“Fear” – it’s the word we’ve all heard a lot lately about people’s reaction to the coronavirus. Perhaps we’ve struggled with this very reaction ourselves. How quickly our lives have been turned upside down by an illness we’d barely heard of three months ago.
Fear seems to come as natural to us humans as eating or sleeping. The ability to feel fear is encoded in our DNA. We’ve all felt it, and perhaps you feel it this very moment. Our grandparents felt it when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Our parents felt it during the Cuban Missile Crisis and you may have felt it when the Twin Towers fell in 2001. Even David in the Old Testament book of Psalms stated, “When I am afraid…” (Psalm 56:3). David – described by God as a “man after my own heart” – felt fear!
Because of this pandemic, we have many reasons to fear – fear of losing our jobs, fear of losing our health, even fear of dying. BUT, if you are a child of God, you have been given the means of conquering your fears, not through your own effort or power, but through God’s power. You see, even though the psalmist David admitted he was afraid, he went on to write, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you (God). In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid” (Psalm 56:3-4).
Throughout scripture, God gives us assurance that we need not fear:
Isaiah 41:10 – “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.”
Psalm 23:4 – “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
Philippians 4:6-7 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
John 14:27 – “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.”
1 Peter 5:7 – “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
Yes, feeling fear is natural for all of us. But God asks us to trust in His goodness. The world may look like it’s crashing down all around us, but our God is in total, absolute control of all that goes on in this world. God is surprised by nothing and nothing takes Him off guard. The Christian life is not an easy one, but when we walk through deep waters and dark valleys…and pandemics…God, through His Son Jesus Christ, has promised to walk along side us. Take comfort in that fact in these troubling times. I do…
Tim Carman is an Elder at Amazing Grace Bible Church in Kahoka, MO.