“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually.” – 1 Chronicles 16:11

“But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.” – 2 Chronicles 15:7

“Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!”– Psalm 27:14

“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.” – Proverbs 4:25-26

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:6

It is important for us to maintain our faith in God and be strong.  Sometimes we face situations that seem unmanageable, but we must control our emotions and apply our efforts toward addressing our challenges, not thinking about all the circumstances we cannot face. 

Regardless of how impossible some situations seem, when we face challenges that threaten ourselves or others, we must concentrate our minds on solutions, not on things out of our control.  Worrying about things out of our control will take energy from focusing on the work that we can do. 

It is very difficult to avoid focusing significant time on disasters instead of maintaining a focus on potential solutions.  It takes faith in God to trust that situations out of your control will be resolved, so you can focus on improving your situation and the disasters facing other people.

Brenda in her high school class.

Brenda is part of a strong Christian family.  She has a sister and a brother.  Her family lives in a middle-class home in the state of Kansas.  Brenda is a junior in high school.  She works very hard studying for her classes.  She wants to study at a good university and prepare for a career as a successful businessperson.  She is near the top of her class in school and has evaluated several universities that could help her prepare for her plan to be a high-level businessperson. 

Then suddenly, in late 2019, she was faced with the pandemic.  Her in-person classes stopped meeting.  Everyone seemed to be in a panic.  She had major challenges studying online with no in-person interaction.  She started getting depressed from not spending time with her friends and fellow students.  It was difficult for her to be motivated to prepare for her future study at the university.  Very quickly she fell behind in her studies and her depression began to control her. 

Brenda’s sister, Elaina, began to worry about her.  Elaina talked with Brenda about Brienda’s mood and how it was affecting her working toward future goals.  Elaina told Brenda that without question the pandemic caused major challenges and we all must learn to operate differently due to so many restrictions.  But she told Brenda that it does not help her to focus energy on all the restrictions and thoughts about how things were before the pandemic.  Elaina told Brenda that she must focus on her goals immediately.  Elaina told Brenda that she has a lot of talent that is still valuable, and Brenda must focus on the things she can do and not allow depression about what she can no longer do to control her productivity.   Elaina told her that being strong means continuing to pursue things that advance her toward her goals and working to help others find their way.  She reminded Brenda that we studied several lessons in Church that taught everyone to focus on the work they could do and trust God to help with the things they could not do. 

Brenda thought about what her sister told her.  She began to see her situation from a different view.  She realized that it did her no good to spend her time thinking about the things she could not control.  It was impossible to avoid those things completely, but if she focused her attention on the things she could address, not only would she make progress toward a workable situation, but she would feel much better about herself. 

Eventually, Brenda was able to study and develop her skills without being in a classroom.  She realized that adapting to new environments is part of growing and making her a better person.  She had so much more confidence in herself because she learned to be strong when things looked so desperate. 

During the times when we are the most desperate, is when we must be the strongest.  If we can be strong when we feel the most threatened, we will build a stable life that will endure.

Being strong will allow us to be helpful to so many other people.  All of us will benefit from the strength of one person.

Published by Jim Brandt

Jim Brandt was an all-conference college football player and served as a Marine Corps pilot during the Vietnam War. He also started a software company and served as an executive for the fifth-largest bank in the United States. Brandt won the Democratic party nomination for Congress twice. He is married and has three children.