The COVID-19 pandemic has placed most families, businesses, and other organizations in crisis mode. Business as usual is not happening. While most of the world reacts in fear, Christian believers should stand out as different. But how? What does “crisis mode” look like for believers?
The health risks we face as a result of COVID-19 are real. But the results of fear are much broader. If one could quantify things, the impact of fear is being shown to be much greater than the direct impact of the virus. That does not minimize the direct health threats, but it should cause all believers to remember Jesus’ gift of peace:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Embracing His peace does not mean ignoring risks or acting recklessly. It does mean that you and I have something more real to base our lives on than the temporary nature of today’s environment and economy.
So, three things believers should DO in this (or any) crisis.
Yes, doing everything you can to keep your body healthy becomes extra important. Eat as healthy a diet as you can. Get adequate rest. Exercise outdoors in the sunshine when possible. Take wise precautions.
But perhaps even more important is the nourishment your mind receives. A constant diet of negativity does not serve you or anyone around you well. Paying extra attention to the diet your mind receives will allow you to be more resilient during this time.
Just a few years ago we learned of “big” news once or twice a day, if that. Today that can be 24/7. Our human minds were not created for that constant barrage of anxiety-producing news of human tragedy.
So here are a few actions to recommend
- Limit your news consumption. If that’s twice a day, fine. Decide in advance how often you will “check in.” Don’t keep the news on 24/7! And that goes for social media too.
- Feed your mind good things. Be intentional in the mental/emotional/spiritual nourishment you take in. Make it uplifting, positive, and godly. Entertainment has its place; it’s like mental fast food. Just make sure you also take in more deeply nourishing content.
- Stay connected. While some churches have decided to suspend in-person services, that doesn’t mean they are closing! You and I need each other. Use the phone. Reach out and touch someone personally using one or more of the multitude of digital means available.
The body of Christ has a long history of acting with compassion during times of crisis. The earliest hospitals were often started and run by Christians. Early believers were known for rescuing unwanted newborn infants abandoned to the elements. During the “black death” epidemics that destroyed much of Europe, Christians often stayed behind and ministered to the sick and dying while risking their own lives.
What does that look like for you in the midst of this pandemic? Let the Holy Spirit be your guide. Remember that God does not use fear to motivate, and yet He never asks you to take on a job in your own strength. He must be the One to place the burden on your heart.
While much of the world acts with selfishness, greed, and self-preservation, remember that Jesus gave Himself. And as His followers we must give of ourselves as well.
That may mean calling an elderly friend or neighbor to check on them. It may mean delivering needed food or other essentials to someone under quarantine, or who is ill. It may mean offering digital community to others during this time of social distancing. Pray and ask, “Lord, what would You have me to do?”
Keep the End in Mind
Remember that none of this is a surprise to God. Our nation and our world have faced huge tragedies in the past, and we will face them again. Here in North America we are not used to suffering; not since at least WWII have we faced something as dangerous and all-encompassing as we face now.
It’s in these dark times that the light of God’s people should shine brightest. While we acknowledge the very real risks, we also know the end of the story. And let me remind you that the end is not millions dying as a result of this pandemic (even if that unlikely event does happen).
The end of the story is this; Jesus wins!
This world is not our home. While we work as hard as we can to eliminate human suffering and to stay alive ourselves, our human lives here are only a moment in light of eternity.
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
Keep your eyes on eternity! If you are right with God, the end of this earthly life is only the beginning of the most glorious part of your existence!
No Fear Here
Fear can rear its ugly head in your soul at a moment’s notice. It’s important to fortify your mind during these challenging times.
You can get our 40-day email devotional series Freedom from Fear and Anxiety. (If you’ve been through this series in the past, contact me and I’ll restart it for you.)
This email series will put God’s word in your mind each morning, along with a prayer you can pray out loud.
May you experience a supernatural level of God’s peace and wisdom, knowing that He knows and cares about you!
Your Turn: Have you battled fear in recent days over COVID-19? How are you going to embrace the peace that Jesus promised even in the midst of trouble? Leave a comment below.
Tweetables: why not share this post?
- You, your family, your workplace, your church are probably in crisis mode. What should believers in Jesus do during crisis mode? It’s not to respond in fear. But here are three things you SHOULD do. Tweet that.