Coronavirus, Should We Fear?

Pastors all over America should encourage Christians not to fear but to pray and act, never forgetting God has “plans for us to prosper …not to harm …to give us hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 Paraphrased). We know there is “A time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) and today, I believe, God is allowing a time for testing, not to destroy us, but to establish ourselves as His Disciples. Therefore, Christians are not only to suffer with the people in our country, we have a responsibility to pray for those who are fearful, and to be good Samaritans to those in need.

Our Christian motives for the needy must be to seek the peace of Christ to reign in their hearts (Hebrews 3:15). Christ has already given us His peace, but we must understand His peace is not to remove us from disaster and death, but to have peace in the midst of disaster and death.  Christ has already overcome death (John 14:27, 16:33). We must totally believe He has overcome death (Ro. 8:2) or we will be with the world, terrified of pestilence, and lose hope and peace in the face of death.

Why do Christians have peace and the world does not? We know trials and tribulations happen and God says, the wicked have no peace (Isaiah 48:22). We are all sinners, but Christ took our penalty, and gave us everlasting life. Christians along with the world face the same tribulations, but such tribulations are a new opportunity to grow nearer to the Almighty, and follow Christ’s command to witness His gospel (Acts 1:8), so Christ’s Spirit can save souls by reconciling them to God (Ro. 8:9-5:10).

In other words, when disaster strikes, it does not separate us from God’s love. Paul knew this when he wrote, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger or sword? …all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39).

Therefore, in this time of pestilence we cannot be separated from the love of Christ. We now share a part in His sufferings, and a part in His glory.

I encourage you to be strong in Christ’s love as we pray and act for Him. Our Lord Jesus through faith experienced an incomparable suffering of death, yet God raised Him from the dead, and sat Him at his right hand (Acts 2:32-36).

Some Christians fear this virus is God’s Judgement. We should never forget, God because of one righteous man withheld judgment on Sodom. God because He had concern for 120,000 in the city of Nineveh who didn’t know their left from their right withheld destruction from them (Jonah 4:11). The question is, will He withhold judgment on America?  Christians are clearly the righteous in Christ, but far more than a single righteous person there are thousands and thousands of Christians. There are also thousands and thousands who need Christ. We, like Jonah will have much difficulty proclaiming the gospel to America, but with God’s influence Nineveh repented and was saved.

Do we, like Lot, have to grieve over those in our country who support immorality (1 Peter 2:7), and do we have to be like Abraham who earnestly prayed for Sodom (Genesis 18:23-33). American Christians today are the Abraham’s and Jonah’s. We must grieve for sinners and pray for God’s mercy upon our Country to bring salvation upon our land through our testimony and witnessing of the truth of Christ. This is God’s command for Christians living in America (Matthew 28:19). Can we do this, “…all things are possible with God.” (Matthew 19:26). So fear not, God is with us (Isaiah 41:10).

May God Bless you this day, David Howard, Foxhole Ministry, Billings, MT