Let me just say “WOW” in my lifetime; I have never witnessed anything like this, as I have seen in the past few weeks. As I have watched the news, I have seen firsthand how fear and panic, has gripped the nation more and more each day. I, too, was one of the crazy’s last week that saw everyone buying up food and filled my buggy to the rim out of pure fear. I knew when I went to six different stores and could not find toilet paper; we were in trouble, my poor little mind started going bananas. Just like everyone else, I am concerned because I have a rare lung disease and certainly do not need to catch it, or it could be very devastating for me, sending me into even more panic.
I found myself telling my daughter, “go get food, go get toilet paper, find wipes for the baby.” Then telling my husband, “don’t go anywhere but to work and home, do not pass go, do not collect $200.00 (ha-ha).” I was calling my mom until she was the shopping fanatic online looking for toilet and water for days; I was just making myself crazy. Then, this morning because we could not go to church, we watched it online. The Pastor was sharing a scenario about a man walking by a house and seeing a BEWARE OF DOG sign. The sign made the man instantly have a fear of a big ferocious dog coming out and biting him. But, as he approached the house, a little 4-pound chihuahua runs around the house, wagging his tail happy to see the man, the man then breathes a sigh of relief. The man replied to the owner, “that dog can’t do a thing,” and the owner responded, “no, but the sign can.”
You see, just seeing that sign instilled fear, which is precisely what is happening all around us today. We see a sign by watching the news, looking on Facebook, listening to others, watching others, and their craziness in buying a store out. Then, that fear rolls over on all of us because we see everyone else in a panic, that “beware of dog sign.”
2 Corinthians Chapter 1: 2-11
2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. 3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6 Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 7 We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.
8 We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. 9 In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 10 And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. 11 And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.
We must understand that being “comforted.” It can also mean receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with our troubles. If you are feeling overwhelmed, allow God to comfort you. Our Pastor this morning, shared these four things:
1. Fear breeds fear
2. Fear clouds our judgment (like going and buying out Walmart)
3. Fear re-directs energy
4. Convert fear into faith
I think that is the best advice ever, let’s convert our fear into faith. Do not let the sign CORONAVIRUS shake who we are in Christ. Let Jesus be the bigger story here and in your life, just sit back and watch how He takes care of all of those who believe in Him, and even to those who don’t.
Cling to the scripture, Matthew 6:26
26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?
We continue to pray for you and your family,
Ronnie and Christie Bruce
Keynote Christian Speaker and Author
Christie Musso Bruce
Hope Knows Your Name Ministries
Wow, so much has happened in our lives these last six months. We were living in Chattanooga, TN where we both had great jobs. I was fired from my job while I was out for my back surgery and in rehab. Then, my husband took a job offer, in Texas which he thought would be better for our family in the long run. Trust me; I went kicking and screaming the whole way. After my back surgery and neck surgery, in Chattanooga, the surgery with my back did not go as well as planned. I was out of work from the time we moved to Texas until now. We had only been in Texas for six months when my husband’s boss announced to him that they were closing down the radio station on Friday, and he was told this on a Tuesday, leaving him with no time (3 days) to find a job. Now, we’re stuck out there alone and with no family or friends. That moment when Ronnie told me what had happened I was so angry, and I had just a panic of fear. Security has always been the one thing I need since my childhood. Now, that was gone, who was I going to trust, who would pay our bills, how would we get groceries? All these fears consumed me for months; we have both felt hopeless. I kept thinking, how could someone wreck someone’s life that bad? How could someone move us 12 hours from home knowing their business was on the verge of closing down? Ok, where are you, God? For the first time in our lives we seriously did not know what we were going to do. Long story short, we ended up moving back to Birmingham, AL and moved in with my mother, which has had to be our lowest point ever. I have sat and watched my husband feel less and less of a man because he has had so much trouble finding a job. I have watched him crying just out of sheer despair. I have watched him first-hand being torn down, and kicked in the mouth by other people, even by our family. All the while continuing to trust God, knowing He will provide, and knowing God has just the right job and people that he will cross paths with all in God’s timing. We are now going on four months that he has been without a job; it has been grueling. To have a stack of bills you cannot pay, you don’t have your own place to live anymore; you can’t go out and do the things you once could do. You know who you thought you were the closest to, acting like they never knew you when we needed a place to live. Being in the place where we are right now has made us cling only to God and not other people. We are trusting Him to get us out of our situation. Now, we are hanging on to the promises in His word, that is all we have. We have learned not to take anything for granted anymore, such as having a home, a kitchen to cook in, a bed to sleep in, your own bathroom, and just the comfort of knowing you are in your own home. I will always appreciate having an apartment or a home now. When we can get a place of our own, I will thank God every day for the blessing of having a roof over our heads we call our own. We are letting go of all of those people who let us down in one of the hardest times of our life, and trusting God to bring us new friends, those who stick closer than a brother. I am just so proud to see how my husband has witnessed to me through this time in staying so faithful, never losing hope, and his true dignity and respect he has shown to those who have just beat him down. He still showed them Jesus. I have to say my best friend since childhood has been here for both of us. Her belief in us and her encouragement is just amazing. I realize it is better to have one true friend like her than 20 who turn you away when you’re in trouble. She has always been a light to me in some very dark places I have been. Even though some of our fights throughout our lives, I always knew if I needed her she was there. What a comforting feeling, a true friend who is as genuine as nothing I have ever seen in my life. Her name is Jenny, so please pray for her and her family, thank God for putting her in my life, thank Him for giving me the comfort of knowing and seeing what a true friend should look like, ask Him to bless her beyond measure. I know pretty soon Ronnie will get a job offer, I know we will once again live out on our own. I know God is going to bless him abundantly just due to watching how He has just clung to the Lord through all this. Please continue to pray God will direct him to the job He wants him to have, where he can minister to others who are going through life and have so many issues just as we have had. We have a precious friend in ministry, and his logo is “God Did It” and that is one thing we are going to say on the other side of this trial, GOD DID IT! If you too are going through something in your life that is way beyond your control and you to don’t see a ray of hope, hang in there. Just ask God what it is He wants you to learn as you’re walking through your trial. Hang on to the fact, things cannot get any worse, so they have to get better. You’re not stuck. God has the answers He is just wanting us to be still and know He is God in these moments. Thank you all for continuing to pray for Ronnie and me, and we would love to hear from you how we can pray for you. We want to do this thing called life with you and continue doing life together.
