Christians, Crisis and Fear
Throughout the centuries, God’s people have been confronted by numerous moments of crisis: famines, genocides, droughts, persecution, plagues and viruses. The infamous Black Plague killed approximately 100 million people from 1347-1351, and is estimated to have wiped out between thirty-fifty percent of Europe’s population. It took 200 years for Europe’s population to recover to its previous level. In a similar fashion, the great flu pandemic in 1918 took the lives of 20-50 million people worldwide. We tend to ignore these tragedies in history until the next one arrives in our own lifetime. Now is such a time.
The latest crisis of the moment is a new virus that is ravaging our planet—the coronavirus or COVID-19. The “co” and “vi” come from coronavirus, “d” means disease, and 19 stands for 2019, the year the first cases were seen.
True born-again Christians need to decide if we are going to respond as God calls us to in His Word. Do we REALLY believe what the Book says when it comes to God’s sovereign power over our planet? Do we REALLY believe that our lives are in His hands? If so, let us remember this precious promise, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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” (Philippians 4:6-7).
This is also a time for Christians to plan and be attentive to the needs of others. Joseph offers a good model for this: during a time of devastating famine in Egypt, he planned ahead to help prepare for mass scale tragedy. He did this so that the country might not be ruined by the famine (Genesis 41:35-36).
Joseph demonstrated wisdom in preparing for and leading the way through a severe crisis. He demonstrated trust in God, courage and wisdom in thinking ahead. Because of his careful preparation, Joseph could provide what people needed. Though our focus isn’t food at the moment, we can learn from Joseph’s response in the midst of crisis and fear. Now is the time to listen to our authorities, stay calm, be wise, pray and to be attentive to the needs of others. To that end, think about this: we have unprecedented tools to stay in touch that previous generations did not. What would our ancestors have given to be able to talk to each other on the phone and by text in the 1918 pandemic?
by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor
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