Staying Positive During a Pandemic
During difficult times, it can be easy to give in to negativity. A young professional asks how she can stay positive and grateful during a pandemic.
Staying Positive During a Pandemic
Brother Donald Pinnock: Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of The Solution. I’m Brother Donald Pinnock, a Minister in the Iglesia Ni Cristo, Church Of Christ.
There is so much negativity surrounding us today—many people are afflicted with illnesses, some are going through the effects of natural calamities, while others are hurting because of the anxiety and even depression that they’re encountering. And this is the struggle that we’ll learn more about on our episode.
Today, we hear from Darlene, a young professional from San Francisco, California. She reached out to us with this video asking how to stay positive and grateful at this time. Let’s take a look.
Darlene Besa: What I’m struggling with most, at the moment, is being grateful for everyday. It stems from the current state of my mental health.
This can be broken down into the way I look, the way I carry myself, if I’m hanging out with friends. Obviously not now because we’re at home but when I’d hang out with friends, I’d overthink about what they thought about me, our friendship. It’s just a whole bunch of negative energy that I tend to create for myself and I feel like being at home because of this pandemic has only brought it more to my attention – how unkind I really am to myself.
This affects me day to day because it’s just not a nice feeling to carry around this negative energy for so long nearly everyday, if not every single day. And that’s why I say, the thing i’m struggling with the most, at the moment is, being grateful because now that i’m realizing how pessimistic, how negative, how harsh I really am to myself, eventually i start thinking wow i am very ungrateful and I feel like there’s a lot of things to be grateful for.
The kind of advice I would like to receive is, how can I appreciate everything that God has given me? How can I work towards the consistency of being grateful?
Brother Donald: Darlene, we first have to realize the following, that you are not alone. Many people, especially at this time, are feeling down. And in fact, in truth, this is nothing new. Because even in the ancient times, the people of God experienced severe trials and difficulties; here is the proof in Job 7: 1 to 4, 6, and 11:
“Human life is like forced army service, like a life of hard manual labor, like a slave longing for cool shade; like a worker waiting to be paid. Month after month I have nothing to live for; night after night brings me grief. When I lie down to sleep, the hours drag; I toss all night and long for dawn. My days pass by without hope, pass faster than a weaver’s shuttle. No! I can’t be quiet! I am angry and bitter. I have to speak.”
[Job 7:4,6,11 Today’s English Version]
Brother Donald: We can definitely feel how down this servant of God felt, at a time when he was experiencing severe challenges, just like how Darlene, and in fact others, are going through right now.
During this pandemic, restraints on socializing, and the resulting isolation protocols that people have been enduring for months, has really placed a premium on trying to maintain emotional and mental health.
Why do others sometimes feel down or negative about their life? Well let’s read the answer to that question in Job 17 and the verses are 11 and 15:
“My days have passed, my plans are shattered, and so are the desires of my heart. Where then is my hope–who can see any hope for me?”
[Job 17:11, 15 New International Version]
Brother Donald: When the seemingly best-laid plans end up in futility, this also causes some people to lose hope, to the point of feeling in despair. But, for true Christians, what are we reminded to do, in order to triumph over those initial feelings of despair and negativity? The Lord Jesus Christ reminds us of the following; here in Matthew the chapter is 6 and the verse is 27:
“Can any of you live a bit longer by worrying about it?”
[Matthew 6:27 Today’s English Version]
Brother Donald: Worrying too much about our life can be detrimental to one’s physical and even mental health. It also will not extend our life, but it may very well shorten it! These are the effects of negative self-talk, so stop worrying and berating yourself! We have to think positively.
What are some of the positive thoughts that we should have? Let’s find out by reading here in Philippians the chapter is 4 and the verse is 8:
“In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.”
[Philippians 4:8 Today’s English Version]
Brother Donald: Therefore, we should entertain positive thoughts like these as we go about our daily activities. We should be grateful to God for what we have and for who we are. Of course, we can always strive to better ourselves and our situation, but we should not fret or worry excessively about doing so.
Also, we should never rely on ourselves in our pursuit to be successful, but rather in God, for He has a promise unto His people; as we can read here in Jeremiah the chapter is 29 and the verse is 11:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
[Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version]
Brother Donald: It is only proper then for us to place our wholehearted hope and trust in what God can do for us, since He has good plans for our future. Those plans are not limited, however, for this life. God wants His chosen people to achieve the greatest of blessings. Which is that?
Brother Donald: We can read the answer here in Revelation 21; 1 to 4:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
[Revelation 21:1-4 New International Version]
Brother Donald: For those who are able to enter the Holy City, the experiences that caused them to shed bitter tears; to be replaced by a sheer joy that no one can take from us. Our Lord God can give us peace—and this promise of God is for His true servants, who remain in service unto Him until the end.
So while we continue to live in this world, with unforeseeable challenges awaiting for us to go through , what should we do? Well let’s read here in Hebrews the chapter is 12 and the verse is 28:
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”
[Hebrews 12:28 New International Version]
Brother Donald: We, God’s people, devote ourselves to worshipping Him. Because during the worship service, we also are being gifted with the best opportunity to pray to God, and thus manifesting our hope and trust in Him. The tangible benefits of prayer are mentioned in this admonition of the Apostle Paul; written in Philippians 4, and the verses 6 and 19:
“Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And with all his abundant wealth through Christ Jesus, my God will supply all your needs.”
[Philippians 4:6,19 Today’s English Version]
Brother Donald: God is the source of contentment and peace of heart and mind; as one makes their way through life in this world. But to benefit from God’s many promises, we need to be counted amongst His people, who at the time we are living in, which is recognized as the ends of the earth, are none other than the members of the Church Of Christ.
This is our invitation to all our dear friends. Visit incmedia.org to learn more about the Church Of Christ, the Iglesia Ni Cristo, by watching our preaching programs.
Thank you again, Darlene, for your question. We hope these verses from the Bible give you the comfort and peace that you’re looking for. And for those who’d like to share their challenges at this time, please contact us. And with the teachings of God, written in the Bible, let’s come to the Solution together.