As the corona virus situation began to unfold, I would like to say that faith was my first response, but it was not. Just the threat of shut downs caused a lot of anxiety in me. It was as if I was holding my breath to see what would come next. Each new restriction seemed like more change than I could handle. On top of that, I was feeling so guilty for the fear that was gripping my heart. I desired to be firm in my faith and trust in God during these challenging times, but I didn’t seem to be able to live out that desire. I had thoughts like…
I know better than to be fearful like this.
If you were a strong Christian, then you wouldn’t be afraid.
You’ll never help anyone if you keep being afraid.
These thoughts were so real to me and I felt so ashamed. I tried to reset myself and fix it on my own, but it wasn’t working.
Through some wise counsel, I was reminded that – God doesn’t give us grace so we can stay where we are at. He gives us grace so that we can become who we are supposed to be.
This statement brought understanding to my tired mind and soul. I felt like I could finally see that it was okay to be where I was at, but that God was waiting for me to receive his grace so that I could become who I was meant to.
Romans 8:1 – “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
2 Corinthians 5:17-19, 21 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation… God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
God’s grace gives me the freedom to move past my failures, and to choose faith instead of fear.
If you find yourself in unwanted fear, I encourage you to repent and receive God’s grace. These times certainly expose the idols in our lives and help us to see the things we have trusted in apart from God, thus calling for repentance and humility. Don’t try to fix yourself and hide from your need for God’s grace.
After you repent, seek the truth in God’s word. Pray and ask God to help you find the truth so that you can stand firm in your faith. Be humble and ask God for wisdom. Praise God and stay thankful. Put your hope and trust in God by fixing your eyes on the unseen and eternal. Then, trust God to help you respond in faith (instead of fear) in the days ahead.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 – “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
God will make a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19) We can be confident that this will all work out for the good of those who love God. (Romans 8:28)
When we are grounded in truth and grace, we can share the hope we have with others. Our hope is that, though we were dead in sin, Jesus became sin for us so that we would have grace to become the righteousness of God.
Keep meditating on God’s word day and night (Joshua 1:8) so that you stay full of the truth. We need the fullness of God’s truth to counteract the negativity, fear, and discouragement that is all around us.
I also want to encourage you – don’t stop believing God for the things you have been praying for this year. Keep believing God for salvation for your loved ones or provision for a home. God is faithful and he can work out these desires of our heart even in the midst of this global situation.
Lord, we thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for your mercy that helps us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16). Forgive us for responding in fear. Thank you for the grace to become who we are called to be. We need you, heavenly Father, to help us stand firm in faith. Strengthen us as we put our hope and our confidence in you. Guide us into all truth (John 16:13). Amen.