Faith Over Fear - COVID-19 Pandemic Points To The Gospel
Like others I am hunkered down in my house except for necessary groceries and medical needs. On the outside I appear confident, but I must be honest. I cannot pretend the Corona Virus doesn't make me a little anxious. There's no way I could work in a hospital and I praise God for those with enough they can. On the news today (4/04/2020) there was a Russian church in California whose 70 congregants tested positive for the virus. The government has ordered us not to meet in groups larger than ten. I know what that church was thinking. We must obey God rather than men. I get that. I do. Some congregations have arranged for public services on their website, as has other churches. Now, let me share five points that helped me. These helped point me back to the Gospel and ground me in the grace of God. By sharing these I hope they will help you as well.
1. Being confronted with the reality we are not in autonomous control of our life.
I counted 46 times the phrase "that they may know that I am the LORD" occurs in the book of Ezekiel. A.K.A. The doomsday prophet. Here in Texas we value our independence; I do. The prophets warned of affliction, war and pestilence. Yet, they also offer peace to the remnant who are faithful to the LORD. We too must not trust in ourselves to survive the pandemic Christians are faced with around world. Trust in the LORD overall.
2. Evil, suffering and pain afflict righteous people as well as the corrupt.
Good people suffer alongside of the wicked. It's are a part of this temporal world. I suggest the idea that designed our world to be the ideal environment for soul development. We long for the Heavenly. Evil befalls us. We go through pain. We are afflicted with extreme moods, whether organic or non-organic. Suffering is a reality. But you know what? God deserves to be praised no matter what awful thing we may go through.
3. Although we are practicing social distancing, we're not alone.
COVID-19 may cause us to feel isolated or have cabin fever. Social distancing seems contrary to what the CDC is recommending. But with whole congregations becoming infected, we might err on the side of caution. I haven't been able to see my parents because the state of Texas ordered all nursing homes locked down. Nobody goes in or out. God hears prayer. The nursing home has a laptop with Skype. Mama could at least see me online. Perhaps with a little thought, we may find ways to follow through with Hebrews 10:24-25 in a virtual environment.
4. The greater global pandemic is not COVID-19. It's sin.
The greater pandemic is the state of mankind where it comes to his spirit. It's good that we are looking out for the best of one another's physical health. How are we handling sin, which is unlawful living in God's eyes? What are the merits of sin? Death (Romans 3:23). If we will get as serious about saving our fellow man's soul as we are about the Corona Virus, perhaps we will help them shelter in place - that is in Christ.
5. With a grateful heart with constant prayer we will endure to the end.
Always Rejoice; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus to you-ward. - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18