During this unexpected season, how do we keep faith during the tough times and especially in this time during lockdown? So many different emotions are swirling around our heads. But leaning in to the faith that we do have and by spending time with God, our faith can go from strength to strength. Isaiah 41:10 says “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” God wants us to know that no matter what, He is with us. Whatever you are going through, do not be afraid because God is right here with you.
Below are 5 ways to keep going in faith during lockdown.
Tell God the prayers that are on your heart
Prayer is such an amazing, wonderful and powerful thing. No matter what is on your heart, nothing is too big, too small or too scary for God. He wants to hear your prayers and more importantly He wants to help.
Sometimes it’s so easy to bottle up the things that are on our mind, the things that we struggle to talk about and the things that are weighing us down. But God is ready and waiting to listen to all of those things that are on our minds. Talking to God about those things can bring so much peace, comfort and joy in times of uncertainty and doubt. If you are needing someone to talk to, remember that God is with you and you can talk to Him at any time.
“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Deuteronomy 33:27.
You could also make your very own prayer journal. That way you can write down the prayers that are on your heart. It’s a lovely way to look back at all of your prayers and see all of the wonderful things that God has done and is doing. Sometimes if you are struggling to find the words to speak, writing them down is just as powerful. I started my very own prayer journal a few months back. I’ve found it to be so helpful. I love to write down all of my thoughts, feelings and everything else that I want God to know.
I am praying for you right now.
I pray that God will give you strength and guidance. That you feel peace and joy during these unsettling times. For God knows exactly what you need in this moment. I pray that God will draw near to you and you will feel His presence. And I pray that God will calm any fear, anxiety and doubt that you may have.
Spend time with God
Along with prayer, there are so many different ways to spend time with God. It can feel hard during tough times to feel motivated, I know this full well, but just by reading a page from your daily devotional and the Bible, or by spending some time studying scripture, it can really help and make such a huge difference. One thing I love to do is to read a few chapters from my Bible each day. I also have a journaling Bible that I love to get out and open up. I love writing down any thoughts and feelings that come to mind when I’m studying scripture. And I really like that I can be as creative as I want in my journaling Bible.
A couple of other things that I like to do, is to open up the YouVersion Bible app that I have on my phone. It’s an amazing app filled with daily devotional plans. Each plan has a devotional and also different passages from the Bible. I absolutely love this because you can dive right into the scripture after reading. You can also connect with friends on the app too and do devotional plans together. The app also has lots of beautiful images that you can save and share to your social media.
Another app that I have recently downloaded which I am really loving, is one called First 5. Similar to the app I mentioned above, First 5 is filled with wonderful daily plans and a short daily teaching. The app was developed by Proverbs 31 Ministries and was designed to help us spend the first 5 minutes of our day connecting to God’s Word. You are also able to connect with friends and join different groups to help and encourage one another and make new friends.
One of my favourite things to do, is to pop on some worship music throughout the day. I find worship music to be so inspiring and encouraging and it makes me feel really good. I usually put on a playlist and then listen to it whilst I do different activities during the day. You can find some different playlists to listen to on the UK Church Online website. One thing that I love about worship music is that the lyrics are always so positive, uplifting and reassuring.
And if you are looking for more fun things to do, why not take part in the daily challenges over on the UK Church Online Facebook page. They are a great way to spend time with God and dive into the wonderful word of God.
In Philippians 4:18 it says, “ Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” By giving thanks, it can really change our perspective on things. By thinking about the things that are good, the things that make us smile and bring joy into our lives, when we think about these, it brings peace and happiness. In a time where all we see and hear is bad and negative news, it can really dampen the mood. But especially in times like this, it’s so good to think about the people who we have in our lives and are thankful for and also to think about the things that bring us joy, no matter how big or small they may be.
One thing that I like to do, is to take my fear and anxiety and turn it into gratefulness. I stop thinking about the things that are making me feel anxious and afraid and instead I think about the people and the things that bring me happiness. It turns my negative thinking into positive thinking and I feel so grateful for who and what I have in my life. And then I like to say a prayer to God thanking Him for those things.
Everything that we have is a gift from God. Being thankful reminds us of how much we do have. By thanking God for what we do have, we focus on the amazing blessings that God has given us. It helps to keep our hearts in the right place and in the right relationship with God.
Remember that no season is wasted
In a season, where all feels uncertain, confusing and difficult and we fall on hard times, different parts in our lives can start to be affected, which can also include our faith. In the past during some tough and unimaginable times, I have asked God why is this happening, why is this happening in my life, why am I going through this and that I just want everything to go back to how it was. But over the years I have come to realise that through those tough times, even though I was going through a difficult season, that season was not wasted. I made it through all of those difficult times, and during each one, I learned so much about myself, I looked at things differently and it helped me to become a much stronger person. It also helped me to realise that those tough times were only temporary and that good things will come. But most importantly, I learned to put my full trust in God and that even in the darkness there is light, and the light will come. That light may be in the form of a person, a job, an opportunity, a new home and many other things.
“We will always learn something from what we go through, even if it’s to be thankful to breathe and have no pain,” Isabela Schielke.
What we go through, all of the challenges and trials, can mould, sculpt and bring us into the person that God wants us to become. I like to think about those things that I have learned over the years, because it’s a reminder of how far God has brought me since those difficult times, His love has brought so much happiness into my life, and not only has it also helped me to be thankful for everything that I have, it has helped me to use what I have learned to help other people who may be going through some of the same things that I have been through, and to show them just how good God is and how much they are loved. We can choose to see our challenges and past experiences as something that is weighing us down, or we can choose to see them as something that makes us better and as something that has helped us to grow a deeper relationship with God, because he brought us out of those tough times.
Be a light to others
In Matthew 5:16, Jesus says “Let your light shine before others.” Bringing light during uncertain and difficult times and showing compassion and kindness can make such a huge difference to someone’s day. During a time where so many people are feeling uncertain, alone, anxious and afraid, just one small act of kindness can bring so much light into another person’s life. But not only that, it can bring so much light into your own life.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2.
During this season it may feel like you are the only one going through this, but it’s so important to remember that so many other people are going through the same experience and having the same thoughts and feelings. By being the light during a dark and unsettling time, we are helping, building and lifting each other up. We are helping one another and we are sharing with the world the wonderful word of God and God’s amazing promises to us and that through the strength of Christ, we can and will overcome this.
Even though we may be unsure and anxious about what is happening, remember that God is with you. I have also been thinking a lot about, even during this difficult time, all of the wonderful things that are happening throughout the world. People from all over the world are coming together. Church Online is happening all over right now and more and more people are hearing the good news of the gospel. We are able to watch Church services from all over the world. We are being brought together, we are connecting with new people, making new friends and helping one another.
Remember just how much God loves you and cares for you. He is with you during this difficult and tough time and he will not leave you. A favourite verse of mine is from Philippians 4:13, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” This verse always speaks out to me, because no matter what the circumstance is, through Christ you are strengthened. These tough times will pass and God wants to and will help you through them.
Got any tips for ways to keep going in faith during lockdown? Let us know them in the comments below.