A RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS
IN TREACHEROUS TIMES
Also, a collection of encouraging resources
Jim Showers, DMin
I recognize these are very uncertain times for all of us. We are battling an invisible enemy that is highly contagious, capable of killing those who become infected. Symptoms of the virus can be severe. Uncertainty and dire consequences breed anxiety and fear.
So, what does the Bible counsel us to do when we find ourselves in treacherous times? When Israel was facing exile, the Lord didn't promise to deliver them from their forthcoming trial that was going to turn their lives upside down. Instead, He told them the key to surviving their trial was to trust in the Lord rather than in themselves (Jer. 17:5-10)
The Lord contrasts two kinds of people. Those who are trusting in their own strength are cursed, and when the heat of the trial comes, they will wither and be tossed to and fro. However, those who trust in the Lord will be like a tree planted along a stream, whose leaves remain green throughout the heat of trial. They will not be anxious or cease from yielding fruit.
Then the Lord explains what trials do in our lives. They reveal what is in our hearts and whether we are trusting in Him or in ourselves to get through the heat of the trial. The Lord says, "I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind" (v. 10).
What does the fruit look like? In Galatians 5, Paul contrasts the works produced by walking in our flesh with the fruit produced by walking in the Spirit. Included in the list of works of the flesh are hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, and envy (v. 20-21). Paul says none of these have any place in God's Kingdom.
Then he shares that the fruit produced by walking in the Spirit and trusting in God during this trial is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Paul says, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (v. 25).
My greatest desire for all of us as believers in Jesus Messiah during this time of pandemic is that we walk through the uncertainty and threat of the coronavirus trusting in God and not ourselves. We can choose between blessing or cursing. We will know if we’re trusting in God by the fruit we bear. We can only minister to others when our leaves remain green in the midst of the heat of our trial and we’re bearing fruit.
It's a choice each of us makes, whether to trust in ourselves to handle a situation over which we have no control, or whether to trust in the One who controls the situation. Of course, we can all do our part by making responsible decisions, namely washing our hands regularly, limiting our direct contact with others, and only venturing out in public when necessary for food and supplies. But most importantly, if we trust in the Lord, we will have peace that He will do what is best for us, whether that is to endure the virus or keep us from getting the virus.
This is the time when God can use us here at The Friends of Israel and you at home to be a light in a world filled with darkness to share the wonderfully good news of Jesus Christ and help those who are in need. But we can only do that if we follow God's counsel and let His Spirit work through us.
We are sailing through uncharted waters, but we know God is at the helm.
Praying for comfort and peace during this time,
Dr. Jim Showers
The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry
FRIENDS OF ISRAEL BLOG
Hope for a Fearful Heart
The coronavirus has flipped the world upside down in just a couple weeks. It’s reaching every corner of the world, and the number of infections has grown large enough...
FRIENDS OF ISRAEL VIDEO
2019 Prophecy Up Close
We've made last year's conference sessions available for online viewing. Be encouraged as we trust God and look forward to Our Eternal Home.
FRIENDS OF ISRAEL BLOG
Living Like God Is in Control
A detailed look at 2 Timothy 1:7 and how the applications of the passage are important in our current struggle with the coronavirus pandemic.
FRIENDS OF ISRAEL RADIO
COVID-19 and the Bible
Does the Bible have any hint of a global pandemic like COVID-19 or what it might mean? Chris Katulka, Jim Showers, and Steve Herzig answer those questions and leave all of us with something we need today: HOPE!