Hope in a world of viral fear

There is all sorts of fear and anxiety in the world right now. These are unprecedented times. I am not a virologist. I am not an expert in infectious diseases. But this I know – no matter what the weeks ahead bring we can have hope and we can have peace. I have a firm belief that there is a creator, God almighty, who made the earth and everything in it. I believe He loves us. I believe He cares for us. And I believe He is the reason we can have hope.

 

If this life was all there was then these would be very scary times. But when we put our faith in God we are promised life everlasting. We are promised a day when we will dwell with God, forever. A day when He will wipe every tear from our eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning or crying or sickness or pain – or coronavirus (Revelation 21:3-4). 

 

We can have hope in the midst of viral uncertainty because we worship a God who is not distant, but who came to be with us. He sent His divine son Jesus to come to earth, fully God and fully man, to walk among us, to go through all the trials of life and to ultimately die on a cross in our place. On the cross Jesus took the punishment for our sin. He made a way for us to be restored to relationship with God our father. “Upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed” Isaiah 53:8.

 

The cross ultimately is our source of hope. It is our source of peace in the midst of pandemics. It gives us confidence, for it shows us how much God loves us. He so loved the world that He sent His only Son to humble Himself, to leave the throne of heaven and die on a cross in our place. Jesus paid the price that we could not pay to redeem the burden of our sin. He covered the debt of our rebellion against God’s perfect will. We all sin and rebel, but we can all have hope for at the cross there is grace and mercy to cover the sin of all who trust in Jesus as Lord. 

 

We can have hope, for we know that if God so loved us to send His son to die for us, He will graciously give us all things (Romans 8:31). Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. No matter what goes on in the world – be it war, but it famine, be it tribulation or be it a viral pandemic, nothing – absolutely nothing – can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35).

 

Our hope ultimately is not in the news or in governments or in chief medical officers or doctors or scientists. Our hope is built on Christ, the solid rock, the only firm foundation in uncertain days. We have a sure and steadfast hope, an anchor for the soul, a hope that enters beyond the veil, into God’s inner sanctuary (Hebrews 6:19). We don’t look to the news or the stock markets for our hope or our peace. We look to Jesus. We trust that His love is a firm anchor that will hold us secure in this life and into eternity. We remember that no matter what happens, to live is Christ and to die is to gain, for that means being with God forever (Philippians 1:21). We set our minds not on earthly things but we remember that our citizenship is in heaven, and that our lowly earthly bodies will one day be transformed by our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, into glorious perfected bodies that will be totally free from all sickness and infection (Philippians 3:19-21).

 

No matter what the news brings in the coming weeks, no matter how grim it seems and no matter how the world around us responds we can have hope and we can have peace. We must be ambassadors of our Heavenly Father, sharing the hope and joy we have in Him with the world around us. There is not yet a cure for Covid-19, but there is an antidote to anxiety – we must not let our hearts be troubled but instead we must trust in God (John 14:1)

 

The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5‭-‬7‭

This is our hope in the midst of uncertain times. We do not need to worry. We trust in a God who is bigger than any disease or virus. We have access through prayer to His perfect peace. It surpasses understanding and allows us to hold firm to hope when everyone around us is caught up in despair and worry. We don’t know how this coronavirus will all pan out in the weeks ahead. But we know the One who does. He sees the end from the beginning and He holds us secure in His victorious right hand. If you are feeling fear or anxiety at present I urge you to turn to God, to put your faith in Jesus and rest in the peace that passes all understanding, the peace that is greater than the fear that is in the world right now. When you trust in Jesus we have a security that no matter what comes our way we will never be cut off from the eternal love of God, and that is what can give us hope and peace regardless of what is happening in the world right now.

 

If you want to know that peace for yourself call out to Jesus. Trust in Him as Lord of your life. Confess the times you have sinned, the times you went your own way and missed the mark. Receive the free gift of forgiveness that is made available through the blood that was shed on the cross. Ask the Holy Spirit to take away the spirit of fear and let you rest in the peace of God, the peace that surpasses all human understanding and allows us to have hope in the midst of these uncertain days.

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