As the coronavirus pandemic keeps on growing, it has become harder and harder to stay calm. In just a matter of weeks, this virus has taken over our lives and become all we think about. It has taken its toll on us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In this time of uncertainty, people tend to have two reactions: fear or faith. Some people lean into adversity, seeing it as an opportunity to build their faith. Other people allow their fear to push them away from God. Let’s take a closer look at each of these two reactions.
The majority of people will fall into the first category. After all, it’s easy to worry for our health, our jobs, our families, and our nation. When we turn on the TV, we’re immediately hit with a resounding message: This is something you should fear. Unfortunately, fear accomplishes lots of harm and little good. Fear keeps us from trusting God. Fear saps up all the energy that we could be putting into more fruitful things: like prayer, donating to relief efforts, or loving our neighbors (from a distance, of course).
So what, then, is the alternative? Faith. Faith doesn’t mean we have all the answers. It doesn’t mean we’re blindly optimistic or naïve. It means that we’re trusting that God is in control, and that He will handle this situation according to His will. It can be hard to understand this when people are dying, the economy is failing, and the world seems to be crashing down. But in many ways, this trial can reveal to us where we are in our walk with God. James 1:3 says, “For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” If we allow our faith to crumble at the first sign of trouble, was it ever really strong to begin with?
Thankfully, there are things we can do to move from fear into faith. Romans 10:17 tells us, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” The Word of God gives us all the assurance we need to go through life confidently. All throughout Scripture, we see examples of people who have overcome hardships. The Apostle Paul suffered persecution, famine, imprisonment, and much more. How did he cope with all of this? By trusting in God’s love.
1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” If we have received the love of Jesus Christ, we don’t have to be enslaved to fear. We can trust that God’s plans for us is good. At the right time, He will deliver us from our earthly struggles, and even if He doesn’t, we get to spend an eternity with Him. That is what it means to have faith. Having faith in a crisis like this might not be easy, but it is far better than the alternative.