm 47:8)

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace! (Psalm
29:10-11)

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