Our friend Paul Tripp has ministered to me and so many other youth workers and parents over the years. . . always pointing us to Gospel-truth. . . especially in those moments when we are prone to go elsewhere. My wife Lisa subscribes to Paul’s “Wednesday Word” and just pointed me to today’s entry. It is powerful, timely, and most importantly. . . truthful.

Parents, read these words. Ponder them. Pass them on to your kids. Youth workers, please do the same. . .

We find ourselves in a time of unprecedented trouble. Faced with a global pandemic, we need to take a moment to think biblically about our response to COVID-19.I only have one thought that I will repeat in today’s devotional: Be afraid, but don’t give way to fear.

That statement may seem contradictory, so let me explain.

Fear is one of God’s good gifts to us. I think there are three types of spiritually healthy fear:

1. Fear of God. This is a holy reverence of the Almighty, living in awe of, and submitting to, the King of the universe.

2. Rapid Response Fear. This is our instinctual ability to react in a moment of danger. Think of a parent who spontaneously leaps into action to protect their child right before they hurt themselves.

3. Appropriate Concern: This allows us to be sobered by what we are facing, and with our God-given ability to analyze, we make wise and planned choices to protect ourselves and those we love.

God designed us with the ability to be afraid because he loves us and wants to protect us.

Be afraid, but don’t give way to fear.

Giving way to fear is characterized by meditating on the trouble we are facing and forgetting God in the process. This fear reveals itself when we allow our minds and hearts to be controlled by what was initially appropriate concern.

Is the pandemic (or anything that makes you afraid, for that matter) all you think about, all you read about, and all you talk about? If any type of trouble consumes your meditation, the larger it will loom, the more impossible a solution will seem, and the more frightened you will become.

In this world, you will face danger, so ignoring that reality is not wise. God has given you the ability to be concerned, so acting as if there is no reason for concern is not the solution.

The problem is that your meditation has been consumed by the trouble you are facing.

Whenever trouble consumes our meditation, it’s because we have ultimately forgotten God. We have forgotten that there is a Lord of glory, wisdom, goodness, power, and grace who sits on the throne of his universe. No difficulty of any kind – no person, place, or pandemic – can negate his good and glorious promises to his children.

As you look horizontally, things may seem entirely out of control. But when you look vertically, this world is under careful supervision.

Do I claim to understand the pandemic? Not at all. Until we’re on the other side, we may never fully understand why God would allow this trouble to enter our lives.

But we know who he is. We know what he can do. We know what he has promised. We know that he is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

In this moment of global pandemic, don’t let your meditation be dominated by fear so that you become God-forgetful. Don’t ignore the reality of the situation, don’t be embarrassed by your instinctual ability to respond rapidly when needed, and make wise plans out of appropriate concern.

Most of all, never stop fearing God.

Be afraid, but don’t give way to fear.

God bless,

Paul Tripp

Source: CPYU

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