Much has been said about the dreaded COVID-19 these days, and the onslaught of responses to what has now been called a pandemic by the World Health Organization, are varied: from fearful, to anxious, to apathetic, and cynical.
Amidst all the information and reactions, how should a follower of Christ look at this current situation and respond?
OBEY OUR AUTHORITIES.
God, being all-powerful (Jeremiah 32:17) and all-knowing (Psalm 147:5), put human authorities over us whom we are to obey. They may not be perfect (only God is) and we may have differences in opinion, but they have been put in those roles to enact governance and order in the spheres they are responsible for. We are to obey them as we would obey God, with being commanded to sin being the exemption in this obedience. (1 Peter 2:13-15, Romans 13:1-14)
Amidst COVID-19, we look and submit to our national and local government, health experts, our individual office administrations, our pastors and elders, and our parents – knowing that to obey them is to trust our God who appointed them into their roles. We also can trust that the same all-powerful, all-knowing God will be the one to whom they are accountable for in their commands and decisions. (Romans 14:12)
DO NOT BE ANXIOUS.
Jesus Himself says in Luke 12:25 that nothing good comes out of worrying. It in fact only lessens the time we would otherwise have spent doing something more helpful and productive not just for ourselves, but for God and for others.
Corrie Ten Boom—a Holocaust survivor who risked her life and housed hundreds of Jews to keep them alive in the Nazi regime—was no doubt facing another incomprehensible kind of evil in her day, yet uttered these inspiring famous words amidst it,
“Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrows, it empties today of its strength.”
The fuel of her peace and courage? She was a woman completely surrendered to, and radically living for, the almighty LORD.
Going hand in hand with not being anxious is its antidote as outlined in the Bible: prayer. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us not only is prayer the antidote, but it yields something far more powerful than hoarding all the face masks, alcohol, and disinfectants the world has to offer: God’s peace, which transcends all understanding.
If we believe the LORD is who He says He is in the Bible, we can trust that He is in control and powerful even over this deadly pandemic, and so we run to Him for our intercessions for the world, for the sick, the dying, those working on the field, and surrender to Him our own personal thoughts and feelings. (1 John 5:14, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Ephesians 6:18)
BE WISE, AND SHARE THE HOPE YOU HAVE IN CHRIST.
Throughout Scripture, God reveals that two seemingly conflicting (due to our human limitations) ideas are actually both true: God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility. God is in control over all things that happens throughout His creation, yet holds man responsible for his actions–actions which have real and lasting effects. (2 Timothy 1:7, 2 Corinthians 5:10)
Therefore, we are to be wise in the way we live our lives, COVID-19 notwithstanding (Proverbs 8:33). Courage and confidence in God is different from recklessness. As we are to find rest on the sovereignty of God, so are we responsible to follow as He leads — which as established above, is done through prayer, going to the Word, and submitting to authorities placed over us.
Yet Scripture also tells us that being wise means making the most of every opportunity — that we do not waste our lives and strive to keep in mind our purpose for living. (Ephesians 5:15-16)
Christians, here is the most urgent COVID-19 response we must make.
There is a much bigger pandemic than Coronavirus, that is threatening the lives of everyone in the world — all races and all ages, regardless of economic status or gender, and encompasses any other demographic you can think of: SIN.
Romans 5:12 illustrates this truth:
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned-“
It is far worse because while COVID-19 causes physical death, SIN is at its root – and it does not just make every person’s physical death imminent, but makes SPIRITUAL DEATH every person’s default. (Ephesians 2:1-3)
And yet, as believers, we know the antidote to this: that we are “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.” (Romans 3:24-25)
If we have acknowledged our need for a Savior, repented of our sin, and placed our faith on the finished work of Christ to pay the penalty of the sin due us — then we know that this life is NOT the end of the story, that eternity awaits, and that regardless of how we leave this earth, “TO LIVE IS CHRIST, AND TO DIE IS GAIN.” (Philippians 1:21) That the brokenness of this world will end when Christ comes, and that we will spend eternal life with Him – this ought to give us peace and drive us to share what the world needs most. (John 17:3, 2Corinthians 4:18)
Contrary to what some may believe especially at the height of COVID-19, God has not abandoned the world He created. Nor is He an evil God who delights in seeing His creation in a state of disorder and death. He is in fact always at work and is allowing all things for our good and for His glory. (Isaiah 41:10) He has offered the solution to an even bigger threat to Coronavirus – the problem and consequence of sin — through Jesus Christ. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord“ (Romans 6:23).
May we see the urgency of sharing this life-changing and life-saving Gospel of Jesus Christ and be wise in living our lives in light of this pandemic, and in light of the LORD who has already promised and proven to have overcome this world (John 16:33). There is hope. There always has been, and always will be – until the LORD Jesus comes, and then there is no time left to share it. May we be so fixed on Christ that we know no other way than to tell others of the hope we have in Him.
1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
Writer’s Bio: Ren dela Cruz is a self-proclaimed ambivert. She loves both spending time alone (to read or write), and conversing with people (on a variety of topics including but not limited to dogs, healthy food recipes, and all things Jesus). She’s passionate about theology, biblical womanhood, and reaching out to underprivileged children.