Words to take hold of in a crisis

We know that COVID-19 is not going to go away soon. It is likely that it still has to reach its peak.

At times like this, when we are aware of the danger that surrounds us, we need to trust in what the Bible says.

Here is a selection of verses from both Old and New Testaments that speak of the trust God encourages us to place in Him.

There is no better way of getting these scriptures under your skin than by reciting them each day, committing them to heart and allowing them to lodge there.

Jesus is sharing his last meal with his friends. They are anxious, and Jesus knows he will soon be arrested:

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

God commissions Joshua to lead the army of Israel into the Promised Land:

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

God reminds his people Israel through the prophet Isaiah that they are special people. We, too, may claim these truths for ourselves:

Isaiah 43:1

But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

Paul suffered much in his ministry, but he held on to the truth that God’s love for us, revealed in Jesus’ death for our sins, is eternal and unshakeable:

Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Wake up each morning with these words on your lips:

Psalm 27:1

The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?

Peter has seen it all.  He has been places with Jesus and experienced his glorious power and his human compassion:

1 Peter 5:6-7

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

The psalmist reminds us that God’s love passes through to our descendants:

Psalm 103:17

But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children

Only when you put all your trust in God will you find that this verse is true:

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Love is the answer. Not some wishy-washy, sentimental stuff, but the visceral, agonising death that Jesus died to prove Father’s love for us:

1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Bible Society Bible Book Club

If you’ve ever thought about using the Bible for a book club or would like to study it on your own then the Bible Society has an excellent resource. Each book of the Bible is presented in guides offered as an online study or as a printout.

The website also contains some useful articles about the Bible, designed to help you get stuck in.

Bible Society Book Club web page

Here’s an example Bible book – Mark’s Gospel

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Advent Reflections 2017 – Colossians

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This Advent we shall study Paul’s letter to the new church in Colossae (some spell it Colosse). Most scholars confirm Paul as the author of the letter. Paul (assuming it was he!) probably wrote the letter when he was in prison. Although he doesn’t express it directly in his letter, it seems that there were some odd goings-on in that church. We’ll attempt to read between the lines to see why Paul, who never went to Colossae himself, writes the letter.

PDF download or viewable below

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