Showing posts with label coronavirus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label coronavirus. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

19. You Are So Blessed - "Living in Light" Series

It's easy to think of all we don't have at times like these. We may not have employment right now. We may not have toilet paper right now! We may not have our favorite restaurants, social venues, or just our usual day to day activities that keep us going in our normal lives. We could be in total isolation from our family and friends, separate from our support circle. And even worse, battling this virus head-on, fighting for our lives.

As COVID-19 rages on, it can wear on us mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, and even spiritually. But with Christ, there is always hope...

So first, let's say a prayer for those who are genuinely suffering: "Dear Father, we pray that you provide health and healing to all those with COVID-19. Please provide them with everything they need in such critical times. We know You can heal the sick, comfort the mourning, and deliver the suffering into peace and safety. So blessed are You, Lord, to give us Your blessings when we need them most, which we are so grateful for. In the name of Your son, Yeshua (Jesus), our faithful Messiah, Amen."

Focusing on everything we don't have right now can leave us feeling helpless, vulnerable, insecure, anxious, stressed, and downright scared. However, with the special power of gratitude, we can focus on all we do have. Blessings are sometimes the smallest things around us that we tend to ignore. Sometimes even the things we usually take for granted. If you do have toilet paper right now, consider yourself blessed!

I think hard times can help us evaluate our lives in ways we're not used to. They can help us identify our true priorities more clearly. We can start to recognize what we truly like about our lives, and even delve deeper into the things we want to change. I encourage you to use this time to think about what it is you really want in life. It may be the perfect time to make some positive changes.
1. Blessed are those who know what they have and are grateful for it. 

I encourage you to focus on all the things you do have at the moment. Especially blessed are all those that still have their health. Our health is so important to our lives since we cannot fulfill our destinies without it. More than ever, stay aware to protect yourself and others. Use wisdom and discernment to make the best possible choices for your health in this critical time.

Let's just say, if you have a roof over your head and food on your table, you are so blessed. This is the time to appreciate our basic needs to the fullest. Constantly look for things that you can be grateful for. Make a list if need be. It's amazing how through the perspective of gratitude, our whole world can change for the better.
2. Blessed are those who are always provided for.

God blesses us in good times and in bad. Sometimes I'm amazed by how well He has taken care of me and my family in our most desperate times. Somehow, someway, we were always provided for through the poorest of times. I'm reminded that in the wilderness, God always provided for the Israelites. It may not have always been what they "wanted" by it was always what they needed.

Complaining may be a common trap in these times. Constantly thinking of all we don't have and venting about what we want. Whenever I feel a complaint coming on or if one dares to escape my mouth, I try to replace it instantly with (a) gratitude directly related to the exact issue. 

For instance, I could say, "I didn't get a good night's sleep, but I'm grateful for the sleep I did get," or, "They didn't have any apples at the supermarket, but they did have bananas." Then thank God for bananas! Constantly replace your complaints with gratitude. It will change your perspective toward the positive regardless of your circumstances. 

*Remember, the Israelites' journey through the wilderness would have been a lot easier if they had stopped complaining.* 
3. Blessed are the believers in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

It makes God so happy when we thank Him for all that we have. And we are so blessed to have God in our lives. It makes life so much easier. Remember to thank God for anything and everything, and you can just feel the love pour into your heart. Sometimes we can just blurt out, "Thank God!" without actually thinking about it, but I encourage you to take the time to actually thank God, wholly and specifically for all the blessings He has given you. It honors Him and shows Him that you acknowledge His specific blessings that only He has added to your life. 

With God as our strength, we were built for hard times. It doesn't mean that we truly understand everything that's going on all of the time, but we can trust in God that He knows, He is in control, and we don't have to worry. If you've read the end of the Bible, you know - it all turns out just fine.
4. Blessed are the ones who bless others.

It's very important to be kind to one another in difficult times. We can choose to bless others in need. Let people know that you're there for them. Just offering a helping hand can be such a blessing, so they know that they have help and support just in case they need it. 

A good way to get ourselves off our minds is to help others. It's easy to get locked in our own minds and in our own worlds. Giving to someone else can be so rewarding as it helps our perspective to recognize our bountiful blessings to such an extent that WE can be a blessing to others. Being selfless when people need our help the most will not be forgotten by God. 

