COVID, Faith & Fear

Overview

Isn’t it amazing the different theories and reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic in our families, friends and country? Those reactions are as mysterious as the disease itself. And they are  telling … about us and what we believe about God, which A.W. Tozer says “is the most important thing about us.”

Isn’t the uncertainty and inconvenience causing us all to pause and think? To consider what might be going on, instead of running up and down the road, to and fro, living lives that are too busy doing meaningless things and serving our possessions and selfish purposes to extremes;  yet not really noticing due to the speed of our lives. This slow down, if you want to call it that, seems to me like a grace attack. It’s affecting every country in the world, yet without destroying an inordinate number of lives.

If the God of the Bible, Who says He is the One true God, wanted to judge our country and world, then destroy it with fire as the Bible says He will in the end, He would have plenty of reason right now it would seem. Yet He mercifully restrains Himself and tries to show us what we are without Him, giving us yet another opportunity and more time to know Him and be known by Him. To consider our ways.

It’s more like, to use a medical analogy, the Lord our Cosmic Surgeon, has diagnosed our culture and church (not in that order probably?), to have cancer (a serious sin and idolatry problem), and He is  going about cutting it out, before it spreads further, threatening to destroy the whole. Indeed I feel like He is answering the ancient prayer, “In wrath, remember mercy.”

This Morning

I have a good friend who was taken by ambulance to the hospital yesterday with COVID. He has openly been skeptical of the threat of COVID and, while taking the normal suggested precautions, has thought that our reaction as a nation in fear is way out of proportion with the threat, and doing more damage to our economy and way of life than the disease. So this morning one of our common friends said, “Isn’t it ironic that the only local friend or acquaintance we know that has contracted the disease is him?

I also have a close college friend, the best man in our wedding, who flew fighters with me in the air force, retired from that, earned a theology degree and became a pastor in Colorado Springs. He and his wife contracted COVID a few weeks ago. She only had flu like symptoms, but he went to the hospital with it.

It’s synchronistic that both are named Ron, and both are Christians, not in name only, but in practice, part of His church and His family, known by Father God through His Son Jesus Christ. They are both healing up. If judgment begins in the house of the Lord, as Scripture tells us, perhaps mercy does too!? 

Well I’m not trying to be prophetic or make this any kind of example, which one hardly could from two isolated instances anyway. I’m talking about walking by faith or by sight, in this COVID stricken time.

I called Gilberto, a friend in Honduras, last week to see what the situation was there with COVID, and whether we should be thinking about returning there on a mission trip this January.  He reported things are improving and some tourists and missionaries are returning. Then I asked him, “Do you know anyone personally who has contracted the disease or has died from it?” He said, “No.”

How many do you know? So why are so many so afraid? 

Oh, it’s a real threat. People have and are dying with it. Also how it’s contracted and how it’s to be treated and further prevented has mystified health care professionals around the globe. So the “unknown” aspect of it has caused many to fear. 

But child of God? What have you to fear? Death has lost it’s sting. The grave has no power over you as demonstrated by your Savior, Redeemer, Friend. Nor does anything, any circumstance short of death. Grace is available for living. So is faith. It’s a gift from God you know. Ask for it in prayer if you feel you need more. Dive into the Word, and rediscover the powerful God of your trust.

Creation & Thermodynamics 

Yes, there’s decay in the world. It’s a part of His design. And it’s the reason we need Him and the care and relationship He proffers. It’s a universally accepted law of physics, the second law of thermodynamics, that everything tends toward disorder and decay over time. They use the word “entropy” which is defined as a “lack of order or predictability, gradual decline into disorder.”

But in Scripture we read that Jesus the Son of God, was creator of all we see and call home. And then we read that He now sustains it by the power of his Word.

“All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” John 1:3 *

“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.” Colossians 1:16*

“The Son reflects the glory of God and shows exactly what God is like. He holds everything together with his powerful word. When the Son made people clean from their sins, he sat down at the right side of God, the Great One in heaven.” Hebrews 1:3 NCV

We also read the hairs on our heads are numbered by Him, and not a sparrow falls to the ground without His awareness. The birds of the air and lilies of the field do just fine without worry, and we’re instructed to live like they do by the caring Creator. 

“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!  Do not worry then …” Jesus (Matthew 6: 26-31a NASB)

Feed Your Faith not Your Fear

Do a word study on “sustains,” read Psalms 139, read the Sermon on the mount. Feed your faith and not your fear. 

You can read the Psalms, the New Testament, the Old Testament, some of the Bible every day or you can listen to CNN or Fox News? You can feed your faith or your fear. You choose. What you do says a lot about what you believe and who you trust, does it not?

“Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me.” Psalm 131:2

If even a wise, busy king charged with running a kingdom can say this, surely we can. The same king no doubt read, and meditated on the Psalms, because he wrote most of them. Then the Bible would go on to say about him that, “he had a heart like God’s” and that “he accomplished the purposes of God in his generation.”

And the author of most of the New Testament and an apostle of Jesus Christ, charged with bringing the Gospel to the gentile nations and birthing the church, a reasonably active guy we might deduce, said to…

“…make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.” I Thessalonians 4:11-12 NASB

And pray to your Father in secret….to hear from Him personally…. to be continued.

*Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Jesus-Christ,-Creator

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