There has been a lot (a lot) said and done regarding the coronavirus and the differing responses and decisions being made across the world. I don’t feel prepared enough to get into a discussion about how I personally feel about all of it, but there are a few things I’ve felt I should say. I don’t believe in over-responding, but I believe there are only two options that a follower of Jesus has, when it come to the thing the world fears. And only one of them is the right answer.
First of all, the Bible is very clear on God’s response to any illness, regardless of its severity. There’s no virus or bacterium that is stronger than His ability to silence it. Here are just a handful of the countless verses on God’s will and ability to heal disease:
You shall serve the Lord your God, and he will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you. (Exodus 23:25)
For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast: ‘It is Zion, for whom no one cares!’ (Jeremiah 30:17)
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24)
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4–5)
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
We’re pretty much covered on that front. There is no disease, virus, infection or damage that is outside of His dominion and control. That’s only half of the equation, when it comes to the world’s response to this virus. It is something far more damaging and much more difficult to eradicate: fear. Much of the response from people can be described as panic-stricken. Disaster and death and economic collapse are certain!
The Christian is not allowed that kind of response. You want to go down that way, open that door? Go right ahead, that’s your decision. Just know you won’t find God there.
The Bible is also clear-cut on God’s expectations when it comes to fear:
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)
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. (Philippians 4:6–7)
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
You came near when I called on you; you said, ‘Do not fear!’ (Lamentations 3:57)
“But whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” (Proverbs 1:33)
There’s nothing on walking in fear or operating on a constant fear setting. Every time an angel appears, they say, with insistence “Fear not!”
If the Lord has disease covered and expects us not to be afraid, then that’s the only option we really have!
But what about when world governments make decisions that may indicate that there really is a problem?
What if they make decisions that feel wrong, even in response to what they fear (there’s that word again…) may have severe repercussions if they don’t act?
What do we do when corrupt and evil governments lie, hurt their own people, and hide their wrongdoings?
Daniel answered and said:
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
to whom belong wisdom and might.
He changes times and seasons;
he removes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those who have understanding.” (Daniel 2:20–21)
For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations. (Psalm 22:28)
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18)
That is just about every field covered.
Disease? Handled thoroughly.
Fear? Don’t do it, He’s got you.
Governments? No matter what they do or don’t do, He’s the boss.
With all these things completely under the authority of God, choosing to fear isn’t just silly, it’s sinful. Be wise, take care of your family, do all the good things! Just don’t choose fear. That is what the world does. That’s a door that leads to nothing but evil.
If there are two doors, a Christian can only choose the one that says: Don’t be afraid!
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (1 Timothy 1:7)