Coronavirus struck. Panic and fear infected the entire world.
How should we as Christians respond to this global crisis?
Is God involved at all? Or is he silent? Do we have a Biblical answer to the crisis of the Coronavirus?
God’s people throughout history have faced many such crises! Psalm 106 gives a history of God’s people experiencing various calamities. Each time they cried out to God and he heard them and relieved them from their troubles.
King Jehoshaphat heard of a massive army coming up against him and God’s people. “Alarmed, he resolved to inquire of the Lord.” He called for a day of fasting and prayer. Then before the crowds, he cried out to the Lord, reminding him of his sovereign power and recalling the pledge of God’s people: “If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple…and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.” 2 Chronicles 20:3,9.
Abraham, Moses, David, and Daniel among many others all experienced terrible circumstances, but when they cried out to the Lord on behalf of the people, they saw the deliverance of the Lord.
Looking closely at the content of prayers of God’s appointed leaders, we find two elements that are common to almost all the prayers — humility before God and repentance.
God is not silent. He speaks inside the storm and whispers to those who have ears to hear, like Elijah and Samuel. He says: “If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear.. forgive their sins, and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14.
Is it possible that the Lord is seeking to draw us close to him, to depend on him and cry out to him in a spirit of humility and repentance, before he can heal our land? May we repent from our hedonism, materialism, skepticism and outright rebellion against God! May we turn away from fear and exercise faith and our authority to preach the gospel, calling the lost to Jesus!
Fear is not from God, faith is.
Does having faith mean we should ignore the imminent danger and expose ourselves to the disease? Not at all. It does mean, however, that we need to trust the Lord as we take necessary precautions and not get into a panic mode. Let us truly trust God’s control and power, and surrender our lives to him.
Our response to any crisis should be different than the response of unbelievers. Why? It’s because we have hope in God’s promises, one of which is this:
Psalm 91:5,6 “You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.”
As Christians, we need to model to the world our peaceful and serene response to the crisis of the Coronavirus. Remembering James 1:3 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”
Paul exhorts us: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! …The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-6
Let us cry out to the Lord and let us exhort each other with encouraging and comforting scriptures that lift our spirits and cause us to rejoice in all circumstances. This is a big opportunity to minister to others who are fearful or sick.
With you in Christ
Georges Houssney, President, Horizons International.
Horizons is using this time to respond to those most impacted by the health crisis, by implementing the Coronavirus Emergency Relief Fund. We are continuing to bring the love of Christ to those who are impacted by this crisis in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa—and you can join us.