Coronavirus Fears vs God’s Promises of Protection
I want to give words of encouragement for all those who are worried about the coronavirus pandemic. Between the mainstream media and the alternative news sites online, there are many conflicting reports about just exactly what this virus is. Some claim that this virus is no worse than any other flu virus and the only people dying of it are elderly persons with pre-existing life-threatening health conditions. Others say it is much more serious. The reports from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization along with the responses of governments worldwide have resulted in the closings of many public gatherings including schools, universities, sporting events and even churches. Panic buying is depleting many grocery stores of items we have always taken for granted—things like toilet paper and basic food staples. Whatever your take is on this, one thing is certain—we are in a difficult place and we all need God now more than ever.
The first thing we have to stand against is fear. If you have a relationship with Jesus Christ, you are not to fear this virus or anything else. Jesus wants you to spend more time with him and let him comfort you and protect you. He wants you to focus on him—his nearness to you and his promises for you as found in his Word. This pandemic that the Devil and his cohorts intend for evil, will work for good for you if you are a believer in Christ who takes this time to focus on your relationship with God and draw closer to him. As you do so, you will be putting extra oil in your vessel for your lamp making sure you are prepared for the wedding as the bridegroom returns (Matt 25). (Please see my husband’s article “Prime Time with God” here on this site for good tips and encouragement for enhancing your “God-time.”) It is our tendency as Christians to sometimes slack off in our pursuit of God, but crises are things that quickly draw us back into an even deeper relationship with him.
Focus on his Word. The Lord began telling our church over fifteen years ago to meditate on Psalm 91 and even memorize it—the whole thing. He said things were going to be happening that would require deeper faith and trust in him and this Psalm would be a good focal point for us. Many people believe they cannot memorize, but this belief keeps them from even attempting it. There is a website, ScriptureSongsforWorship.com where you can hear this entire Psalm sung word for word. You will find it here: http://www.scripturesongsforworship.com/2012/06/psalm-91-my-god-in-him-i-will-trust.html.
As you listen to it over and over again, you will find yourself easily memorizing it. The words and the melody will circulate in your mind all day long while you are doing your daily tasks. This is greatly comforting and gives the Holy Spirit something to bring into your conscious mind any time you need it. Three times in this wonderful Psalm, God promises his people he will protect them from pestilence and plagues.
Psalm 91 begins with these beautiful words: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
You can take this first verse, commit it to memory and think about it all day long. Take it with you wherever you go. If you are concerned you can’t remember it, write it down and put it in your pocket. Then wherever you are and whatever you are doing, you can refresh your memory and focus your mind on those words. Write these words on notecards or pieces of paper and tape them up in various places around your house where you and your family members will see them.
Next, meditate on those words. Picture Jesus and his shadow and yourself standing closeby within his shadow or even right up next to him touching him. If you have little children, picture them there with you. Prayerfully establish what your secret place is. This is not some place in the physical world, but inward in your deepest heart. You may already know what this is, but if you don’t, pray and ask Jesus to help you establish this. For some people it is a feeling deep in their heart that they recognize and are aware of when praying and seeking the Lord. Others may have developed in their spiritual mind a place where they meet with God—perhaps a beautiful garden or a peaceful den in a comfortable chair sitting before a warm fireplace and talking with Jesus. It can be any place meaningful to you that you can focus on daily. This becomes familiar and comforting once you have prayerfully established this with Jesus.
Once you have memorized and meditated on verse one of this Psalm, continue on to the next verse: “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Him will I trust.’” For this verse, my first thought was to see what I could learn about the word “refuge” in Scripture, so I went to BlueLetterBible.com and did a search on Psalm 91, clicked on the word refuge and learned more about it. I learned the Hebrew word for refuge occurs twenty times in Scripture and is sometimes translated as “hope,” “faith,” “trust,” or “shelter.” As I looked at those verses, several were very uplifting and faith-building. Here are a few I found:
Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Psalm 61:3 – For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.
Psalm 62:7 – In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
Psalm 62:8 – Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.
There are difficult days ahead for our nation and the world. God is judging the nations of this world and everything the Devil has built up will be torn down. The good news is that as these things come down, the kingdom of God is going to take its place. This begins in the hearts and minds of God’s people. If you have not already done so, commit to allowing God to rule and reign in your own heart. This means you submit to his will as laid out in his Word, and you ask him before making decisions so he can guide you and protect you. As you focus the eyes of your heart on being in your secret place in the shadow of Almighty God, you will find your faith growing and fears melting away as the awesome presence of God becomes more real to you than ever before.