The world is starting to open back up; however, things have drastically changed for many of us. Just a few months ago, the thought of a global pandemic was the farthest thing from any of our minds. Now we are constantly flooded with new information, updates, and guidelines that need to be followed. Many of us have suffered great losses, including jobs, businesses, and loved ones.
Slowly, things are starting to go back to "normal" and people are emerging from their homes. Even so, life as we know it looks very different, and that can be a major adjustment.
Luckily, as believers, we can look to the Bible for guidance to the questions we have. Here are 3 Biblical ways to help you adjust to the major changes you might be facing in your life.
1. Remember Your Foundation
As believers we have a solid foundation on which we place our faith. In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus says:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Jesus is telling us that by hearing the words He says and putting them into practice, we are doing a wise thing and are like a man who has built his house on a solid foundation—a rock.
When the rain came, the man's house did not fall. We are similar to the wise man when we believe what the Bible says and live our lives in a way that reflects that truth.
When we have God as our solid foundation, no matter what happens in our life, if the rain comes or the wind blows, we still have God. He has promised us that He will never leave us or forsake us, which allows us to make Him our solid foundation.
However, if we hear the words Jesus says and don't do anything with them, if we don't put them into practice, then He says we are like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. When the rain came, his house fell.
This is the result when we build our lives centered on money, fame, career, or even other people. All of these things can be gone in a moment, but God's love and His truth are never-changing.
2. Look for the Joy
When everything around us seems to be going wrong, it can be hard to see the good in the situation and even harder to be joyful.
Many people confuse joy and happiness. On the surface, they seem very similar. Dictionary.com defines joy as "a feeling of great pleasure and happiness." Sure, we feel joy, but joy is not only something that we feel, it's something that we, especially as believers, are able to have no matter what happens to us, no matter what circumstances we face!
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no Law." -Galatians 5:22-23
This verse tells us that the fruit of the Spirit, including joy, are things that there is no law against; they are things that people can't take away from us.
An example would be Paul. In Philippians, Paul is writing letters to the church while he is in jail. Even though Paul is in jail, he is still praising God and giving thanks! Throughout the book of Philippians, Paul mentions joy 16 times in just four short chapters (NIV version).
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" Philippians 4:4
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13
Paul is telling us that no matter what happens to him, whether he has plenty or little, whether he is hungry or full, that he can still have joy and praise the Lord because he has learned how to be content in Christ.
Joy isn’t based on our circumstances like happiness is. Joy isn’t just a feeling. You can be joyful no matter how bad things are in your life. Paul says we should rejoice no matter what life brings us because God is still with us and He will give us the strength to get through it. This is what Philippians 4:13, is really saying. No matter what circumstances surround us, no matter what life throws our way, we can still have joy, peace, love, and more because we have God who gives us the strength to do all things.
3. Have Grace on Yourself
When everything around us seems to be falling apart, we can look at ourselves and wonder, “What could I have done better?” We flood our minds with thoughts like, "Maybe if I had just done something differently,” or “Maybe if I just tried harder.”
We might beat ourselves up a bit for being lazy when we could have been productive during quarantine. Or maybe we were too productive or too stressed and wasted an opportunity to relax?
Yes we are all in this together, but each of us is going through our own individual struggle. Some of us have lost jobs, businesses, or even family members. Many of us are fearful of the unsure future. Others have been alone in their homes so long now that loneliness is starting to feel like a normal part of life.
Each of us is going through something, and we need to love ourselves the way that God loves us. One way that we can do this by showing ourselves grace.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." -Ephesians 2:8-9
This verse is talking about our salvation in Christ; however, look at a few key points. Grace is a gift of God. God gave us grace because he is good and He knew we needed it. He knew we weren't perfect and that we would mess up sometimes. That's why He sent Jesus! Jesus came to pay for our sins so that we could experience God's grace and love for us.
Give yourself the gift of grace today. Better yet, receive the gift of grace that God gives you. It's okay if you are feeling sad or afraid. It's okay that you didn't finish all your projects. It's okay if you gained the quarantine 15.
Take it one step at a time and work toward your goals or work toward creating new ones.
At the end of the day, there are a lot of things that happen in our lives that we can't control, but we can control where we put our trust. By putting our trust in God, it allows us to have a solid foundation, be joyful no matter what happens, and reminds us to have grace on ourselves, because we know how much God loves us. Even though we face a world that has changed, we can stand on the truth that God never changes.