I truly hope this blog is a blessing to you. 

And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best. Follow Him and He will never lead you astray. If you enjoyed this please remember to subscribe here: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for free notifications on each new post! 

Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

18. We're Built for Hard - "Living in Light" Series

It's easy to get sucked into the panic, anxiety, and distress of everything that's going on with coronavirus, the markets, and the sheer mayhem right now as we're going through something that has never happened before. In my prior blog, if you haven't read it: 17. Fear Not, learn how to live free of worry, doubts, and fears. But today, I want to talk about how as believers, we are made for times like these.

People are realizing that you can't put your hope in your governments, other people, businesses, etc. and they are right. As much as we'd like to believe in the strength and stability of all these things, that fact is, things are much more fragile and unstable than we'd like to think.

But here's the Good News: As believers, we know that God is on the throne and the battle is the Lord's. Nothing that He allows to happen deviates from His will. We are surrounded by His continuing hedge of protection and we have faith in His master plan for this earth. As believers, we can completely and wholly rely on Him for our safety and security. 

One could ask, can't believers get the virus as well? Of course, they can. But don't think that for one moment that you cannot beat the virus and completely recover from this. This is when we need God the most, who can step in and heal us from the inside out. According to this evening's statistics, over 84,000 have recovered from the virus. The odds are in humanity's favor.
(Side note: Thank you, Armand, for this incredible scripture that is perfectly attuned to these times!)

1. Trust in God no matter what.

Think of all the believers in the Bible. Whether they were crucified, decapitated, tortured, stoned, imprisoned, you name the tragedy, they all endured great difficulties. We are no different. We are anointed for hardships. We are built for hard. Why? Because God knows we can endure all things with His help. How? Let's explore...

The story of Joseph is a good one to remember in times like these. Not only was he thrown into a pit, sold by his own brothers into slavery, then later thrown into prison for a crime he didn't commit, he never lost faith in God's will and put his full trust in Him. And eventually, Joseph was rewarded by becoming second to Pharoah and lived in prosperity for the rest of his days. (Gen. 37-50)

And even with the story of Paul, when he was imprisoned multiple times for his beliefs, endured endless persecution, trials, and tribulations, storms both literal and metaphorical, Paul never stopped trusting God and praying for His will to be done. He put his full faith in God knowing that he did not know the day to day outcomes but trusted Him regardless. (Book of Acts).

These men had otherworldly faith and we need the same. God strengthens the weak. Heals the sick. Comforts the suffering. Provides for the birds who do not sow, but only reap. He lives within us and gives us supernatural strength to get through anything that will befall us. That is how we can endure great difficulties.
2. God gives us supernatural strength.

I think another reason that believers in the Bible went through so much struggle, was to provide us with great examples of what to do when things get hard. God doesn't say we will never go through troubles, but that He will give us the strength and grace to get through any troubles. Paul even said to rejoice through your troubles and praise God because everything is going according to God's great plan. It's a hard concept to swallow, but every time you face a new struggle, thank the Lord, bless Him, and praise Him first. It will completely change how you face your new obstacle.

"Baruch atah Adonai! Blessed are You, Lord! You are my strength and grace and I can endure any hardship with You!"
I remember being bedridden for 7 months straight. It was one of the most difficult times of my life. I didn't understand why I was going through so much pain for so long with no clear answers from any doctors. This is when I had to surrender myself to God. God is the only reason I could endure all that suffering. And once I did that, it set it all in motion. Two more surgeries later, the doctors were able to find out what was wrong and I finally started to heal.

God will provide the right people to support you, the right doctors, the right help, whatever you need, as long as you trust in Him and use wisdom and discernment guided by the Holy Spirit to make good decisions

One of the most powerful things we can do is surrender to God. Pride has to be tossed out the window. Humility must consume us. Humble yourself before Him and He will take better care of you than you ever could've yourself. He can guide you with His divine foresight, for you to make the best possible choices for your life.

3. Surrender yourself to God.

Believers are built for hard. We are anointed for difficulty. It's not because of our own strength, self-righteousness, and immunity to all hardships, it's because of His strength, righteousness, and the Almighty's reign over all things with His omnipotence and power. That's why and how we are built for hard.

