By God’s grace, you are ready to face the coronavirus.
You’ve been storing up the most important thing.
You’ve been getting stronger in the most important ways because you’ve filled your heart and mind with God’s Word through sermons, songs, small groups, and Bible studies.
While medical supplies, food, and cleaning supplies will be helpful to survive the coronavirus pandemic, God’s Word will save the day.
Now is the time when you will reap abundant fruit from your personal devotions. Now is the time when you will lean heavily on everything you’ve learned about God’s character, promises, and will. Your Christian disciplines have prepared you to think, speak, and act with a clear mind during this season of unknowns, fears, and sorrow.
This is the time for us to put it all into action.
Let’s take every opportunity to renew our thoughts with God’s Word.
Let’s take every opportunity to speak words of hope and truth to our friends, family, and neighbors.
- How will we counsel ourselves when we are afraid, overwhelmed, and unsure?
- What will we say to the anxious cashier?
- How will we reach out to the college students who can’t return to campus?
- What will we say to the overwhelmed parent whose children will be staying home from school?
- How will we serve and comfort the elderly, weak, sick, or mourning?
Today, make a list of the Scriptures that you will use to offer strength and hope to people.
To get you started, here are five truths that will guide and comfort us in the face of the coronavirus pandemic:
- You can ask God for wisdom.
James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
We wonder how to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the virus. We can ask God for wisdom, knowing that as we prayerfully do our research, He will lead us. Count on it. Encourage your loved-ones to ask God for wisdom, too. He cares about us.
- Turn your anxiety into prayer and thanksgiving.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Now is the time to put these beloved words into practice, to beseech God in prayer, and to regularly share this comfort with people who feel anxious. God listens to us and responds to our prayers. He will give us peace.
- Remember God’s character.
Now is the time to call to mind everything you’ve learned about God – His names, His character, His ways. Remember that He is loving toward all He has made. Remember that He is faithful. Remember that He is sovereign and good. Remember that He is a rock and there is no unrighteousness in him.
- Remember the cost of sin and the promise of restoration.
Sickness, brokenness, sorrow, and death are pictures and byproducts of our sin. It’s important for us to acknowledge that the coronavirus and its destructive aftermath is part of this fallen world.
But at the same time, we must proclaim God’s love for us and His promise to renew, restore, and re-create. We must tell people what the future looks like for those who believe in Jesus:
“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)
Now is the time to remember that this is true. Jesus is the brightest light we can offer to people living in this dark world. We have every reason to hope for a day when there are no pandemics.
- Remember that God will work all things for good.
Romans 8:28 tells us that “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Now is the time to believe and share this verse in its truest sense: that no matter how widespread the coronavirus grows or how near it comes to any one of us, God is sovereign and good. He is working all things out for the good of His people and for His glory. Though we cannot understand how He will redirect, orchestrate, and transform these terrible things into good, we can – and must – trust His promise to do so.
Scriptures like these will enlighten our path, steady our thoughts, fortify our words, and mobilize us to be like our merciful Savior, who tenderly loves a broken world.
May God’s Word be our daily bread, our sword for the fight, and our delight. May we give it generously to everyone who comes along our path.
So, dear reader, let’s get to it. We have a pandemic to fight. This is what we have been training for.
(A word to the Christian who feels like she isn’t prepared to use God’s Word at a time like this: it is never too late to start. Unlike hand sanitizer at Walmart, the goodness of God’s Word will never run out. Store it up! Use it! God’s Word will never be depleted. It will prepare you for everything that comes your way.)
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3: 16-17