PASTOR’S CORNER: Finding a coping mechanism

By Rev. O.L. Johnson

Religion Writer

If you were asked what emotion you feel the most throughout any given day, what would be your answer?

I believe that what we feel is largely influenced by the conditions that prevail in the world and that are featured in the mass media. So, let’s take an inventory of current events to gain an understanding of why we feel as we do.

We’ll start our inventory from the 2020 election up to the present. First, let’s scour the 6 p.m. news.

The first thing we notice is the overwhelming attention given to the increase in crime; all the way from racial slurs to hate crimes; unprovoked, unexpected physical attacks; home invasion robberies; and, car hijackings.

If that’s not enough, think about reports of deaths by those paid to protect and to serve; school shootings and the resulting student deaths; death resulting from COVID-19; homelessness on the increase; stock market fluctuations; inflation upticks; price increases on all necessities; and, on the international level, threats of World War III; humanitarian crises; and back home again…

The ongoing political intrigue designed to destroy democracy by stripping voting rights from people of color; by the increase in white nationalism; and, by all other legislation on both state and national levels designed to eliminate certain voters from the political process. OK, that’s enough. All this negativity is depressing. I tried to find some positivity, but to no avail.

If you are feeling a bit depressed today, maybe this will shed some light on the reason. It’s difficult to live a normal life with all this nonsense in front of us 24/7. Hopefully you have found a coping mechanism that works for you. If so, share it with others. If not, keep on reading as we share with you.

The answer to all the negativity that exists in the world is vested in the love that the one true God has for his people … emphasis on the phrase “his people.” What you are about to read applies only to believers in Christ, aka, the people of God, and no others.

The scriptures teach us that God never ceases to seek restoration for his people. He is continually in our presence to give us hope and, through his love, to ensure that we need not fear the conditions that prevail in the world.

The prophet Zephaniah characterizes God as a warrior who is always victorious and who renews us with his love. Through the prophet, God has made us several promises: to shield us from all disasters; to bring us home; and to restore all that we may have lost due to prevailing conditions.

We can all be assured that God is on our side and, in spite of what is happening around us, we can feel confident that our trust in him will restore us. We are justified in feeling calm, confident and joyful as God prepares to restore us. We know he is true to his word.

Trials will come, but his promises are still true. That’s why we can be joyful now — we don’t have to wait for the promised restoration. Nothing is capable of preventing what God has ordained. In the words of Rev. Jackson, “keep the faith.”

Rev. O.L. Johnson, a retired LAPD lieutenant, is an associate pastor in his home church, Greater New Zion Baptist, 501 W. 80th St. in South Los Angeles.

Pastor’s Corner is a religious column that looks at the relevancy of scripture in life today. The column will appear monthly in The Wave and on its website,