2020 has been an unusually challenging year. It has been loaded with frustrations, worries, and anxieties.
We have been forced to create new normals and adjust the way we do simple things because of mask regulations and social distancing needed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. While the changes of 2020 have been hard to handle, we can find comfort in God knowing that God will never change (Exodus 3:14), even when everything else seems to be changing.
We can also champion in His church which will never be overcome, according to Jesus in Matthew 16:18. God and His church can be our source of strength as we create a new normal.
As we think about creating a new normal, we need to acknowledge some habits that should never change, that are always a part of our normal, no matter the change or stress life throws at us. Most of the habits I am going to suggest are in response to who God is, as our never changing creator.
Time with Scripture:
Since God never changes, we can conclude His Word never changes as well, which scripture confirms (1 Peter 1:25). This means the expectations for us are not going to change, we can know what God expects of His children. It also means when times get shaky and stressful that we can turn to God’s word for comfort and support. Spending time in God’s Word is an important habit because it is the avenue God has chosen to communicate to us, and when we remember who God is, we know He must have something beneficial to say to us.
God’s Word has been provided to guide our life (Psalm 119:105). God is the all-knowing author, so even while our life is constantly changing and shifting, God’s word remains relevant. The Bible has no expiration date, and its wisdom is everlasting because the all-powerful, all-knowing, creator of all wrote it. According to 2 Timothy 3:16, God breathed out His word, not so we could use it to collect dust on a shelf, but so we could use it to collect knowledge, find peace, and discover salvation through Jesus. When times are crazy, we need to remember to slow down and allow God to speak to us through His word. And as God speaks, we will be comforted and reminded of who God is. We will also have a renewed desire for our reward in heaven and remember who we are called to be as God’s people.
Scripture to consider:
1 Peter 1:23-25
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Psalm 119:9-16; 105
Prayer is an amazing blessing at our disposal 24/7. Remember prayer is talking to God about our needs, pressures, temptations, stresses, anxieties, or whatever might be on our minds, but the reason, of course, we should talk to God about these things in our life is not because He is just a great listener (which, by the way, He is the greatest listener ever). We should talk to God because He is all-powerful, all-present, all-knowing creator of the universe. In other words, we should talk to God because God is capable of helping. He is beyond capable of helping. God cares for us and wants us to lay our burdens on Him, and this will never change (1 Peter 5:6-7)
No matter the amount of change we are experiencing, this remains true, God loves us, cares for us, and wants our burdens laid on Him. This is an ever-lasting fact. Which is why 1 Thessalonians 5:17 is such a special command, “pray without ceasing.” We can pray non-stop in any situation and be blessed by God’s ever-lasting care.
Scripture to consider:
1 Peter 5:6-7
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
1 Timothy 2:1-4
Since God never changes, He is always good, always loving, and always caring. He never stops wanting to hear our prayers or to guide our life. For this reason, He is always deserving of praise. We should make a habit of praising God daily. There are at least a couple of ways this can be done. We can sing of His might and greatness. I like to sing the songs “God is So Good” or “Thank You, Lord.” They are both simple songs but remind me of God’s goodness and of all I have to be thankful for. Another way we can worship God is through prayer. God not only wants to hear about our worries, stressors, and challenges but He also wants to hear our thanksgiving, praise, and adoration. We need to recognize his help and praise Him for His faithfulness. Even if we are in anticipation of His help, we should praise Him knowing He will be there.
The truth is: God is deserving of our praise and worship everyday simply because of who He is. When we add all the personal blessings, He has provided then we all have so many more personal reasons to worship Him. This can be hard when we are in the midst of change, stress, and frustration. However, when we worship God, we are reminded of how weak we really are, and yet how strong and powerful our God is. We are reminded of who is truly in control and can find peace in knowing we serve a great God who is never changing, who will always be with us and who will always deserve our praise.
Scripture to consider:
Attending worship is the final critical habit we will discuss. Worshipping God is important, and we should absolutely do it on a personal level. However, coming together with the body of Christ to worship God is a wonderful reminder that we are not alone in this world. We have a multitude of brothers and sisters who love us and want to help us on our way to heaven. This is a great blessing we cannot take for granted, despite the difficulty of meeting in times of stress and frustration. Yet, gathering with the church in such times allows us to be supported by the support system that Jesus died to provide, and it’s not going anywhere. We can count on the church always being there for us (Matthew 16:18), which gives us even more comfort. What a blessing!
Not to mention when we fail to go to worship, we are not there to support someone who may need our support. We cannot get so focused on the support we want or the problems that we are facing that we forget the responsibility we have to be supportive of others. There is always someone having a rougher time than us, and we may just need to be there for that person. Serving others is sometimes the best medicine. Even when things are crazy and hard, helping someone else might just be what we need.
Scripture to consider:
When things get crazy and we are in the middle of creating a new normal, we can get caught up in business and neglect these great habits. This is a neglect of our own spiritual growth and well-being. God has provided us with so much to help us no matter the situation. When life is changing and we are faced with difficult circumstances, or are stressed to the max, we need to remember to keep these 4 essential habits in our lives. No matter what we do or where we go or what happens to us, these habits need to be the critical part of our normal, because they are fundamentally important to our walk with Christ and we know this will never change.
Questions to Consider as a Family:
- What habit do you need to work on the most out of the 4 described here?
- Which habits are you good at?
- Why do you think they are easier for you?
- What will you do to improve these habits?
More for Your Family!