THE ANGST OF COVID-19
The angst of the COVID-19 has truly impacted communities everywhere. Many Christians are torn and heartbroken from losing a loved one or knowing someone who has died. I say, may God comfort you through the many difficult days ahead.
To my fellow brothers & sisters of the Christian faith I want to encourage you to Be Strong, Be Safe, and Be Fearless.
Be Strong: Psalm 46:1 To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
We serve a true and living God who is ever present in times of trouble. God should be and desires to be our all in all. We pray and thank Him as we should for medical professionals but not let the profession take the place of Him being our all in all. Yes, It's difficult to see this when one is in the midst of a tragedy as in the case when my mom died many years ago. The complications were severe and the situation sad but God was still on the throne. We can't throw everything we've learned out the door. Sorrow and fear are real emotions and hard for many to grapple with but in God you can for the Bible says: I can do all things through Jesus Christ who for He's the one who strengthens me. Brothers & sisters, in times like these I say to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. COVID-19 like many other diseases can pull many of us down. This is a good time to set oneself aside from the world and go into your secret place to pray regularly. Ask God to help you to be strong for it may not be just for you but maybe someone else. You being strong is bigger than self-strength but possibly for others while we are on God's great earth.
Remember, troubles don't last always for joy comes in the morning. We may not know when tragedy or difficulty will end but we do have a living hope that resides in us.
Be Safe: One rule we can take into consideration is the rule of law. As followers of Jesus Christ we should be the first to live by example. The law not Biblical law but the law of the land is important to Christian living. Rules and laws are put in place to not only protect oneself but others. Example: Your running late for church and the kids just seemed to not act right this particular Sunday morning. Yes, It's that Sunday you have to be early for your serving in some capacity. Everyone is frustrated and you are bound to be late. You load the car up and try to get to church fast as much as your heavy foot would allow. You hear sirens asking you to pull over and here's two scenarios:
1. You receive a $300.00 speeding ticket and a scolding from the officer for putting your family in danger to get to church. Going 30 mph over the speed limit.
2. You hit someone due to your frustration and their body goes 15ft and dies. You are convicted of involuntary manslaughter for disregarding the law of speed limit.
The scenarios I presented may seem far fetched but are similar to following instructions given by local authorities. See the speeding ticket affected the family budget for the wife got laid off. The incarceration affected the victim, and their family along with his children and family. All this due to not wanting to follow the rule of law.
Now there is no rule of law as to how we should conduct ourselves during this outbreak of COVID-19 but some good suggestions in order to flatten the curve have been provided. Our federal, state and local government along with medical personnel wants us to use these as our guide to stay alive and healthy. Please stay safe by having clean hands, eating as healthy as possible and not forming large clusters of public gatherings to minimize the spread. Remember, you are the temple of the Holy Spirit and bodily exercise profits little but there is some value in exercise as noted in I Timothy 4:8 - For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. Living this way we can not only extend our life but possibly the life of someone else. Don't forget, our days are numbered and it is appointed for man to die one day. COVID-19 should have everyone reflect on whether one is obeying the law at all times, being mindful of others and the consequences on all sides.
Be Fearless: We read shirts and signs that say - No Fear or Fear Factor. The destruction of COVID-19 has stricken many of my fellow brothers & sisters of the faith both small and great. Fear is ageless and is not determined by ones sex or nationality. Fear is a factor sometimes by whom or what one surrounds themselves with. Our fears can sometimes be legitimate or not legitimate. I for one fear heights so you'll never see me on a roof and that's one legitimate fear I have. But this type of fear is not what I'm referring to. In light of everything happening around us we must not let the situation block out all of what God said to His people like: 2 Timothy 1:7 says God has not given us the spirit of fear but one of power love and a sound mind. I'm gonna use a term people throw around: operate. When we operate in the area of having a sound mind fear has no place. God is the one who gives us a sound mind. When the world is running scared and confused they'll notice why you are not acting in the same manner. It's not because you have some special anointing. It's because you spend personal time getting to know God for who he is for yourself. When we spend quality time with God we'll be ready to drive the car rather than just kicking the tires when we should be driving.
Being fearless is not being foolish. Foolishness is not looking to God for who He is and disregarding the rules. He did so many miracles as noted in the Bible for which we believe. Remember what God said in Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
Yes, He can do above and beyond what we ask or think. You pray, and may have thought about it in your time with God, yes He can. Will He always answer your prayers like you want? No. Our hope is in Him like the three Hebrew boys who were thrown into that fiery furnace. Sometimes we get thrown into the fiery furnace and it’s in these times to not lose hope. Like right now in our COVID-19 experience the Christian Church has been thrown into the furnace. We must trust Him without a shadow of doubt.
We can't act like we fear COVID-19 or death more than the world. We can't act like there is no hope. We can't just run and hide to give all power to COVID-19. The world is watching us and looking to us for all types of help and support. This is why it's important to have a sound mind so one can make clear decisions not based on or out of fear.
In Mathew 10:26-31(read at your leisure) talks about Christians being persecuted for their faith in God. As difficult it may have been for them during that time they were encouraged to be bold in their proclamation of God. They feared God over man. Be bold and loving in your proclamation of Jesus Christ. But fear the one who can separate both soul and body in Hell. My friend, this is not your home so don't put all your stock on earth but be heavenly minded. Be confident in your Christian witness as to God in your life despite the trouble it may bring. They'll call you names but they did more to the disciples. Remember, man or a virus can only kill the body but God can destroy both soul and body in hell. Living in fear can have some eternal consequences for the lost if we allow COVID-19 to overtake our faith in these globally troubling times.
I'll leave you with Matthew 10:31 Do not fear therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows. God created the sparrow and holds your value above the sparrow. You are here today for a purpose and I pray you find your purpose through these difficult days and days to come for His glory. We need to hunger after righteousness like a man in the desert.
To Hell with the devil.
© 2020 Martin Barrett