We are currently experiencing a worldwide pandemic that is altering life in America as we know it. It’s hard not to be afraid when you see the empty store shelves and hear our leaders talk about “social distancing.” I can admit that fear keeps creeping in. It comes in waves. One minute I’m amazed at how insanely everyone is reacting and the next I’m scared that they might be on to something. What if I can’t go to work to make money? What if I can’t access my money to buy food? What if there’s no food available to buy? What if someone I love gets sick? What if they end up in the hospital and I can’t be with them? What if there’s no room in the hospital?
It is times like this when knowing and believing the Word of God is critical. We need to remember all the times that God commands us not to fear. We need to call to mind the countless promises He has made to His children. We need to reflect on the innumerable instances that He demonstrates His Sovereignty when everything else is going off the rails.
When your social media feed and your news notifications parade an endless barrage of scary and unfamiliar headlines, it’s time to turn them off and open your Bible. A whole lot of things are being disrupted by the current situation, but God’s plan is not one of them. We need to put our trust in God because He will not fail us!
I wanted to share a couple of passages of Scripture that have become a regular source of comfort for me:
First, Psalm 91! These verses are packed with awesome declarations of protection for those who put their trust in God. I’m including the whole passage here, so read it all. Read it slowly. Then read it again.
1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.
9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”
You don’t need a long-winded explanation from me about how this applies today. Take it to heart and call it to mind whenever fear and uncertainty start to creep in. Share it with other people who are afraid. Tell them that you can depend on these promises because of your faith in Jesus. Let them know that they, too, can depend on these promises if they turn to Jesus today.
Another verse that so perfectly fits the current world situation is:
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control]. – 2 Timothy 1:7 (The Amplified Translation)
Not fear, but power, love, sound judgment, and personal discipline. Not panicked toilet-paper and hand sanitizer stockpiling, but a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control. Yes, we should heed the warnings to wash our hands, not touch our face, and avoid crowds of people to limit exposure and spread. But when we panic and go on a buying frenzy that in many cases defies logic, we are clearly forgetting to depend on God. Even when the store shelves are empty, the storehouses of God are not. He knows what we need. If we put our full trust in Him and use our God-given wisdom, He will take care of the rest.
“So don’t worry about these things, saying ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. – Matthew 6:31-33