Prayer: Dearest God, we thank you for Your protection, supernatural strength, and Your bountiful providing of our every need. We trust in You, fully and completely, and surrender ourselves to Your will, for we know You work out everything for good. Amen!
And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best. Follow Him and He will never lead you astray. If you enjoyed this please remember to subscribe here: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for free notifications on each new post!

Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

17. Fear Not - "Living in Light" Series

In an extremely volatile world of the coronavirus, rollercoaster stock market, an election, and so much chaos, it's easy to let fear, worry, and doubts consume you. These are the times we need to lean on God the most. There are so many helpful scriptures that can guide us with direction and wisdom.

In Joel 2:21, "Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice; for the Lord will do great things." And in Matthew 10:31, "Fear not therefore: better are you than many sparrows."

As believers, we can take comfort in the fact that God dwells with us and Jesus dwells within our hearts. This doesn't mean that our lives will be free from problems, but it does mean that God will give us the grace to get through them. Our value as believers is worth so much to God.

One thing we need to understand about fear is that it does not come from God. It comes from the enemy, the devil, the adversary. God does not want us to be afraid, full of worry and doubts.

I remember a conversation I had with my therapist once. She had told me that all fears are irrational. I had refuted that statement saying, well what about when you're walking alone at night and you see a dark figure coming towards you? Doesn't fear kick in to say head away from this potential threat? Is that fear truly irrational?

She did agree with me at the time, but I know now what I didn't know before: that there is a clear cut difference between fear, and discernment as well as wisdom. Fear will give us the anxiety to react emotionally to these type of situations, but discernment is a small still voice that kicks in saying, this could be a potentially dangerous situation, it's probably best to cross over to the other side of the sidewalk.

That's the problem with fear. It can lead us to go into a panicked mindset, causing us to make bad decisions. Our minds can tumble in a downward spiral by imagining the worst about any situation. Chances are the worst-case scenario is not going to happen to you.

Have you ever been in a situation where you thought the worst was going to happen then absolutely nothing did? 

The devil loves to fill us with fear. He knows that it makes us fall into a trap of negative feelings. And unfortunately, those feelings can turn into negative actions that can harm ourselves.

God's perfect love casts out fear ( 1 John 4:18.) Next time, pray for God's discernment and wisdom to make the best decision possible. This is the best advice I can give! As soon as you feel a tinge of fear, ask for His guidance. Don't give into the enemy's pitfall of fearfulness, that's exactly what he wants for you to do. That's how he gains more control over your life.


"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." - Matthew 6:34

I used to worry a lot. My mind used to always go to the "what if...?" scenarios. Worry can lead to creating problems that simply don't exist. Having faith in God every second of every day is an extremely valuable tool. If we constantly have faith in His will, we have nothing to be worried about. Everything is going to happen according to His plan. It doesn't mean it will always make sense to us, but we can trust that He works out everything for our good (Romans 8:28.)


The peace I have found now with God is almost unexplainable. It's a supernatural calm. I can't say that I still don't have my "moments" but they are few and far between. I know I'm only an almost one-year-old born again, a toddler still learning how to walk the walk, but I know I have God's hand to hold onto now.

We have to be willing to give up our doubts. When I first became born again, I realized I had to surrender my desire to control everything. Being a control freak, this was not an easy task. Early on, I remember staring into the eyes of the painting, Jesus by Akiane Kramarik. This was the moment that God spoke to me, clearly, loudly, with no qualms about it.

He said, "Why do you still doubt Me?"

What He so perfectly pointed out to me was that I still had doubts. I had doubts that I could ever be healed. I've had chronic pain for a long, long time, and 24 surgeries and procedures later, I was told by many an expert that I always would. It would have been easy for me to never believe I would be healed. "Common-sense" says I never will be...

But that's what so amazing about our God. He isn't a "common-sense" God. He is a supernatural God.  An awesome God. He is so much bigger than any of our problems. Dump all your doubts in the garbage! Your faith has to be bigger than your fears. He wants us to fully rely on Him for everything we go through. He wants to carry our burdens so we can live a life of peace. (Matthew 11:28.)


Do not let fear, worry, and doubts consume you. When God is with us, we have nothing to fear. We have nothing to worry about. We can be free of all doubts. Amen!

And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best. Follow Him and He will never lead you astray. If you enjoyed this please remember to subscribe here: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for free notifications on each new post!

Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!