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In the midst of the state of emergency due to concerns about the COVID-19, it is understandable to have a sense of fear. However, should a Christian be afraid of the Corona virus?
In the Bible we find answers, wisdom and hope in such a time as this. God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He promises us that He is with us always and in all situations (Matthew 28:20). Let us then look to the Bible for these promises and words of wisdom during this time.
God commands His people to “fear not” many times in the Bible. The fact that it is constantly repeated in both the Old and New Testament should be a reminder that the Lord knows the fears we face and is bigger and stronger than any of them. Consider the following “fear not” verses God speaks to His people:
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10).
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (1 Timothy 1:7).
It may seem easy to say not to fear, but God gives us the recipe to eliminate fear and gain His peace.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3).
Based on these verses, we should not fear because God is with us and will help us. He desires to give us peace and a sound mind as we put our trust in Him.
As we reduce fear, we are then able to think more clearly and make better decisions in order to live in such a way that God can speak to us, bless us and guide us into right choices which can prevent illness and disease.
The Bible and Disease Prevention
When the Israelites came out of Egypt, God promised that He would not bring the diseases of the Egyptians upon them if they obeyed His word (Exodus 15:26). Today we can learn many helpful things from the wisdom on disease that God gave His people.
- Good hygiene- God taught about hand washing long before scientists understood it as essential in disease prevention. He explicitly told His people that when they are possibly exposed to disease, they were to wash their hands, clothes and body (Leviticus 15:11).
- Sanitation- The following verse also shares that one should discard of disposable material if contaminated and clean hard surfaces to prevent disease (Leviticus 15:12).
- Avoiding others when sick- Those who are sick should remain isolated from others during their time of illness until well after they are recovered in order to ensure they are no longer contagious. They should also adhere to good hygiene and cleansing before coming into contact with others (Leviticus 15:13).
God’s Promises of Deliverance
God gave His faithful people the promise of deliverance from pestilence, or in other words, a deadly epidemic disease. Because God does not change, we should not fear that He will fail us now.
The promises shared in Psalm 91 are both comforting and encouraging.
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence… Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday… Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling” (Psalm 91: 1-3, 5-6, 9-10).
Conditions of Promises
While God does give us promises of deliverance, it should be noted that these promises are conditional. The chapter begins in verse one with the preliminary condition. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High…” The question is, do we dwell or live in God’s presence? Or do we avoid Him because we know we are holding on to sin? (John 3:20) The chapter goes on to say in verse 14, “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.” Do we set our love on God or have other things been on the throne of our hearts? Do we know His name, meaning that we trust and seek Him? (Psalm 9:10).
Now is the time to take this opportunity to examine ourselves to see if we are right with God. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
God’s deliverance is always preceded by earnest prayer and repentance.
“If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
This is not to say that we should try to be right with God in order to gain His favor to avoid disease. That is not true repentance and we cannot fool God. This is simply to say that if we know that we have wandered from Him, today is the day of salvation. It would do us well to take this solemn time to get real with God and make our hearts right with Him.
God promises us, “ All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). The Bible tells us clearly to return to God, put away sin and trust in His promises to uphold us (James 4:8-10).
As we become right with our Creator, His peace is both healing and comforting. No matter what happens in this life, we know that God is with us and will save us for eternity.
A healthy mind is key to a healthy body. If we are filled with worry, stress and fear, this only weakens our immune system. The Bible says that, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:..” (Proverbs 17:22).
God’s people should be the happiest people in the world, as they have a living Savior and the promise of eternal life (Romans 6:23). One of the best ways to stay happy is to keep an attitude of gratitude. Praise God through even through the difficult times, focus on His promises and past blessings. This is one of the best means of keeping a positive attitude and giving God glory, especially during fearful times.
“If you would find happiness and peace in all you do, you must do everything in reference to the glory of God. If you would have peace in your hearts, you must seek earnestly to imitate the life of Christ… Those who in everything make God first and last and best are the happiest people in the world…”~Ellen G. White, My Life Today, p.66
As we look to God and His word, we can have a peace of mind as we face the reality of the world around us.
Although we hear of fearful diseases, such as COVID-19, we should not fear. We should use wisdom and adhere to good health practices as well as trust in God’s promises to us.
God desires a people who will be ready for the coming of His Son, Jesus Christ. Only as we seek Him humbly and sincerely can we know the revealing of His promises in our lives.
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded… Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:8-10).
In His service,
Authors note: The content stated above is not to take the place of medical advise from a health care professional. The reader should use wisdom and discretion when addressing illness and symptoms.
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