If you don’t know already, the world we live in is in some uncertain times. COVID-19, better known as the Coronavirus, has swept across our land and has caused a massive amount of hysteria. We can’t turn on our televisions, scroll a Twitter feed, talk to a friend, or check Facebook without a majority of the content being consumed by talk of viruses, quarantines, and social distancing.
Initially, I had something already planned for today’s post, but that changed. Friday night, I was invited to a zoom prayer call with some young leaders across the U.S. We prayed for the condition of the world regarding this pandemic, and in the midst of that call, God laid it on my heart to write about what we were praying about.
The world is talking so much about this, that I think it’s important that Christians be grounded in truth and interpret everything through a biblical worldview of what God has already told us.
I first want to start out by saying that “God is still on His throne.” That’s just in case you have forgotten that. It isn’t wise of us to be believing the panicked voice of the world. Doing so appeals to our fleshly instinct to worry and yield our hearts to fruitless fears and anxieties, that water downs our ability to display ourselves as blood-bought believers. We must be reminded to offer up prayers and supplications with thanksgiving, free of anxiety regardless of our situation.
The bottom line is that this world can never satisfy us or be a solid foundation upon which to build our hope. Markets are always prone to fall, wealth is always momentary, flesh is always weak, and human intellect is always imperfect. But in times of prosperity, we often ignore those uncomfortable realities because we can. So when the storms of life come, the floods of those storms erode the foundations upon which our lives have been unstably constructed. We find ourselves scared, isolated, and confronting the starkness of our own mortality.
Five weeks ago, to most Americans, things were well under control. We were healthy, wealthy, planning spring break vacations, working good jobs, and spending on silly wants. Then, a microscopic virus escapes from China and it triggers the shutdown of the entire world. That’s how helpless we humans really are. We aren’t invincible, we aren’t impervious, we aren’t God.
But for Christians, John reminds us that though we aren’t God, we are God’s chosen people. He has adopted us into His family, and the one who has power over galaxies and planets, holds us, sustains us, and provides for us. (John 1:12-13)
That should prompt us act as the Church. She has seen plagues and pestilence in previous ages. This is an opportunity to grow the Kingdom of God by teaching the peace that passes all understanding. So, how do we do that in a biblical way?? Here are three biblical things I think we need to be doing:
May we care for one another within the church as well as offering assistance to our fellow man. Our medical professional recommendations during this teaches us that loving another has a different meaning. People can be carriers of the virus, meaning the most loving thing we can do is be socially distance. Even though, if we are physically isolated, we should still move towards those in need. We call, we text, we shop for someone who is at high risk, we order carry-out or go through a drive-thru to help struggling business owners and their employees, and we be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Prayer is where it always starts for faithful, world-changing believers. As stressful as this pandemic may be for us, imagine the weight of responsibility being felt by leaders who are being forced to make decisions that are guaranteed to risk lives or livelihoods no matter what they choose. This isn’t to be political or ideological for us; it’s a biblical command. Pray for God to stop the spread of this. Pray that God would bring comfort to hurting souls. Pray for those who are infected and affected by this difficult situation. And most importantly, pray that God would call people to himself. May God be glorified!
We should preach Christ as the only solid foundation of hope in this world. Man-made security is but a delusion, and if the last few weeks haven’t shaken our pride to the point of admitting that, I’m scared to think what it might take.
We Christians know it exists in Christ alone. Now, more than ever, is the time to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As Kevin DeYoung wrote in a Facebook post: “No virus can change the number of days that God has written in his book for us. No virus can make the word of God untrue. No virus can undo the work of Christ on the cross. No virus can change the fact that through Jesus we have a Father in heaven who cares for us. And no virus can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)
So, with that being said, I say amen and amen! Let that truth from Rev. DeYoung take root in your heart.
In this trying time may the Church be the Church, and as always, may we live our lives on the mission of God.
God bless, Jamal!