In times of trouble, remember to have faith
Wow! Has life taken a weird turn in the past few weeks. But what are people of faith to think about the COVID-19 pandemic? Is this a sign of Christ’s return? Is this God’s wrath on the world? Those are questions I’ve been getting since we’ve all been called to “shelter in place.”
First, Jesus said that there would be signs of his coming again and they would be like birth pains coming on a woman about to give birth. In other words, they will be increase in intensity and frequency. But he also said about those signs in Luke 21:9, “…When you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once.”
Although Jesus spoke about the increasing sign of his coming, he also said the end will not happen right away and then he said his followers must be ready because he will come at an hour that no one expects.
So what’s the Christian to do in light of the fact that Christ is coming for his church? And how should we respond as we see these things?
Jesus answered those questions, Luke 21:28; “Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Straighten up because the day of the Lord is near, in other words, examine your faith. Are you walking in the Spirit or in the flesh? If the Lord returned today would he find you slumbering or awake?
Next, the believer is not to worry, sure we live wisely and protect ourselves and do all the things that help bring down the curve on the COVID-19 virus. But when we buy into the mentality of hoarding toilet paper or buying guns, we’ve bought into the mindset of unbelief whereas the Christian is to live by faith.
So how should the Christian respond when the natural inclination might be to hoard up and bunker in? The prescription for times of trouble is simple and found throughout the Bible. Jesus said in Matthew 6:25; “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” He said look at birds and how God provides for them and you are worth much more than a bird.
So how do we apply what the Lord said about not being anxious? The most practical scripture for times of worry is found in Philippians 4. Verse 6-7 says; “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Instead of being anxious be prayerful. Pray for yourself, intercede for others, pray about the pandemic but don’t forgetting to be thankful for your blessings. And the promise is; Peace from God that guards your emotions and your thoughts. That text continues with what we should place our thoughts on.
To paraphrase of V8-9; “Think about things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, or worthy of praise. Practice your faith and the God of peace will be with you.” Instead of filling your mind with the daily news, fill it with the good things God has given us, and the promise is that God will abide with you.
Are you feeling overwhelmed these days? First, if you have not come to faith in Christ, consider the Lord Jesus and his claims. When you trust him, he promises his presence and his peace as we look for his return.
Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.