by Chris Haas
As believers we know that God is on throne (Psalms 47:4) and that He loves and cares for us. That is a comforting truth we should remind ourselves of in uncertain and unprecedented times.
We are commanded, “Do not fear” over and over in the scripture. It’s one of the most repeated commands by the Lord because of our human tendency towards fear and anxiety. I know I’ve had to fight through my own emotions of fear and anxiety in my own quiet times with God in the last few days.
This Coronavirus health and financial crisis has created a stressful environment for us all. I feel the responsibility as a husband and father, along with my wife, of making decisions to keep ourselves and our 5 children safe and healthy, and setting the tone in our house of faith not fear.
God says, “Do not fear” in Isaiah 43 for 3 reasons:
- We are redeemed – (vs. 1) No matter what happens in this life our salvation and eternal future is secure for all of us who know Jesus Christ as our Savior. If you are reading this and you don’t know Jesus then now would be a great time to invite Him into your life.
- I am with you – (vs. 5) This is one of my favorite promises in all of God’s word – His Presence. God is with me and you in a personal way through the Holy Spirit. Nothing can or will happen to us in this life unless the Lord allows it.
When we think about the story of the disciples who were with Jesus in the midst of a storm (Luke 8:2-25), the truth is they were sitting next to the Son of God, the Lord of the Universe, who has all power to control the wind and the waves, and by His power created the stars in the sky. They were never really in any danger, but from a human perspective it sure looked like they were about to meet their Creator (who was ironically asleep next to them). And because Jesus is with us in every situation, our faith should calm our emotions.
- We have His protection – (vs. 2-3) This is the LORD speaking who says to his people that they will not be swept away by water or burned by the fire, or in this case a corona virus.
How can we find PEACE?
This leads us to a familiar passage of Paul in Philippians 4:4-7 speaking about Prayer and Worship,
“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice! The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God that transcends all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Jesus Christ.”
I shared Psalm 91 with my kids this week about claiming God’s promises found in scripture and turning our trust to Him. (I usually pray vs. 11-12 when I’m on a plane). Especially applicable to the Corona virus are vs. 5-6 which say not to be afraid “of the pestilence that stalks in darkness.” And in vs. 10 that, “no evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent“.
And the promise in vs. 14, “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him.”
Isaiah 26:3 says that we find peace when we choose to focus on God and trust in His Promises.
What is Faith? I love a definition of faith I read years ago, “Faith is a trust in God and in His promises”. This really helps make the idea of faith both practical and concrete.
Our faith is not in government, science, or medicine. It’s in a person.
Jesus is our Peace, “Let not your heart be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me.” John 14:1
I have faith when I believe in God, trust He is with me, and in His promise to protect me.
ACTION STEPS – Making it Personal …
Pray – Pray through God’s promises in your life. Ask Him to fill you with peace through the Holy Spirit.
Read – The beginning of the day is a great time to start the day with God’s perspective. Memorize one of the verses above that you can recall throughout the day. Read these verses again and again when you feel anxious and sense your fear level rising. God’s word in faith defeats fear.
Worship – Thank God that He is with YOU!