By Stewart Holloway
Do you live in fear or faith?
COVID-19 has revealed a spirit of fear in America and the world. The financial markets have plummeted, store shelves are going bare, schools are shutting down, and sporting events are banning spectators. I am no scientist or medical doctor, however, I do have common sense. This reaction is madness. “Breaking news: one more person in the world has contracted the virus.” One in the WORLD? That’s not breaking news.
If this disease can be prevented by washing your hands and is only dangerous to people to whom the flu and pneumonia are already dangerous, we need to calm down. Should we be practical to prevent spread, yes. But we have no reason to live in fear. Christians, could we start setting an example of what it means to live by faith and not by fear?
Psalm 34 is one of the most powerful passages in the Bible on dealing with fear. King David wrote this psalm when he was pretending to be insane to protect himself. Since many people are being truly insane to protect themselves from
COVID-19, we need to hear these truths today. These truths can also help if you are dealing with some rational fears today.
- Praise frames our prayers when our circumstances are uncertain. David says, “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” Praise causes us to focus on the greatness of God. If He is greatly to be praised, He is greater than anything you will face.
- God is good and answers when we seek Him. David testifies, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. . . .This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Instead of turning to the media hype, turn to the Lord. Turn off the television, close out social media, and get on your knees in prayer. When you rise, you will have peace.
- The person who fears God fears nothing else, but the person who does not fear God fears everything. David encourages, “Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.” Stand in awe of God, instead of some disease made in China.
- God will deliver you. David declares, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. . . .The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.” Trust in God!
As we continue to get news on this disease, please be practical and prayerful instead of panicked. Walk in faith and not fear. If you are a follower of Christ, would you show those around you what this means? Lead by example. Live by faith.
Stewart Holloway is pastor of First Baptist Church in Pineville. This editorial first appeared on his blog.