Let me begin by sharing both an observation and something Jesus said that is unbelievably relevant to our current events.
First, my observation. The emotion of fear is the most controlling emotion we experience. While love is the most powerful, fear is the most controlling. God does not author fear, He authors faith. The coronavirus and the news reports about it sure has the power to create fear, don’t they?!
Secondly, here is what Jesus said in Luke 21:26, “On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world.” Jesus spoke these words in response to His disciples about the end drawing near. The words used in this sentence refer to “anguish, anxiety, fear and doubt” about what is going on in the world. Sounds familiar to our present day, does it not? So, how are we to respond?
Let me ask you a question. When you first caught wind of the coronavirus, which did you think first: I hope those affected are OK, or I hope I don’t get it. You answer could show you us a lot about how you’re doing with selfishness. Our first response should be like Jesus- compassion. Praying God heals those affected. Praying for the families that are under distress. Praying that the church in the affected areas has a chance to shine. And that the Gospel is able to go forth in the darkness! Let us be moved first with compassion anytime we hear other people are suffering.
When you hear the word caution, you probably think I am going to start talking about all the ways we should be caution so we do not get the virus. Nope. Consider this thought. From the reports, it is clear that someone, somewhere, at some point, made a mistake. Whether they brought something out of a lab in error or sold meat that was unsanitary at a market, they made a mistake. They were not cautious enough and it has had lethal ramifications.
I think this is a good opportunity for us to look at our lives and our actions. Do you realize that your words and actions have consequences? Some are good and some bad. Proverbs 4:26 says, “Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.” Give careful thought to each step you take. A little sin can do a lot of damage. Be cautious with your life. It is precious and so are others’ lives around you.
And, yes. You should be washing your hands and drinking lots of water these days, too.
Isn’t it a joy to know that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever? While viruses attack and tornadoes destroy, our God is unchanging. Many are filled with fear by the coronavirus, even some of you reading this blog post. And while I completely understand, I want to challenge you to look to Christ and not the virus. We can trust God with our lives. In the unlikely event that He did allow one of us to be affected by this virus, we can rest assured He would use it for our glory if we are one of His children.
The Bible says, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” We could say the same about the coronavirus. The only reason it is scary is because it has proven deadly. However, if you are a believer in Christ, you do not have to fear death. These uncertain times should simply draw us into Jesus. If you feel afraid, talk to Him about it. He will give you perfect peace as you trust Him with your life. Your eternity and future are secure in Him.
Closing thought: Jesus went on to give us the answer in Luke 21:36 to his comments about men’s fears with the uncertainty of times. He says two simple truths, “Watch and pray that you may be counted worthy to stand before the Son of Man.” Friend, just watch and pray.
God, I ask with boldness that you would stop this cornovirus. You are our healer and you are more powerful than this illness. Would you break off this attack in Jesus’ name and show your power. I pray that those affected would come to know you during this time. You said that if anyone calls on your name, they will be saved. Thank you for your peace and salvation. We love you. Amen.