“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4: 6-7)
Are we, as people of faith, living through the Corona crisis any differently than those without faith?
The apostle James says that faith without works is dead. By this, he meant that faith that does not show itself in action is empty. This challenges us when crisis hits. For some, the call to faith is simply to resist being caught in the current of anxiety and fear that permeate every conversation and situation. For others, the tumultuous circumstances brought on by this virus test our faith and courage in profound ways as we deal with scary medical possibilities, disruption in our families and business and financial struggles. The problems are real, but so is our faith. Just a mustard seed of faith can move mountains. Though we may feel too weak to fight the fear, God is stronger than our weakness.
Be bold in faith. Now is when we shine. In our current days of Corona disruption, we need to be safe and wise, but that doesn’t preclude us from caring for one another. We have a unique opportunity to love extravagantly, care for the scared, show compassion for those affected financially, emotionally, or physically. While we need to take seriously the need for social distance, we call, write, text, and pray for one another. We can come closer in these days than in our text-driven, social media-obsessed “normal” world.
How amazing it would be if, after this crisis passes, we have stories to tell of the rich ways we drew closer. How incredible it would be if we could tell others of how we leaned on God to keep us steady. Even now when churches are unable to gather together, we can show that we are more powerful, more united, more filled with faith than ever. This is the time when we show that our God is real.
Crisis creates opportunity. Adversity defines us, and it defines our faith. If you, like so many others, have been caught up in the fear that these days enflame, then choose to turn hard to God who has us safe in the palm of His hands. He goes before us. He protects us. He is our refuge and our strength. He is an ever-present help in trouble. Meditate on these truths.
If you feel weak, unable to overcome the anxiety attacking from every side, lean on the faith of your friends. Now is the time to come together.
May God reign over us in these days of turmoil, and through these fearful days turn the hearts of many to trust in Him.