Our world has been ridden with anxiety, fear, uncertainty and restlessness. Everyone has been affected, in some capacity, by the COVID-19 pandemic.
What does it take for us to be persons who are unchanged and unfazed by turmoil and unexpected circumstances? What does it take for us to respond as Paul did in Philippians 4:11-12 when he said, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want”?
We need to know Jesus and know the way He calls us to live. If we call ourselves Christ-followers, we are not of this world, so we have to walk and live with this mindset. There will be storms, there will be difficulties, but our peace and hope are not determined by the things of this world.
I try to always have a positive outlook on life, but it hasn’t always been that way for me. There was a time, prior to my coming to know Christ as my Savior, when I found myself consumed with fear of the future. I was in a place of self-searching, not sure who I was or who I was supposed to become. Since discovering my identity in Christ, I am still nowhere near perfect in my understanding of the peace He offers, but life is a lot better when I’m connected to the Vine. The anxiety and worry, if it does surface, is much more temporary because I know to Whom I belong. Nothing can steal my joy nor my peace when my hope is set on Him.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” — John 15:5
If I didn’t have Christ in my life today, I can honestly say I’d be in a drastically different place in my heart, mind and spirit. I’d be anxious about not knowing what’s going to happen with my health, my career and my finances, to name just a few. I think I also would be filled with bitterness at the circumstances we’ve found ourselves in.
Thinking about the start of 2020, I was in a good place in my career, entering into my prime and having fun playing baseball. If I didn’t have the hope and security of Christ in my life when it was taken away from me, I would have grown bitter. But with the hope of Christ, I don’t have any bitterness. I can easily let go of the things I have no control over, knowing that God can redeem any and every situation for His glory. We only need to keep the faith and trust in Him. That alone is what keeps me steady.
— Nick Ahmed, Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop
Nick Ahmed is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Nick’s Increase profile here.
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