Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Stay Calm: Use Your Spiritual Preparedness Kit by Zoe M. McCarthy

Zoe M. McCarthy
A spiritual preparedness kit can help us stay mentally and spiritually calm during adversity. I read about such a kit in Dr. David Jeremiah’s article, “Calm,” in “Turning Points” (July 2016). Here’s my take on what I learned.

Who knows when adversity will strike? I could:
• Lose my manuscript
• Receive a rejection
• Be diagnosed with a disease
• Receive a horrible review
• Lose my house to a fire, hurricane, or tornado

Being prepared is scriptural.

• A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself (Proverbs 22:3).
• The wise store up choice food and oil (Proverbs 21:20 NIV).
• [Joseph] laid up in every city the food of the fields which surrounded them (Genesis 41:48).
• And [King Rehoboam] fortified the strongholds, and put captains in them, and stores of food, oil, and wine. Also in every city he put shields and spears, and made them very strong (2 Chronicles 11:11-12).

“What’s the worst that could happen?”

I think adversities are easier to handle when I put the adversity in perspective.

To be ready for any hardship, I need a spiritual preparedness kit.

image by ClkerFreeVectorImages

Creating a spiritual preparedness kit to remain calm.

1. Gather scriptural promises.

Wise people store up knowledge (Proverbs 10:14). What could be wiser than gathering scriptural promises I can claim when difficulties arise? Dr. Jeremiah speaks of taking five-minute time-outs. When adversities occur, I’m to repeat my chosen promises for five minutes to bolster me and receive a calm spirit.

  • He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. … What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6).
  • For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
  • As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success. (2 Chronicles 26:5 NIV)
2. Collect Scriptural Blessings

Dr. Jeremiah suggests cultivating a habit of spontaneous gratitude throughout the day—also, finding and thanking God for the good in every situation. He suggests psalms in which David, who was continually in crisis, expresses his gratitude to God. He suggests Psalm 103.

I keep a list of God’s answers to my prayers. Besides strengthening my habit of gratitude, I chose three to remind me of his faithfulness in adversity.

  • God told me to pray continually for my grandson, and ten days later he survived a car-rolling crash. 
  • A pastor prophesied my 92-year-old mother’s salvation, and it happened exactly as she’d revealed.
  • God orchestrated all I needed to attend Bible Study Fellowship’s weekly study on Revelation that required 4 hours on the road. And He gave me a ministry at home to share what I learned.
3. Collect Scriptural Attitudes
  • Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart (Isaiah 7:4).
  • He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit (Proverbs 17:27). 
  • Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him. (Psalm 128:1 NIV)
What I find helpful when difficulties come is to stop everything and say: “God knows this.” Then it’s easier for me to think, “If God knows it and allowed it, I expect Him to guide and help me through it.”

It’s also easier because I believe God works all things for my good; I can come boldly to His throne of grace in my time of need; and God is my very present help in trouble.

With scriptures, attitudes, habits, and blessings in my kit, which is always with me, I’ll be better prepared to receive calmness.

What Bible verse do you carry with you that helps you in time of need?

Create a spiritual preparedness kit. Click to tweet.

(Scriptures are from the NKJV unless noted)

About the Author
Zoe M. McCarthy believes the little-known fact that opposites distract. Thus, she spins Christian contemporary romances entangling extreme opposites. Her tagline is: Distraction to Attraction, Magnetic Romances Between Opposites. Christian Fiction Online Magazine published two of her short stories. Zoe self-published two books of contemporary Christian short stories. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She enjoys leading workshops on the craft of writing; speaking about her faith; planning fun events for her 5 grandchildren; and exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she lives with her husband, John. 
Calculated Risk
by Zoe M. McCarthy

Learn more about Zoe M. McCarthy at her website: http://zoemmccarthy.com

Calculated Risk

What happens when an analytical numbers man meets a mercurial marketing Rep? Romance is a calculated risk…

Jilted by the latest of her father’s choices of “real men,” Cisney Baldwin rashly accepts an invitation to spend Thanksgiving weekend with a sympathetic colleague and his family. Nick LeCrone is a man too much her opposite to interest her and too mild-mannered to make her overbearing father’s “list.” Now, Cisney fears Nick wants to take advantage of her vulnerable state over the holiday. Boy, is she wrong.

Nick wants little to do with Cisney. She drives him crazy with all her sticky notes and quirks. He extended an invitation because he felt sorry for her. Now he’s stuck, and to make matters worse, his family thinks she’s his perfect match. He’ll do what he can to keep his distance, but there’s just one problem—he’s starting to believe Cisney’s magnetism is stronger than he can resist.

Purchase links for Calculated Risk: http://zoemmccarthy.com/books