Job said to her, “You’re talking like a foolish woman. Will we receive good from God but not also receive bad?” In all this, Job didn’t sin with his lips.Job 2:10 (CEB)
Greetings readers, I hope all is well with you. There are frightening headlines flying around right now, which is what motivated me to write a post on what’s going on (normally I’d want to avoid writing much on current events, but it’s relevant).
Are you worried about the Coronavirus? I’m not. And it’s not because I disregard how serious it is—it’s definitely serious, and even fatal for some who contract it. The most concerning thing about it is how long it takes before a person shows symptoms, yet they’re still contagious the whole time. Of course that means (as we all know by now) that people unknowingly spread the virus all around them, so how many cases are actually out there right now? We don’t know yet, but we know that they’re going to increase. By a lot. This is only the beginning phase of this outbreak, at least in the western world.
I don’t have any ideas to offer about how to contain, minimize, or fight this virus. That’s not my field. I’m basically resigned to catching this thing myself, based on the math. I stocked up on some food and supplies in case I do catch it or the supplies in the store run out. Now I should (hopefully) be ready to outlast two weeks of staying at home sick or two weeks of empty store shelves. That’s about all I plan on doing for now, rightly or wrongly. Today I heard that we should all stay at home to be as safe from this as possible and to reduce the transmission rate and number of cases.
Please believe me, I sympathize with any person who doesn’t have the means to buy two weeks of supplies at once, or who has to go out to work. I hope they’ll all be safe, and if they catch the virus I hope they’ll have a mild case (which is most of the cases). I understand that my prayers and sympathies don’t ease the disruption there will be in their lives, but it’s all I have to give.
I don’t mean to be insensitive, because I understand that many have more cause for anxiety than others (elderly, obese, smokers, existing health problems … and/or lack of health insurance), and if you know a victim then you don’t see this issue in terms of statistics. That being said, if you catch this virus you have good odds of surviving it. Although everything can change in a heartbeat, for now it seems the mortality rate is around three percent.
Because of that mortality rate, there’s no way that this virus can be related to one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, or even the final plagues of the End Times. If it were, there would be unbelievable amounts of death and a near 100% mortality rate. People would be dying in droves everywhere, and everyone would be at risk. As bad as Coronavirus is, it’s not on that level.
Fear Only God
But those aren’t the only reasons I’m not worrying. I’m a guy who leaves it all up to God. If it’s God’s will that I should catch Coronavirus, then I will. If it’s God’s will that I should die from it, then I will. There’s nothing I can do to stop, delay, or alter God’s will. I could try hunkering down at home, for example. But even if I do, whatever God wills to happen will happen, and there’s nothing I can do about that. The upside to that is, since there’s nothing I can do, there’s nothing to worry about! And there’s nowhere I can go to escape God’s wrath during the End Times, so I don’t need to feel anxiety about “escaping” somewhere in time either.
That is the freedom that comes from completely submitting to God’s will in our lives. Whatever is going to happen will happen. As for my attitude on dying? It’s like I said in my first End Times post. I don’t fear dying because I’m a Christian. I put all my faith in Jesus Christ and I repent my sins to Him. I’m trying my best to reform my life during these End Times and walk his difficult path. I have faith in Him and I know that all who believe in Him need not fear, because we will be united with Him for eternity and enjoy peaceful rest in heaven forevermore, our sins forgiven.
So … that being the case, I don’t see why a Christian should fear death in any way. Dying means being united with Christ—what’s scary about that? That’s something we want. So if you’re a Christian and you fear death, perhaps you should search your own conscience and examine your faith. Maybe you fear death because your conscience isn’t clear, or your faith isn’t as strong as it should be. Maybe you don’t have 100% faith in Jesus.
Those internal issues are the ones that are under your control, those are the things you can change. You can start addressing those issues right now by confessing and repenting to Lord Jesus Christ right now. I often bring up 1 John 1:9 on this blog, because it’s so true. If you put your faith in Him and confess, you will be forgiven. Read my recent post on that topic for more details.
