Many people are dealing badly with the coronavirus restrictions. Even religious folk are having a hard time of it. Just because someone is religious, doesn’t mean they have faith and are able to cope with afflictions when they come crashing down on the head.
From a man who taught fear and reverence of God to the people of Israel, whose comfort was in ritual rather than in true relationship with the Creator, comes this jewel:
If you fall apart during a crisis, then you weren’t very strong to begin with, Proverbs 24.10 VOICE.
How can we deal better with crises like the present one, when they come along? Here are four vital pathways to follow.
1. Rejoice that God is sovereign
The Lord is in control of all that happens and of all people who have ever been born or who ever will be.
Our God is a God who delivers; the Lord, the Sovereign Lord, can rescue from death. Psalm 68.20 NET
When we know that God is in control, we are able to surrender our lives to him. We worry about what we cannot control. If that is not a useless activity, tell me what is!
2. Be assured that God is good and cares for you
You are good and do only good; teach me your decrees, Psalm 119.68 NLT.
Satan wants to use suffering and trials to convince us that God really is not good. At the same time, many believe God is good and loving, but maybe he just doesn’t love them.
Or maybe we are in a panic about the pandemic because we haven’t put ourselves in a position to experience fully God’s love for us. How do we do that? Read what the Lord Jesus said:
Jesus replied: If anyone loves me, he will obey me. Then my Father will love him, and we will come to him and live in him, John 14.23 CEVr.*
So it is not that God does not love us. It is not that he does not desire to bless us. The problem is that we have not loved him properly. We must obey him. Then he will love us — he will be able to demonstrate his love toward us by living in us and bringing his blessing. To obey Christ, start here.
3. Stay away from the world’s subjects
Stay away from those who talk about useless worldly things. That kind of talk will lead a person more and more away from God, 2 Timothy 2.16 ICB.
That’s why Paul told Timothy to stick with the Word of God.
Our problem is that we are wrapped up in the world’s concerns. We read about them too much. We talk too much about this world and too little about the next. We run after them along with worldly people! Matthew 6.32. The world is going to do what the world is going to do, that is, it is going to pursue its own interests, passions, and desires, distant from God.
What to do? Disconnect from the world, from its media, from its voices, from its arguments. And do what in place of that? See now:
4. Meditate on God’s Word
In it are truth and power. These come to use when we appropriate its meaning to our lives. This is done by reading, memorization, study, and meditation.
Paul wrote to Timothy about his work and then said,
Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this, 2 Timothy 2.7 NIV.
Paul wanted him to ponder, consider, “think over with care” (BDAG) about how his words should be understood and applied.
His inspired words and all of Scripture deserve our careful consideration as well. Then we will become wise in God’s wisdom and powerful as his servants.
The Good News is God’s power to save, Romans 1.16. That power not only saves once or eternally, but today, for every need we have to remained safe and sound in Christ and to serve effectively to eternal effect.
*My revision of CEV. Obedience is individual and this truth ought not to get blurred by politically correct language throwing everything into a plural construct.