That Depends On Your Faith
Photo by visuals on Unsplash
Matthew 6:27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Jeremiah 17:7–8 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Lamentations 3:56–57 You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.”
The Coronavirus is real.
We will all likely be affected (not infected) in some manner before this first wave passes.
The news headlines can be terrifying as we wait to learn more about the total impact and discover tangible ways that we can protect ourselves and our loved ones over the coming days and weeks.
That being said, pulling all of your money out of the financial markets, making a run on your local grocery store to buy out all the supplies, and other extreme measures only hurts your neighbors, community and nation and the world.
The mindset of “I’ve gotta get mine” is going to prove more dangerous than the virus itself
World markets are crashing not in an effort to stop the virus, they are crashing because people are panicking.
It’s like the Rodney King riots when the people went into the streets looting and destroying their own neighborhoods. Really? Where is the humanity in that?
Reactionary fear destroys everything in its path, just like a virus
If you are Christian, now is the time to show how your faith sustains you. We do that by not reacting in fear. We pray and we help others.
Those with a faith that works know what I’m saying, we trust God, no matter the circumstances or outcomes. And in that strength, we support our families and communities any way we can, the best way we can.
I freely admit, right now, it’s hard to know what that looks like.
Much of the world hates religion. News flash so did Jesus.
Jesus died fighting against the hypocrisy of the religious leaders. There has always been a lot wrong with the church because it has always been filled with regular flawed people.
But that doesn’t mean God is flawed or that the Church isn’t good.
The people you see who use the bible as a weapon to condemn others are religious people pushing an agenda who believe they are helping. They were taught the message of condemnation, not mercy and salvation.
The people you see working the homeless shelters and caring for the sick or disadvantaged in their communities are Christians.
The people you see taking the gospel into prisons and serving in 3rd world ministry outreach and gathering in prayer for our neighbors and nations are Christians.
The people you see donating their hard-earned money to their local church and other charities are Christians.
The people you see meeting together in people’s home and visiting people in hospitals and caring for each other’s families, those are Christians.
The people you see who seem to be unshakable in the face of great stress at the office, or give up their place in line or buy groceries for a stranger, those are Christians.
Does that mean all Christians do these things? No.
Does that mean everyone that does those things are Christian? No.
1 John 4:18 (ESV) There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
But God is love, and He instructs Christians to love, not fear.
Matthew 25:31-46 (MSG) The Sheep and the Goats
31–33 “When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.
34–36 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’
37–40 “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me - you did it to me.’
41–43 “Then he will turn to the ‘goats,’ the ones on his left, and say, ‘Get out, worthless goats! You’re good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because –
I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
I was shivering and you gave me no clothes,
Sick and in prison, and you never visited.’
44 “Then those ‘goats’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn’t help?’
45 “He will answer them, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me - you failed to do it to me.’
46 “Then those ‘goats’ will be herded to their eternal doom, but the ‘sheep’ to their eternal reward.”
Fight or Flight is not the best response to a natural disaster.
“How do I get mine”, must be replaced with, “how can I help”
As a global economy and community, we can get through this; the human race is resilient. But the only way to do that well is through connection, cooperation, and compassion.
As Christians, it is up to us to model what that looks like.
We need more faith and less fear