WILLS POINT, TX – The emergence and spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has dominated headlines for nearly a month. A Google search on the word “coronavirus” yields a return of over 4.5 billion responses, even though most people were unaware of the virus until early February.
There is no cure for coronavirus, nor is there a preventive vaccine. No one knows for sure how the virus spreads. As of this writing, there has been more than 120,000 cases of COVID-19 around the globe. More than 4,300 (3.6%) have died. The World Health Organization has officially declared the virus to be a pandemic.
A widespread concern is already escalating to panic in some areas.
The question then arises, “How should Christians react to the coronavirus?”
Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship commented that “There's a lot of panic. In some ways, I think the viral fear about it may be worse than the virus itself.” He went on to say that we need to listen to and follow the advice of medical experts and that “we need to replace our fear with faith” that God will protect us.
Scott James is a pediatric infectious disease specialist. He is also a Christian. He agrees that there is a “general tendency to focus on the unknowns in a way that stokes panic and fear.” He agrees with Laurie that Christians should not panic. We need to maintain a “biblical perspective based on the understanding that no matter what threat is on the horizon, God is still in control. Trusting in God equips us to take the threat seriously without giving in to panic or despair.”
GFA founder, KP Yohannan, wrote that true believers should be “Trusting God Like Little Children.” He recalled hearing George Verwer when he (Yohannan) was 19 years old. Verwer had urged his listeners to stop holding on to their lives. “Let the Lord be God.”
Yohannan broke it down for Christians like this:
- God is sovereign. No matter what, whether we understand what is happening or not, He is sovereign. We are His children, and He is watching over us. You never need to despair if you know Him because He will never allow anything into your life that He is not in control of. He has a purpose in everything.
- The only correct response to a sovereign God is an attitude of trust and faith. And with that faith comes joy in knowing He is as He promises to be. No matter what situation you find yourself in, you can choose to remain joyful by trusting God.
- We must come to the place where we say, “Whatever You decide, Lord, let it be. Your will be done. I will take my hands off.”
The Bible deals with the subject of fear 365 times, including passages that tell us the Lord has not given us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7), to be anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:6), and not to worry about what might happen (Matthew 6:34)
Ultimately, people are afraid of death. Panicking about the coronavirus is a fast-track to the fear of dying that Jesus came to deliver us from (Hebrews 2:15)
How should Christians respond to the coronavirus?
- Trust the Lord.
- Follow the advice of medical professionals.
- Practice good personal hygiene.
- Avoid being in unnecessarily crowded places.
- Share your faith and demonstrate your trust in our sovereign Lord.
- Use Lent to Pray and Fast for those affected by the Coronavirus Crisis
There is no place for panic in a person who truly trusts in our Lord Jesus Christ. He is in control. Be not afraid.
To read more news on Coronavirus on Missions Box, go here.
- CDC, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary
- WHO, Coronavirus
- CBN News, 7 Prayer Tips from the Global Day of Prayer for the Coronavirus: 'It's Going to Take the Whole Church'
- CBN News, 'Replace Fear With Faith and Pray': Greg Laurie Tells Americans to Pray, Not Panic Over Coronavirus
- KPYohannan.org, Trusting God Like Little Children
- CBS News, Coronavirus updates: WHO declares outbreak is now a pandemic