Mon | Dec 6, 2021

Facing the new year without fear or anxiety

Published:Sunday | January 10, 2021 | 12:06 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston - Sunday Gleaner Writer

“What if I were the one to tell you

That the fight’s already been won?

Well, I think your day’s about to get better

What if I were the one to tell you

That the work’s already been done?

It’s now a good news

It’s the best news ever.”

Best News Ever by MercyMe

The year 2020 went from normal to a roller-coaster ride, with many still trying to recover from the chaos it brought with it. Christians, too, have found their foundations shaken as they tried to adjust to the ‘new normal’.

With every passing month, the COVID-19 figures keep climbing and the deaths rising. No amount of prayers and interventions seems to be working and so holding on to faith seems an uphill battle.

Finally, 2020 is behind us all and we have already embraced 2021, but not without a lot of reservations and for many a lot of fear. Not knowing what the year has in store can cause some level of anxiety and more than a little discomfort.

Family and Religion reached out to Pastor Valrie Campbell James on facing the new year in these uncertain times. She said that chaos is nothing new to the people of God. According to her, disciples in Jesus’ days had their own fears as they faced the uncertainty of having Christ’s physical presence leaving them.

Just as He reassured them by reminding them of His peace then, Christians,, too, can take comfort in the verse knowing that God’s presence is still effective in carrying us through any situation.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” as in St John 14:27, Jesus gave His disciples the comfort they needed for the upcoming rocky road they would face. Let us, too, seize this assurance,” James shared.

James, in reminding it is human to fear and to forget the promises of Jesus, said it is very important Christians maintain their daily devotions and feed on the Word of God.

DISHEARTENING

She said, for those who watched their family members suffer after contracting the virus, some even seeing them losing the battle in the pandemic, it can be disheartening. With the virus still a threat hanging over our heads into the new year, with there being no end in sight, it can be a daunting task embracing more of what looks like the same from last year.

“It is therefore very important to adopt a positive mindset and keep reading and remembering God’s promises that He will never leave us or forsake us,” she said.

According to James, fear is a very real emotion for a lot of Christians, and being saved does not prevent the emotion from rearing its ugly head.

It is for this reason she pointed out that ‘fear’ is mentioned over 500 times in the King James Bible.

“Think about it, that’s a lot of focus on one little word. It therefore means that emphasis is being placed on assuring believers that, no matter what is happening around them, God is still in control,” she said.

James said Christians should ultimately remember who they are serving and not focus so much on what’s happening around them.

“The new year is already here, embrace it, forget about the challenges, but focus on the One who is in charge of every situation … . Jesus is the answer for 2021,” she said.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com