When Paul was writing in Romans 8 about God’s everlasting love, he asked this question: “What then shall we say to these things?” in verse 31.
In the light of all that is still going on in the world today, I dare to ask the same question, although in a different context. Everyone is anxious, the entire world is consumed with fear, it is like the days of the plagues in Egypt. People are anxious about their health, about the economy and about death. There is fear everywhere. Fear of contracting a highly contagious disease. Fear of lack. Fear of loss of income. Fear of loss of investments. The world economy is shaken. There is almost no country where the coronavirus is not raging. If it is not yet there, the country is anticipating its arrival and also anxious.
As beloved children of God, what shall we say? What shall we do? Who shall we be in these times?
Let me use my own situation as a case in point. I do not have the virus. I do not know any personal friend or family member who does. However, in our country, the figures of infected persons are growing. People are panicking. I hear of people dying in huge numbers in other countries. I pray the situation does not get that bad here. Yet I know that we do not have the medical facilities and know-how that those countries have. I am practicing social distancing. I only go out when I have to. I am staying at home most of the time. I am praying and trusting God.
But once in a while, I fear. When I read a post on social media, or watch a video. Or listen to the news on TV. I feel the panic going through my mind. What do I do? One thing that has helped and is helping, is keeping my mind on God. I look up a worship program on YouTube and I just sing along, exalting the majesty of God. Or I look for a sermon on the power of God and just listen. When I lift up the ability of God, my fear disappears. The power of fear is in proving that God cannot. When I hear the word or a message that God can, the darkness disappears and the light stays. And the good thing is that the light stays for longer, as I bask in God’s love and His power to save, to heal and to deliver. I find the strength to continue to trust in Him. Trust in Him to be with me through this valley of the shadow of death and to bring me up again to a bright tomorrow. The tomorrow that He already planned for me.
Are you anxious or fearful? Don’t beat yourself down. It is normal in times like these. But don’t stay in that fear. Reach out to the word. Reach out to God. Reach out to brethren who can pray with you and encourage you. Shut the voice of fear and replace it with the voice of faith. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Sometimes I just listen to Psalm 91 on the Audio Bible and repeat it over and over. Also Psalm 46. I sing worship songs and connect with God. My burdens are lifted and I have peace. The situation has not changed. But my focus has. Find what works for you. But keep your hope up. Keep your faith alive.
We will outlive this. This too shall pass. God is at work. And we will see the end that He promised sooner than we think.
Keep up your faith.