Submitted by Pastor Richard Boettner, Rock Port Baptist Church
The world situation with a coronavirus pandemic has reminded us that we are a part of an inter-connected community where our actions do matter for all people of the world.
I think in the midst of these unusual days where isolation seems necessary we should remind ourselves that fear does not need to prevail and all the resources God has given us can help us overcome and not give up as we live by faith and trust in the already finished work of Jesus Christ.
I often see fear as the “red light” of the spirit just as pain is to the physical body. It reminds us that we are human, that we must face problems realistically and not in denial, and that our fallen world and God’s creation is tarnished by a sin problem that never really goes away. Thus we long for His presence in eternity, where we will see and experience His greatest complete and finished work.
Several passages of Scripture have helped me in recent days, and I want to pass them on to you by way of instruction, encouragement, and blessing.
God is not the author of fear but allows it to remind us that we need Him and to teach us wisdom as we live in an imperfect world. 2 Tim. 1:7: “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.”
If we do feel fear it can be a prompting of the Holy Spirit to change, to take a new precaution, or to recognize a new limit to our skills or abilities as we grow older. This will be different for each person, as some will easily overcome certain fears and others may stumble at the same task. 1 John 4:18 teaches us to excel in LOVE as “there is no fear in love, but perfect (complete or mature) love casts away fear.”
One of the side benefits of cancellations and messed up schedules these days is that we find new ways to demonstrate God’s love, and creative ways to stay connected in our relationships. We should avoid telling people to “just suck it up” or “just deal with it” when they may need sensitive, loving, and caring relationships that will help lasting growth take place.
Finally, let us recognize the presence of God who has not left us to ourselves but is very present. “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?” (Psalm 27:1). Light will always prevail over darkness. Salvation in Jesus Christ will always prevail over death. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
We have the promise of Jesus also that He will be with us until the end of this age (Matthew 28:20). Give your life to Jesus TODAY while there is still time, and find His peace, love and joy instead of struggling or merely coping with pointless fear.