The news is in an uproar over the Corona virus and its possible worldwide spread. There seem to be two different ways of thinking. One is to be in a panic over it and the other is to downplay its severity. These are natural human responses, but as Christians there is a much better option and that is to trust God. Whether it will prove to be a major threat or a minor one, the right response is to look to Jesus and trust Him for protection as well as direction for what actions to take. Trusting God does not mean we do not take practical steps to wash hands and quarantine, but our trust for deliverance is in God–not simply in what we might choose to do to protect ourselves.
One person stated that while they do not think it will be serious they wonder if it is a practice run for a much more serious virus, which may surface in the future. I would add that the present test could be to see if we really will trust and believe that God is in control of viruses as well as everything else! The Bible is full of admonitions not to fear, and since He is Almighty and Sovereign, He is the reason we don’t need to! According to one health guru, being fearful actually weakens our immune system and makes us even more vulnerable to virus attacks.
Trusting God is not putting our head in the sand like the ostrich and pretending everything will automatically come out all right. Instead it includes being fully aware and informed of the danger, but taking it to the Lord with faith in His ability to protect us and/or knock out any form of danger. I am disappointed that our president hasn’t called the nation to prayer to fulfill our national motto of “In God We Trust,” but I was inspired by seeing the team from the White House under the direction of Vice President Mike Pence praying before one of their recent strategy meetings.
If (or as) the virus becomes increasingly serious, we need to be more active in prayer for God’s help. Recently, I was reminded of the many examples of people who put their faith in God by reading or reciting the 91st Psalm and the miraculous results that came as a result. A regiment on the front lines in World War I went four years with no casualties. Every soldier recited the 91st Psalm each day. Another was the story of a group of 400 soldiers during WWII who were being strafed on the beach at Dunkirk and as they shouted the 91st Psalm they “came away without a scratch.” The 91st Psalm is not a mantra, but it does help us keep our trust in God as He is the one who protects and helps us.
Here are some key verses for our present situation from Psalm 91:1-10:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. 5 You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. 9 Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— 10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. (ESV)
Another Psalm that helps us keep our eyes on the Lord in faith is Psalm 46.
1-3 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help [Or abundantly available for help] in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
6-7 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
10-11 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” 11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah ESV
Selah means “stop and take it in” (or is a music rest). The Sabbath is a time to stop and take in how powerful God is and rest in His ability to care for His people in the midst of chaos and/catastrophe. The contrast between Christians who are trusting God and therefore can be calm in the midst of trouble and the world wringing its hands in panic or turning to a false God called government, shows the light of Christ in a dark world. Keep this Sabbath in faith. Since God is in control we can enjoy peace and rest!
With love to each of you and in faith.