4 Ways To Stay Encouraged During Hard Times

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9
These times are perilous. The Coronavirus disease has officially been a pandemic and it reached even our little Southeast Asian country, the Philippines.

I'm 40 years old, and I can't remember anything like this in my lifetime. Except maybe the Pinatubo eruption back in 1991, but back then there was no quarantine. 

Our government is doing everything it can to get the whole country through this. Right now the whole Luzon island is under enhanced community quarantine. 

Uncertain Times

I have never been comfortable with uncertainty. That is why I have always had the mindset of a prepper. 

This is really an overwhelming time for me because we are not really sure what will happen tomorrow. We can only do what we can within our scope of influence.

But as we I try to take action, I continue to draw near to God to seek not only His strength and comfort, but also His courage, wisdom and guidance.

I believe that it is natural to feel this way. And perhaps it is beneficial. Because if we are not worried or afraid, then we will not have that push to come to God and ask for His help.

Times like these draw us near to God, and I consider that a blessing.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” - John 14:27
Here are four ways on how to stay encouraged during these hard times:

1. Pray. I know it is cliché, but prayer does a lot. Talking to God helps me release all my worries away

God already knows what we are going through, but there is something in the way we cry out to Him for help. 

It is then when we can feel His presence, reassuring us that He is still in control and we can trust Him.

Anxiety is an issue of trust. Prayer helps us trust God even more.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7
2. Be sensitive to God's voice. This is through prayer and fasting, and through reading God's word.

The Bible said in the Book of Isaiah that God's arm is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. But our iniquities have separated Him from us.

Cultivating a more personal and closer relationship with God is the secret to hearing His voice.

We can hear many voices in this world, some of them negative and some positive. But God's voice brings us security and peace.
When He has brought out all His own, He goes on ahead of them, and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice. - John 10:4
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. - John 10:27
3. Have a more positive perspective. Examine your thoughts and try to find the positive in this experience.

As I've mentioned, I believe that this situation helps us get closer to God and call on Him for help. That is one positive. 

Another is we now get the chance to be closer to our families and loved ones. Let us take advantage of this home quarantine to get to know them more. Create more happy memories to last a lifetime.

Also, focus more on what is under your control than what you cannot control. 

What is within our control is washing our hands frequently, disinfecting everything that arrives at our doorsteps, practicing proper coughing and sneezing, staying home and not congregating, practicing social distancing, etc.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” - Philippians 4:8

4. Stay close with your loved ones. This is not only physically but, more importantly, emotionally. We need each other's moral support at this moment.

Healthy relationships are important to get us through the hard times. No man is an island and we cannot do everything on our own. We need other people in our lives.

We need to care about others. If we truly care about others, then we will behave responsibly. We don't do anything that will put others in danger.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” - Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
I hope all is well and good with your families right now. Let us pray for the best and that this thing will pass sooner. 

Let us do what we can to support each other and not pass the virus. May God be with us all as one nation.