“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, ESV)
The light always shines brightest in the darkest night. While we are certainly better off than at other times in history when tough times came, over the past week we’ve gone from freely moving about, living our normal mostly carefree lives, to now being limited to gatherings of no more than ten people. We’ve even created new language to guide how we are to interact: “Social distancing.”
Every news channel, every story on every news channel; heck, every Facebook post is somehow driven by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The truth is, there is a new normal, at least for this week. Everything is changing by the hour. You don’t need me to tell you that. But here’s what I would share with you. Don’t be afraid.
I believe God has given us an opportunity for a reset. A resetting of priorities. A week ago, about all some guys could talk about was sports. Not this week. A week ago, I was going to the gym minding my own business. Not this week. I am adapting and adjusting, just like you.
I would like to offer some things to consider. With fewer distractions, I believe Christians have a divine opportunity to re-focus where it really matters. First, through prayer. God answers prayer and without it, nothing will change. With prayer, the Coronavirus will be overwhelmed, it will end sooner rather than anyone realizes, and the economy will quickly recover.
Second, we have an opportunity to spend time reading the Word of God. “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17, ESV). Faith brings assurance that God is on the move, and that assurance gives us peace. Unless faith fills the void, fear will dominate. Our thoughts are the avenues upon which our lives travel. Let’s fill our hearts, minds and mouths with the Word of God, and together we will see the virus come to an end.
The Bible describes the church as the hope of the world, the most powerful agent on earth. Why? Because we have the Spirit of God living inside. In fact, God has given such power to the church that, His Word says, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18, ESV).
In uncertain times, we may be certain of one very important truth: “I the Lord do not change.” (Malachi 3:6, ESV). The Bible also assures us that, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8, ESV). You can depend on the promises of God to faithfully see you through. I encourage you to put your trust in Him today.
Finally, just breathe, and be at peace. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15, ESV). Just as the Son of God was with the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace (See Daniel 3) and the smell of smoke wasn’t even found on them, He is with you, too.
More next week!
Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.