As I’ve watched the news and seen the evidence of mass panic hitting the States, I have been grieved as well as tempted to enter into it. Fear hits us like being covered with a blanket and then clubbed with baseball bats. Fear destroys any semblance of our faith. And as the rush on anti-bacterial soap, hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, disinfectant sprays and wipes, and toilet paper hits the market, the madness of fear increases over the Coronavirus. Just yesterday I was shopping and I had the feeling, “Oh, I better grab that before someone else does,” while picking up some regular-use hand soap. It is the contagion of fear and it is evil!
Jesus Hates Our Fears
The reason Christ hated fear is because fear prevents us from listening. We are deaf when we are in fear, and we are called to hear and obey – not assume and react. The waters of life become so muddled when we are in fear. All we can hear is our loud FEARS, which prevents us from hearing the still small voice of The Spirit. Fear is one of Satan’s most effective weapons.
When Jesus walked the earth as a man, He tolerated many things from His disciples. Selfish ambition wasn’t a deal breaker, nor was a reactive temper. The one thing that was absolutely NOT acceptable was fear. Fear was rebuked.
“O you of little faith, why are you afraid?”
There the disciples were, in the middle of a crisis that could end in death, with fears mounted high. Can’t you see their taut faces reacting as the boat was tossed to and fro by the waves? “We’re gonna drown!” They were deaf to the reality of Christ’s presence in their boat. Is it any different today? Are we not being rocked on the waves of Coronavirus and grasping for anything that might save us?
Now let me say, water freaks me out when it’s rough. And I am not immune to the fears of sickness. But in this Coronavirus pandemic, can I hear Jesus’ rebuke over the din of mass panic, all the bad news, and my own whipped up fears? Not as well as I’d like – if at all!
Fears in the Midst of Coronavirus
Martha and I were on a writing trip, and at the end of that time, we had the opportunity to get some free nights at an exclusive Atlanta hotel. We were going to celebrate my birthday and have a nice dinner. But when we were planning to head down, I had a hard time hearing the Will of God on whether we should cancel or not. No birthday celebration is worth me or Martha getting sick. And I have to confess, just that morning I had listened to a couple of reports about COVID-19 and it stirred up my fear. At this point I realized that finding God’s Will in that state was going to be extremely difficult (I am going to go into this part in more detail in my next post).
In the disciples’ crisis, Jesus rebuked the storm of circumstance and then rebuked the disciples for their fear. He had no tolerance for that fear. “O you of little faith, why are you afraid?” I don’t believe He stated these words passively. Why would He? FEAR is emphatically anti-christ! Believers are to have a firm position of faith in fearful times. Let’s stand on the scriptural promises!
“He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
“Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.”
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
I sought the LORD, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.
When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought me joy.