Each weekend, we are looking at the real stories of men who are learning to keep hope alive in difficult times. Today, we hear from Rick Reed – President of Heritage College and Seminary in Cambridge, ON. Rick talks about how he kept hope alive while going through a major personal health crisis

As we grow up, we outgrow some of our childhood fears. Unfortunately, we also develop new ones. Especially when trouble sweeps into our lives in unexpected ways like it has with the spread of COVID-19. Even if we are still healthy, we can still be infected with fear. We worry about our physical, financial and mental health. We carry concerns for our aging parents, our kids, our friends and neighbours.

The Bible gives very practical help when our hearts get infected by fear. It calls us to let fear trigger prayer. Instead of talking to ourselves when we are worried, we’re told to talk to God. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Back in 2011, I faced fear when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. All the unknowns left me unsettled. I knew God was in control, but there were moments when fear threatened to overwhelm my faith.

Here’s where the promise in Philippians 4:6-7 became a source of strength. Each morning, and throughout the day, I let anxiety trigger prayer. I told God what was on my heart and thanked him for his goodness. I rehearsed the reasons I had for trusting his power and provision for the future.

As I did, the cloud cover that hovered over my heart began to break up. Even though circumstances didn’t immediately change, the condition of my heart did. As promised, the peace of God began to overcome the fear in my heart. I was better able to step into life’s challenges with a new sense of stability and hope.

So, as we face the uncertainties and challenges brought on by the pandemic, we need to remember this important truth: when fear comes over us, we can overcome fear by turning to God in prayer.

— Rick Reed, President, Heritage College & Seminary

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