In 2017, 2018 and 2019, the most downloaded bible verses had the common themes of fear and worry. I don’t know the situations or experiences which prompted searches for these particular bible verses during those years? Given the unprecedented global challenges thrown by the scourge called corona virus, including deaths, disabilities and depression of economies, God only knows the type of bible verses that will be the most downloaded in 2020?
Many people, especially women were grappling with different levels of challenges in their personal or professional lives prior to the covid-19 scourge. With the addition of the global scourge, their already existing pressures will likely increase. How should these families respond to their challenges? As an individual, how will you deal with the issues of life when they throw you into a curve? Should fear be the response? I know many are wearied by the negative news. I also know that many more are worried about the future after the covid-19 crisis. Whatever is the painful current situation or potential outcome, should fear be the response?
We all are dealing with different fears. There are fears of job loss, difficult marriage, financial insecurity, unstable relationship, toxic environments etc.? There is no one-size-fits-all solution to all the challenges. One solution may be best for a particular challenge but may boomerang in another similar situation. This is why it is necessary to apply wisdom in dealing with or addressing your fears. Wisdom is profitable to direct!
For starters, my Bible tells me that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of love, power and sound mind. I know that the bible also has practical examples of how to deal with fearful situations. This is not for someone who simply recites bible verses without any action to deal with or avert fearful outcomes. I am addressing individuals who will adopt intelligent, strategic responses to challenging situations that can place them at a disadvantage.
One person who applied strategic behavior to deal with his fear was biblical Jacob. Genesis 32:7a says, ‘’So Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed.’’ The reasons were not farfetched. His twin brother Esau was approaching Jacob and his family with an army of 400 men. Jacob had wronged his twin in two major ways. Firstly, he ruthlessly negotiated and obtained Esau’s firstborn status because of a meal of pottage. Secondly, he deceptively took the firstborn blessing which was intended for Esau and absconded. Since Jacob wronged Esau, he had not seen Esau so he was concerned about Esau’s reaction after many years.
The first thing Jacob did was to send messengers to Esau. His messengers returned with the grim news, ‘Esau was approaching with 400 men! Jacob’s first response to the distressing news was fear! However, Jacob did not stay in a place of fear for long! He intelligently addressed the object of his fear by implementing a survival strategy.
This is what you should do when faced with life-threatening or damaging situations; you should implement your survival strategy.
In Jacob’s case, he divided his household into two groups ‘’including the people who were with him, and the flocks, and herd and camels.’’ Why? What was Jacob thinking? ’He thought, if Esau attacks one group, perhaps the other can escape? After Jacob implemented his survival strategy, he prayed. Thereafter, Jacob made a robust preparation to circumvent the subject or object of his fears. He prepared a massive cornucopia of gifts to appease his approaching ‘’enemy.’’ Please take time to read through the story in Genesis chapter 32 and 33. You will see that Jacob was very thorough. Nothing was left to chance!
Today, many people are facing unprecedented challenges and afraid of the outcomes. Learn from Jacob. His survival strategy is a lesson for everybody; man or woman. God has not created you to live disadvantaged lives. There is a way of escape out of your excruciating experiences. Don’t respond to dreadful situations with fear and idleness. Do something to save yourself. Try to develop your survival strategy using the tools you have already been blessed with.
Fear is a natural response to any scary challenge or situation. But it shouldn’t be your only response. Find a way to circumvent or even eliminate the object of your fear. Where there is a will, there is a way.
If you are a Christian, read your bible, gain wisdom and be inspired on how to intelligently overcome your fears. Many stories in the bible showed intelligent responses for dealing with calamities and uncertainties. These stories should be your guide in dealing with really difficult and tricky problems. There is a reason these bible stories were left for our consumption, inspiration and education. Today, make a decision to apply biblical stories of survival to your difficult situations and survive contemporary issues using eternal and ancient wisdom.
God has blessed you with a brain, use it and be empowered every day!