Ronnie and Christie Bruce
To book Christie for your next event, please go to hopeknowsyourname.com and you will find a part of my story and how to contact us.
Depression is not something that magically disappears when you slap a band-aid on it. Sometimes the last thing you want to hear is another Bible verse or an encouraging word from someone who has not walked in your shoes. We all have moments when we need someone to grab our hand and help pull us up out of the depths of despair. It’s the moments when we cannot even reach back for the extended hand that is hardest to get through. No matter what you are facing today or tomorrow, or what you went through yesterday, there is hope for you. Psalms put words to the hardest seasons of life when it’s hard to find words to pray.
I’ve been there in the dark season of depression. I know what it’s like to wonder if this thick cloud that seems to surround me will ever lift. I’ve sat in the waiting rooms, read the articles, and attempted to talk about the moments that made me question if I was ever going to be ok again.
There are a few Psalms that helped me through some of the darkest moments, and I want to share them with you. The Psalmist conveys my feelings in ways I could never verbalize on my own. I have prayed these Psalms many times while asking God to deliver me from the struggle at hand. Every time I read them, I am reminded again of how amazing and alive God’s Word is. While I love the entire chapter of each of these Psalms, I included the highlights that speak directly to my heart. For more in-depth study, read the whole chapter.
If you are encouraged by one of these, it’s your turn to hold out your hand to a friend and pull her up. Be an encourager and pass this on!
A Psalm for the fearful heart
“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? Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” Psalm 27:1,14
Fear is gripping. It’s the feeling that starts small but grows and seems to take us down faster than we want to go. But God gives us big truths to cling to from this psalm. He is our light! He is our strength! When fear grips us, we know where to go to find light in the dark and strength when we feel depleted. It’s not that we immediately jump for joy and have miraculous physical power, but remember where the light comes from, helps lead us in the right direction when we are in the depths of the dark.
A Psalm for the waiting heart
“I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.” Psalm 40:1-3
Seasons of depression go by slower than other seasons of life. The days linger and the nights seem never to end. But the psalmist here reminds us that God pulls us up out of that terrible place and gives us steady ground to stand on. When we feel like the night will never end, this gives us fresh hope to rise with a new song for a new day.
A Psalm for the discouraged heart
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation, and my God.” Psalm 43:5
The question why is one that is hard to answer in seasons of depression. Sometimes there is no right answer. But we can always find a solution for where to find hope. This psalm spells it out for us and walks us toward God with praise and thanks for salvation.
A Psalm for the grieving heart
“I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes. Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping. The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD accepts my prayer.” Psalm 6:6-9
Grief changes us. It forces us to stop and acknowledge the pain of the world around us. Loss ushers us into an emotional cycle that we can try to ignore only to be hit harder when the next wave of grief overcomes us. Tears are not a sign of weakness, and they prove a person is letting him or herself come face to face with something difficult. The hope we hold is that God hears the cries of His children and He gives us words to help express the deep ache of a heart in grief.
A Psalm for the overwhelmed heart
“God is our refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains are moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah. Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, and I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:1-3,10
Life is paralyzing when struggles surround us. There is no shame in being still, and this psalm gives us the very tangible value to slowing down the soul and letting the season of struggle be a gift rather than a curse. Being still and allowing God into the depths of the overwhelm is perhaps a key to finding the help we need to make it through another day.
A Psalm for the terrified heart
“Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me; my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” Psalm 56:1-4
Life is complicated when people let us down or hurt us on purpose. But there is one person who is always steady, faithful, and true. If you are worried about what might happen next or afraid of what people will do or say, know that God is gracious, merciful, loving, and kind. He wants to hear you pray the words of the psalms.
A Psalm for the desperate heart
“Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth, I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:1-2
Walking through depression isn’t something I want to do, but I am thankful for the season when my heart is faint because I experience God’s presence like never before. These Psalms give me prayers to pray when I have no words. Wounds of life run deep, and sometimes, my mind is filled with fear and despair.
No matter what you are going through or how hard life may be, speak these simple psalms to the Lord today and let Him meet you right where you are. May God bless you and begin to give you a glimpse of hope.
Email us questions you may have, subjects you would like us to talk about, or, what it is you are struggling with. We want to hear from you!
Love, Ronnie and Christie Bruce