In times of crisis, some people panic because they are concerned about their well being, and their future. This is natural.
As Christians we are often asked ‘If there is a God, why is this happening?’ HOW we respond in these times is very important to how people view our faith, and even how we cope with our own beliefs about God and His purpose.
There is ample Biblical evidence that sometimes God directly intervenes in world affairs, (think Noah and the flood) and sometimes God lets things happen naturally. God is not cruel, however often mankind suffers under the consequences of our own actions so that we might look for answers and signs of His presence. This is one of those times. God has always given signs throughout the generations, some are big signs, some are small. But we are told this will happen…because we need reminders, yellow flags as it were, to the situation that is unfolding on this earth so that we might be compelled to look for truth and answers in the Bible. Every generation has them, our current generation has had many.
Christ speaks to this very kind of event in Matt 24 and Luke 21. Passages that we know well.
Matthew 24:6-8 “And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled, for all this must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines and plagues, and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are the beginning of birth pains.”
So Christ is telling us that in the last days, or those days near to the time of his return – we will see, among other things, famines and plagues. The current pandemic of COVID-19 could certainly fall under that term. It is an airborne-delivered virus, that is highly contagious and dangerous to many and fatal to some demographics.
Christ also speaks of this in Luke 21 vs 25 about “people fainting for fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world.”
We see this happening today. Overcrowded grocery stores with panicked shoppers stocking up on basic supplies. News articles of line ups at gun stores. What are people fearing? Health, Jobs, Finances, Loved ones and more. These are things related to our future. People are afraid of the future being threatened in some way because of what is happening, and so we panic because we have no tangible answers to allay these fears.
We pray these signs are causing people to look for answers, and the Bible can give us answers to help calm these fears of the future.
In any crisis – panic is pointless and blame does nothing to help. The best way to stay calm is to know that God has a plan with this world and has promised a future for us that is free from pain, suffering and fear. And His plan will resolve the issues we see in this world today. In the interim as followers of Christ, we continue to love our neighbours, show compassion for others, and by our example do what we can to minimize the negative effects. Showing calm, faithful resolve will be a powerful example of our understanding of Gods plan.
Jeremiah 29:11-12 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.”
And this is the reason that we suffer through these trials – like the current pandemic. So that we will learn to rely on God, and that we might not be drawn to the temporary solutions of this life – but look to something greater.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
So when these things come upon us – lets not resort to the fear and panic, but be reminded that in the moment when we reflect on our future, we might think ‘there must be something more to life than this” and KNOW that God is not willing that ANY should perish – but that we should come to a knowledge of who He is.
There is a greater purpose with us and this earth – and hopefully this causes all of us to look for answers in the Bible. Let’s share the peace we have in Jesus Christ, so that people might know the truth, and it might set them free.
“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