I woke up and my heart was heavy. It’s been a long few weeks here in Washington State, which is (or was) the U.S. epicenter of the Coronavirus. As my brain awakened past the sleepy fog, I was burdened by the inevitable drama of the news, consuming topic of conversations, and impact on everyone’s lives, including my own.
I pulled out my Bible and opened to Psalms. I’m going through them consecutively, and Psalm 112 couldn’t have been a more perfect passage.
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous… He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.Psalm 112:4&7
We’re being overwhelmed with bad news every day, multiple times a day right now. The bad news seems never-ending. It’s easy to start to feel anxious, stressed, and depressed by the effects that are happening in my own life and all over the world. I’m a ballet teacher and a dancer, and I won’t be working or dancing for potentially a month and a half. I’m concerned for people who are vulnerable. I fear what will happen. There are so many unknowns.
But I was SO encouraged by this reminder that those of us who’ve put our faith and trust in Jesus don’t have to be afraid.
so the bad news is…
A lot of thoughts have been going through my head, but one in particular I keep thinking about:
Ultimately, we have zero control over this situation, and that freaks us out. But then again, we’ve never had control in the first place!!
It may be the twenty-first century, we may have the most advanced technology yet, we may be interconnected with people across the planet like never before, we may decide what college we go to, or where to work, or what passions we pursue, or the friends we have, but we really aren’t in control of our own destinies. We have no way of knowing if tomorrow we will wake up to a new day, or how long we’ll live, or if we’ll keep our job, or if a tragedy will strike. There are no guarantees.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.James 4:13-14
This virus only emphasizes the fact that we don’t have control.
…but there is GOOD NEWS
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”Luke 2:10-11
When Jesus lived a perfect life as the Son of God, died bearing our every wrongdoing, and was risen to life by the Father, we gained access to an unshakable hope, totally independent of our failures and circumstances.
Romans 10:9 says, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
This is GOOD NEWS. Every horrible tragedy we are impacted by, the greatest pain we feel, the most horrid mistake we make, are all completely covered by Jesus Christ’s perfection and sacrifice when we repent of our sin and surrender our lives to God by faith in Him. We have the promise of life after death with this incomprehensibly amazing Savior, and that salvation is truly the greatest security.
If you haven’t placed your faith, hope, and trust in the Lord, I’m praying you will, because there is no greater joy!!!
the hope we have
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.1 Peter 1:13
If bad news so quickly goes viral, how much more should we be squirming out of our seats to share this AMAZING Good News?! Especially in the midst of a scary time, when we’re all feeling frightened, and people who don’t have their hope placed in Jesus are panicking.
Hope is a strength…not a weakness. When we have this ultimate hope–this promise–that is secure and fully dependent on God, we don’t have to worry (Hebrews 10:23).
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.Romans 12:12
No matter what’s going on in life–such as the globally-impacting Coronavirus–we can rest assured in Christ. We should:
- be patient
- pray constantly
It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to be itching to get back to normal life. It’s okay to cry out to God in prayer with gut-wrenching angst. But our initial reactions as believers shouldn’t end there.
We have this eternal hope. So many people need Jesus–ALL people need Christ so desperately, and a horrific pandemic like this could be the wake up call they need to see their mortality, and be found.
I admit there have been moments when I’ve felt hopeless. When the future is so uncertain, it feels sort of unnerving. But then I have to take my eyes off of the circumstances around me, which have never been certain in the first place! All of our tomorrows are a mystery.
Instead, I have to look to CHRIST as my hope. It’s only when I shift my gaze that I remember this life doesn’t define my security. Even if the worst happens, Jesus saves. I have no need to fear–in fact, He says not to be fearful! (Isaiah 41:10) He saved me from eternal misery and isolation from God. He’s filled me with joy that’s unexplainable.
We have so much to rejoice in, no matter what we face.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.2 Thessalonians 3:16