Live by Faith, Not by Fear
In light of the coronavirus that has shaken the world, will you be driven by fear or by faith?
As we continue to deal with this epidemic, here are 5 ways to keep your faith.
1. Fear Not
Proverbs 24:10 says, "If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength (NIV)."
With this growing epidemic on our hands, it would be easy for each one of us to be in panic mode and allow our worry to control us. God is calling us as Christians to remain calm, steady, confident, and hopeful in these times of trouble. He wants us to stay strong in our faith and not to be afraid.
Jesus tells us not to worry for worrying accomplishes nothing (Matthew 6:34). Todd Wagner recently wrote:
"Worry is not our friend, and panic is not our way. While we remain on alert against viruses, worry won't change our circumstances or lower our chance of infection....Worry about COVID-19 (or anything else) will only increase trouble ("Should Christians Be Anxious about the Coronavirus?")."
Worry does nothing but weigh us down (Proverbs 12:26).
2. Acknowledge Christ's Power
God is on the throne. He is sovereign over all of this, and our lives are in His hands. Our days are numbered (Psalm 90:12).
Jesus is stronger and more powerful than this virus. He is the one who can wipe this virus clean.
The coronavirus reminds us that we live in a fallen and broken world. This world we live in is infected with a disease called sin. Every single one of us is filled with sin and infected with it. Jesus left His perfect home in Heaven that was without disease, and He entered this defiled world and took on our disease. He placed our disease and sin on the cross and has forgiven our sins. He offers us to have a home in Heaven for eternity if we believe in Him. He has also given us His Spirit to be in us. His Spirit is powerful.
The same power that rose Jesus from the grave lives in us. Because Christians are united with Christ, we have the strength we need to stay faithful.
3. Invest in Others
When crisis happens, the Church has the opportunity to shine brightly. There have been many stories in history of Christians who have helped people who were left behind when they were infected with disease.
- The plague of Rome in 249-262 AD revealed many Christians who served the sick and even caught sickness and died. Bishop Dionysius of Alexandria wrote of these Christians:
"Most of our brother-Christians showed unbounded love and loyalty, never sparing themselves and thinking only of one another. Heedless of the danger, they took charge of the sick, attending to their every need and ministering to them in Christ... ("What the Early Church Can Teach Us About the Coronavirus")."
- When a great plague hit the city of Zurich, 1/3 of the population was affected and many died. Instead of fleeing the scene, Ulrich Zwingli stayed behind and cared for the people of his city. Although he got ill himself, he later recovered saying that God had more work for him.
- Charles Spurgeon stayed and helped the people in England when thousands were dying of cholera.
We don't know how bad this epidemic can get, but I would love to challenge Christians to spend most of our time thinking, "How can I help others?" instead of merely thinking "How can I protect myself?"
One idea that Christ Covenant is working on is putting together a Care Response Team that will help our Elderly and others who are at greater risk. This team will be composed of younger people who will reach out to those at greater risk and ask how they can help in this time of need. There will be many needs in the days to come, and this is an opportunity for Christians to shine! Let's shine the light of Jesus to this hurting and broken world.
4. Take Care of Yourself
Although I am suggesting we as Christians need to care for those who are sick, I am not suggesting that we run and burst into the hospital rooms or homes of people who are infected with this virus. We can't do this, and we need to use caution and common sense.
For us to be able to take care of others, we need to take care of ourselves. I would encourage us to use good judgment and diligently wash our hands, go to the doctor if you're feeling ill, and stay home if you aren't feeling well.
It has been suggested that we watch our physical contact such as hugging and kissing. I had to break the news to my wife that we need to not kiss as much as we do. She was disappointed in this! :)
In all seriousness, God has given us bodies to take care of, and we need to do our part in staying as healthy as we can (1 Corinthians 3:16-17) so we can serve others effectively and glorify God.
5. Hope for Revival
Christ Covenant has been praying that God would bring revival to His people in America and in our community for over 7 years. A revival from God means that He wakes His people up, He stirs in our hearts a deep affection for Him, and He rallies His people to work together to make a significant impact in their society.
No person can orchestrate a revival. No person can schedule or manufacture a revival. Only God can bring it. God will choose to bring revival in His time and in His way. Perhaps God will use this crisis to bring about a revival. Perhaps He will use this epidemic to reignite and reinvigorate His people. I truly believe that when the people of God grow a burning passion for Him, then we will see a Great Awakening happen where more and more people become Christians. This is my prayer.
Will you join me in prayer that God will bring revival to our land?
It is my hope and prayer that a year from now, each one of us will not be asking, "Do you remember what that coronavirus did?" but instead be asking, "Do you remember what God did when that virus came?"
In the days ahead, Christian, don't falter in the days of adversity, but remain faithful and stay strong. Keep in mind these 5 things that will help us live by faith and not be fear:
Acknowledge Christ's Power
Invest in Others
Take Care of Yourself
Hope for Revival