Having played quarterback in college and for 11 years in the NFL, I’ve been blindsided a few times. And I’ve definitely been hit by some blitzes that I wasn’t ready for—on the playing field, and in life.

I know you have, too. That’s the way life is. Stuff happens that you just couldn’t have expected and it kind of comes out of the blue.

Not too long ago, my wife and I came back from an appointment where we heard the doctor say, “We found a mass in your wife’s intestines, and we need to deal with it. We’re not sure, but it looks like it’s cancerous.”

That was a blitz.

But you know what was fascinating? Stacy understands the truth that Jesus tells us—that we’re going to get blitzed in this world. Scripture says:

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).

I view that as Him saying “Hey, in this world, you’re going to get blitzed; you’re going to get shocked; there’s going to be tough stuff. But don’t panic—I’m there. I’ve gone through it. I’ve conquered it.”

You know what I saw in Stacy? The faith and the connection to God that says, “He’s in control. I can handle this.” And she handled it fabulously. We had tears. We had fear that it might be cancer. Maybe she would pass away early.

But at the same time, we knew that God had a purpose in it. Although we eventually discovered that Stacy did not have cancer, she was an encouragement to other people and inspired their faith during that time.

Be strong and courageous

Is God’s peace based on circumstances or His presence? Think about this: If we placed 95 percent of our gratitude and hope in the perfect eternal life God has planned for those who accept Him, we’d be less panicked about stuff. If we read Scripture, we see how God has always been faithful and that He is sovereign over all of history, and that includes our exact situations.

Next time you have conflict in your marriage, or you’re in a car accident, or the market crashes, or a diagnosis like cancer hits, tell yourself the truth—that God is good, in control, and cares for you, no matter the outcome.

As Deuteronomy 31:6 tells us, “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

Don’t panic. Pray for Jesus’ peace. Ask God to teach you about His sovereignty.

When blitzes come to you, you can face them with confidence. There is a God who has seen it all before, and He loves you and has gone through a bigger blitz than you ever will. For your sake.

Copyright © 2015 by Jeff Kemp. Adapted from Jeff’s blog, Facing Your Blitz.