But the bottom-line is this: Fear only God. It’s as Jesus said in Luke 12:4-5 (also in Matthew 10:28 if you prefer):
(4) “I tell you, my friends, don’t be terrified by those who can kill the body but after that can do nothing more. (5) I’ll show you whom you should fear: fear the one who, after you have been killed, has the authority to throw you into hell. Indeed, I tell you, that’s the one you should fear.Luke 12:4-5 (CEB)
Everyone knows that one day, each of us will die somehow. But as I said, we need not fear physical death if we’re saved Christians who have confessed our sins and we follow Christ to the best of our ability. The one we must fear is the one who will judge us after our physical death, the one and only judge of our soul. Getting right with that judge requires putting our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and confessing and repenting our sins. If we do that, the Holy Spirit within us will start guiding us towards living a life of following Christ’s teachings.
That kind of life glorifies God, since living that way produces the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-26). As a bonus, it’s a more fulfilling life in general.
So what I’m saying is, if you’re scared of Coronavirus or any other virus, besides following prudent advice to try and dodge the virus as best you can, and taking prudent, practical measures to prepare for it, the most important thing you can do is to get right with God in your heart. Confess and repent, as I’ve said many times on the blog. Proclaim your faith in Jesus. If you do that, you know you have nothing to fear, so you can stop being afraid. You can make whatever practical preparations you like on top of this—preparation is different from worry, anxiety, or fear. The point is to put your faith in Jesus and stop being afraid.
Remember the words of Philippians 4:
(6) Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. (7) Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7 (CEB)
Let go of all fear, and the peace of God follows.
Informing or Fearmongering?
On that note, what do you think about the media coverage of this virus? Do you think it’s fearmongering? Or is it justified? I don’t know, I’m asking you. Because I unplugged from the noise of that twenty-four hour cable news cycle sometime last year. Now I check news on my phone once a day or so.
Everyone knows about media fearmongering, that’s no secret. The media plays on people’s emotions nonstop, trying to incite their fear or anger or other emotions to keep them watching, and to make them think in certain ways. It’s definitely effective at getting clicks, views, and watch time. Fear sells, I guess, which is so unfortunate. But in a situation like this, which is frightening for so many, people want to know what they should do.
In a time of legitimate crisis such as now, the media has a vital role to play in getting accurate, useful information to the public. This situation is rapidly changing and involves a brand-new virus, and the infections have been increasing drastically and will continue to do so. These factors add to the danger of the situation, making fearful, apocalyptic, “the sky is falling” type stories more common as a result.
Don’t give in to fear. Don’t let the media or any other entity make you afraid. Go ahead and take note of the useful information and use it, and listen to the opinions of the actual experts. But don’t listen to random anchors or the endless lineup of pundits—what do they know? So many of them don’t have special skills or knowledge but are only there to fill airtime. They’re as clueless about this virus as anyone else. Don’t let anyone or anything make you afraid. If you’re afraid then your behavior is easy to influence.
And media fearmongering can release witchcraft against people. Causing fear is a classic sign of witchcraft. Even if the media personalities themselves don’t know what they’re doing, a spirit of fear can still travel through their frightening messages. If you knowingly or unknowingly accept the spirit of fear by giving in to fear, it will be difficult to shake the resulting supernatural fright. So remember the words of 2 Timothy 1:7. God didn’t give us a spirit of fear!
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)
Turn to God at times like this, entrust all to His hands. This outbreak wouldn’t be happening in the first place if He hadn’t allowed it. We know from the book of Job that God will sometimes allow Satan to cause mayhem for some purpose. I’m not saying that’s what happened here, but I am saying it’s possible. We don’t know or understand God’s plans; His plans are not our plans (Isaiah 55:8). But since as Christians we have no need to fear the second death, relax and try to dodge the virus as best you can while keeping the faith and letting this play out.
“Will we receive good from God but not also receive bad?”
