God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change.Psalm 46.1-2a, NRSV
If you are a Christian, do you believe the passage from Psalm 46 that I quote above? If you do, I encourage you to put your faith into action by practicing what you believe. We are bombarded with all kinds of bad and scary news about the coronavirus of late and I encourage you not to succumb to the fear that it naturally engenders. We are Christians. We are therefore people of power, God’s power. As Christians we have a resurrection hope and future. We believe that come what may, because of God’s great love for us made known in Jesus Christ, crucified and raised from the dead, not even death can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8.31-39). A glorious future awaits us in God’s new creation. Let this hope and promise, the very promise of God, sustain you during these uncertain times. Resist the temptation to be afraid. If God is for us, who (or what) can possibly be against us?
As you rely increasingly on the Lord’s power to protect you and keep you from being afraid, encourage each other in the faith because we all become afraid from time to time and we need each other’s encouragement and support. For starters, spend less time watching the news and more time reading your Bible and encouraging each other. Stay up with the latest developments, but don’t wallow in the bad news. Instead, go to God’s Word to be refreshed, calmed, and strengthened during these uncertain days. In addition to the verses I quoted above, read Psalms 23, 27, 42-43, 46, 77, 91, and 103 for starters. If you find yourself overwhelmed, make Psalm 130 your prayer and strengthen each other with these passages. Don’t be afraid! We are people with a Power far greater than anything the world can throw at us! Jesus Christ himself has promised that he has overcome the world for us (St. John 16.32-33). Dare we doubt him and fall into panic and fear?
We have a wonderful opportunity during this pandemic to proclaim our faith to a fearful world shrouded in darkness and uncertainty. Let us therefore proclaim our resurrection faith in love and service to each other and to those around us who need Christ’s love made known in and through us. We are not to be reckless and put the Lord to the test, but neither are we to be timid and fearful. Why? Because “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change.” Commit this verse to memory and pray it often, especially when you are tempted to fall into fear. Likewise, pray the Lord’s Prayer regularly (it’s been suggested we do this as we wash our hands) and trust that God does indeed hear our petition to deliver us from evil and acts on our behalf for our good. May God bless you and yours during these difficult days.