How should a Christian respond to this Coronavirus? The answer…. “IN FAITH.” So many people in this world are chasing after things that only God can truly supply. Money cannot save us; the crashing stock market is proof of that. Our jobs do not give us guaranteed security, the millions of unemployed are proof of that. Education and intelligence cannot fix all of life problems, the closing of schools and lack of understanding of this Coronavirus is proof of that. The government does not have ultimate control over everything, the state of the world and the spreading of this virus is proof of that. Entertainment cannot sustain and fulfill our hearts indefinitely, our time using entertainment during this social distancing and quarantining has been proof of that. Nothing man-made can ultimately prevent us from dying one day. The thousands who have died from this Coronavirus and who are dying every day are proof of that. You see, this is not just a troubling time, but this is a humbling time. The WHOLE WORLD is at the MERCY OF GOD!
This time for a Christian is an OPPORTUNITY for our FAITH to be strengthened, to be boldly proclaimed, and lived out with the utmost humility. Our faith should be courageously unwavering and steadfast. Galatians 3:11 says, “the righteous shall live by faith.” Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Faith is essential if we desire to please God. Faith is necessary for a child of God if we expect to make it through this life. That means even during this current pandemic we MUST LIVE BY FAITH. Faith is not based on our feelings or human understanding, but it is based on God’s word. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”-Romans 10:17 Apart of being a faithful Christian during this Coronavirus pandemic is understanding these essential things about FAITH that I will explain below.
FAITH means to act in obedience to God’s wisdom and commands.
Faith does not mean to act foolish! Faith responds lovingly to the wisdom and commands of God’s word. Matthew 22:37-39 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. “Love your neighbor as yourself.”” Apart of loving God is using His word and the heart he gave us to live in a way that humbly walks in His commands and in His wisdom. Walking around during this time having a nonchalant/cynical attitude, demonstrating careless/reckless behavior, and saying things like, “I don’t have to wash my hands or do anything because God has me,” is NOT loving. Not considering the health and well-being of your fellow neighbors, such as those who are immunocompromised or high risk, is NOT living by faith. Walking in faith during this Coronavirus means to still wash your hands, practice social distancing, and take necessary precautions. Faith is both compassionate and competent. Living by faith is not selfish, but selfless. It seeks to put the well-being of others before self and seeks to put God’s word first above any and everything else. There are numerous examples in God’s word of people walking in faith and still preparing and taking precautions. For example, consider Joseph in Genesis 40:46-54. Pharaoh put Joseph in second command to organize and prepare for seven years of famine. During the 7 years of abundance, Joseph used godly wisdom to set aside food for the famine to come. He didn’t just sit there and say, “Well, when the famine comes, we’ll just all starve!” No, he acted in faith by doing what he could, while trusting that God would provide. As God’s children we should do the same.
FAITH is not FRANTIC!
The pandemonium from this Coronavirus among people is UNREAL! But what is even more UNREAL and disheartening, is how a lot of God’s people are demonstrating the SAME pandemonium, fear, and unrest. Apart of living by faith is NOT living in a state of worry and panic. God’s children should be the optimum of faith on display. Does this mean Christians have to suppress emotions and walk around like robots quoting scripture? Absolutely not! It’s important that people see our humanity because God sees it all the time. God understands how He made us. “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers we are dust.”-Psalm 103:14 He made us to have thoughts, feelings, and emotions. To have bouts of nervousness or a temporary moment of anxiety, or to weep in grief over the lives loss due to the Coronavirus, is NOT a lack of faith. Faith for a child of God is not void of emotion. However, a man or woman of faith is not solely led by their emotion. Trust in God and in His word is what should lead a child of God’s life in spite of the emotion they may be experiencing. How Christians react to this Coronavirus is bigger than just our personal experience, but it’s showing others what the kingdom of God looks like. Why would nonbelievers want to be a part of a heavenly kingdom who live a life of fear, stress and anxiety? We proclaim with our mouths that we have everlasting joy, unexplainable peace, and eternal confidence, but do our lives live up to what we say? How will people want to share in “THE FAITH” if we aren’t truly living it? We have to remind ourselves of the hope and love we have in God even in the midst of this Coronavirus. Our earthly circumstances should never eclipse our eternal confidence that we have through Jesus Christ our Lord. “Be anxious for nothing but by prayer and supplication, let your request be made known to God and the peace of God will guard your heart and minds in Christ Jesus.”-Philippians 4:6-7
Faith obeys the Gospel of Christ and lives for the sake of the Gospel of Christ.
The deeper reality of this whole situation is that the majority of the world FEARS DEATH. Many are trying to hold on to their mortality not understanding that every day we live, we are losing it. This is why this time is extremely critical for the church of Christ. Christians are the salt and light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16). The world is in deep, darkness right now and many are crying out to God who have never cried out to Him before. As Christians, we should not be dimming our light of the gospel but should be doing our best to shine the message ever so brightly! This is a time for the world to repent and obey God before it’s eternally too late. The deeper fear of the Coronavirus is not the virus itself, but it’s what the virus can lead to, which is death. Every true baptized believer has overcome death through Jesus Christ our Lord. “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”-Romans 6:3-4 Death has no hold or control over us anymore. Jesus died so we could live and never have to deal with the fear and punishment of our sins, if we continue to walk with Him. If we KNOW this truth as believers… if we BELIEVE this truth, then, we must SHARE this truth with the world right now. The joy and freedom the Gospel has brought us, should usurp every ounce of fear that tries to cripple us. Church this is our time to truly be the church! Our hearts should not be crying more over the Coronavirus itself, but over the many souls that are dying lost without Christ due to the Coronavirus and due to other things. If our love is real for God, for His church, and for the Gospel, then a pandemic will not stop our mission to go out to teach and save the lost (Matthew 28:19-20). The Coronavirus should not stop our devotion to the Gospel, to fellowship, and to worship to God. At the end of the day, we must have a resolve within our hearts that says, “I must obey God, rather than man.”-Acts 5:29
What good will it do if we only take the necessary medical and safety precautions to protect our physical bodies from the Coronavirus, but we don’t take the MOST important precautions for our eternal souls? To wash our hands but never do what is necessary to have our sins washed away is the greatest tragedy. To stay Coronavirus free but defy the commands of God and die lost, what good will that be in the long scheme of things? “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”-Matthew 10:28
The bible says in Romans 4:20, “Abraham did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God. Being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what he had promised.” I write this to strengthen our faith. In the midst of this Coronavirus OUR FAITH MUST NOT WAVER through unbelief. We must rest our faith on the promises of God and be fully persuaded that HE WILL FULFILL WHAT HE PROMISED. The promise found through Jesus Christ is for all those who obey the Gospel through repentance and water baptism (1 Peter 3:21, 2 Thess 1:6-10). Through Jesus, there is eternal salvation, life, and peace. Because of Jesus, there is hope beyond the grave! Because of the Gospel, there can be NO FEAR in the face of the Coronavirus and in the face of death.
“Where , O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” -1 Corinthians 15:55-58
May we all stay fearless and faithful in the midst of this pandemic. May we follow God IN FAITH no matter what and at all cost. Always remember, Jesus is coming soon…soon and very soon. A pandemic doesn’t change that.