God is good all the time, remember that. Nothing happens in this world without God either allowing it or causing it. Everything was foreseen by Him and proceeds according to His will. We know from the book of Job that God will take the tragedy out of a situation and turn it to good, all for His own glory and purposes. His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). We can’t see the big picture that He can.
Perhaps this is all coming to an amazing, unforeseen, happy conclusion and we don’t know it yet. Even if it doesn’t, there is still a purpose for it.
And even if things look bad for now, remember how God has already blessed you in the past, and stay grateful. We all have something to be grateful for in our lives (think about those things and list them out), and all those things come from God. Just because God blessed us for a time doesn’t mean He will bless us forever. He intends to try us through adversity too—it makes us stronger.
Even at his lowest, Job still remembered his previous blessings. Let’s read Job 2, when Job refuses to curse God for his torments. Job 2:10 is one of my favorite verses in the whole Bible: “Will we receive good from God but not also receive bad?”
(7) The Adversary departed from the LORD’s presence and struck Job with severe sores from the sole of his foot to the top of his head. (8) Job took a piece of broken pottery to scratch himself and sat down on a mound of ashes. (9) Job’s wife said to him, “Are you still clinging to your integrity? Curse God, and die.” (10) Job said to her, “You’re talking like a foolish woman. Will we receive good from God but not also receive bad?” In all this, Job didn’t sin with his lips.Job 2:7-10 (CEB)
There are good times and bad in our life, ups and downs. Times of sickness and health, poverty and prosperity. Triumph and tragedy. How can we even appreciate the good without knowing the bad? Life wouldn’t even be interesting if it was nothing but good days anyway! And God never promised us a perfect life free of troubles. Not since Adam and Eve got kicked out of Eden. We must obediently accept the bad (not accepting it makes it more painful for us to bear) and endure it, while never forgetting our gratitude for the good that God has blessed us with before.
It’s not easy to do this, especially during times of painful tragedy. But if we can do it, if we can endure our suffering with an ever-grateful heart, then God will bless us again like He did in the epilogue of the book of Job.
Keep the faith and stay grateful! If God blessed you once (He surely did somehow, think it over), He will do it again. And this storm too shall pass. The Coronavirus won’t be a danger forever. It’s not one of the plagues of the End Times … I’m grateful for that even if you’re not!
God’s Will Be Done
That’s about all I’ve got to say.
I’m not denying the Coronavirus is dangerous and highly contagious, but I fear only God, so I’m not concerned. I live with the peace of mind that comes from trusting God completely. If it’s God’s will that I should contract the Coronavirus, then let His will be done. I will accept it for what it is. And even if I should lose people, I know that they’re being spared the pain of the End Times.
But until that happens I will continue to give thanks each day for the blessing of my good physical health. Of course I hope for that blessing to last forever, but that isn’t for me to decide and I’m okay with that.
This doesn’t mean it’s unfaithful to prepare. There’s nothing wrong with taking prudent measures to avoid the virus to the best of your ability. If you can manage to isolate yourself from human contact (which is sort of the only way to avoid it for sure until it starts dying down) and have the means to do so, then go ahead. Pray on it and do what you feel is wisest.
But regardless of what you can or can’t do, be thankful for the blessing of your life and grateful for every new day, both good and bad. You never know when your life will be taken from you, or how. There’s no need to fear Coronavirus, because we should fear only God. Trust in the LORD at times like this, and pray for deliverance.
But if you want to be as prepared as possible, then in addition to whatever else you plan on doing, get right with God in your heart. Confess your sins to Lord Jesus Christ, proclaim your faith in Him. Repent. Change your ways. Now is the time to do so. Events such as the Coronavirus outbreak should make the urgency of doing so clear enough, but don’t let them make you afraid.
Our God did not give us a spirit of fear, and Jesus is always with us (Matthew 28:20). Don’t ever be afraid.
Until next time, be strong and do good!
Your new best friend in Christ,
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