How Should We Respond to the Darkness of the Coronavirus?

We are living now in  time of chaos and darkness.  People are scared, frightened, buying up and hoarding things from the stores, while others are getting sick, some even dying?  And I am sure that there are those in these hard times, who may be wondering, “Where is God in all of this?  How could He allow things like this to happen?”  These are questions we all ask when moments of darkness come, but if you will allow me, let me pastor you for a few minutes.

“LET THERE BE LIGHT”

In the beginning of the Bible, after we read, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1), we are then introduced to a world of chaos, darkness, and emptiness  (Genesis 1:2).  Some might wonder, If God has just created it, how could the world be like this?  But many times when God is in the midst of creating something wondrous, there is chaos and darkness that must be brought to the surface and dealt with, and the same was true here.

The very first words that are recorded that God spoke are, “‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:3).  In the New Testament, we read, “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5).  God is not like the Yin and Yang in Taoism, where there’s a black spot in the light, and a white spot in the darkness, indicating that the light can become darkness and the darkness light.  But in God, there is no darkness at all; instead, He is only light, an image for God’s holiness, purity, and wholeness.  Therefore, it is in the character and nature of God to speak light into situations and moments in our lives when we are engulfed in chaos and darkness.

And if you are experiencing the darkness right now, I want you to know that God wants to speak His light, His Word, to you right now.  If you will trust Him, and seek Him in the pages of His word, He will be there with you in the darkness and He will reveal Himself to you, as He has to me so many times.

HE DIVIDES THE LIGHT FROM THE DARKNESS

But He didn’t just stop there at creating the light, He then “divided the light from the darkness.”  And He continues to this day to divide and separate “the light from the darkness.”  Although God did not create this disease, He does allow moments like these.  He does so, because in a broken world, God oftentimes has to use moments like this to get people to turn to Him who, otherwise, would not do so.  But He also allows these moments so that He might reveal to us who we truly are, whether we are “children of the light” or “children of darkness.”  Are we responding in this situation like He would, or are we responding to this situation like everyone else?

WE NEED TO BE HIS LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS

Now this is not the time for us as God’s sons and daughters to be hiding our light under a bushel (or basket) out of fear, doubt, and/or unbelief.  Now is the time when we need to obey what Yeshua (Jesus) taught in the Scriptures:

You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel [basket], but on a candlestick; and it gives light to all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)

Yeshua (Jesus) didn’t hide His light, even in the worst of situations, and we should follow His example.  We need to be that light of hope when they are feeling hopeless, that light of peace and comfort when they are feeling scared and afraid, and we can pray for their healing when they are feeling sick.  God redeemed us, for such a time as this, to be His light in these dark days, so let’s not let Him down by hiding His light and being part of the darkness.  Now this does not mean that we should be foolish in the decisions we make since Jesus told us that we are to be “wise as serpents, but innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16), but that also does not mean that we are to hold back either.

GOD IS STILL THE “I AM” 

Now it is in moments like these, what we believe about God comes rushing to the surface. In many churches and synagogues across this country, people view God as the “I WAS.”  They talk about how He used to speak, or how He used to heal and do miracles, but He just doesn’t do that anymore.  To them, He is the “I WAS.”  However, when Moses was at the burning bush, Moses said, When the people “say to me, ‘What is His name?  What shall I say to them?” (Exodus 3:13)  God responded to his question by saying, “I AM THAT I AM” (Exodus 3:14).

God is always the same.  He does not change even in the slightest.  So to speak of who He was, of what He used to be like, is, in reality, to say that He is in someway different today than who He used to be.  But God says through the prophet Malachi, “I am the LORD, I change not” (Malachi 3:6).  He is also, therefore, not the “I shall be,” because this also implies that in some way He will be different in the future than what is like right now.  But God is – and shall always be – the Great “I AM.”

Therefore, He is no different today than what He was like during creation, in the Garden of Eden, during the flood, in the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, during the Exodus, in the lives of the prophets, in the life of Yeshua (Jesus) and in the lives of His disciples.  God is still the same.  And He wants to be the same in your life and my life, as He was to each of the people in the Scriptures.

GOD CONTINUES TO HEAL TODAY

Now for those who may be suffering with the virus, I want you to know that God does continue to heal today; He has never stopped.  The problem oftentimes is four-fold:

  • OUR VIEW OF GOD.  One is that we forget that He is the King, He is the one who is sovereign, and it is He who makes the decision on how He wishes to respond to a situation, not us.
  • OUR VIEW OF PRAYER.  For many people, they see prayer as trying to get or manipulate God into doing what we want for Him to do.  But He is the King; He is the one in control, not us.  Prayer is not about manipulating God to do what we want; instead, it is about bringing us into a place where we can receive from Him and do what He wants.  In His Kingdom, we must do things His way, not our way.  For example, when we look at His promises to heal, this is what we find:

If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD your God, and will do that which is right [and pleasing] in His sight, and will give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon you, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that heals you.  (Exodus 15:26)

  • OUR VIEW OF HEALING.  Healing is indeed promised for those who “diligently hearken to His voice,” “do what is right [and pleasing] in His sight,” “give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes.”  In other words, His healing is for those who are His people and who are striving to live in obedience to Him.  In fact, in the psalms, healing is considered to be one of the benefits of belonging to His Kingdom:

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies. (Psalm 103:2-4)

  • OUR VIEW OF FAITH.  In the New Testament book of Hebrews, we read,

But without faith it is impossible to please Him [God]: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

A diligent faith of one who does not give up, but who continues to seek after Him is the basic of what God requires.  But what does the Bible mean by “Faith.”  Unfortunately, there many people who don’t really understand what the Bible means by “have faith” or “to believe.”

You see, there’s a big difference between “belief” (mental agreement) and biblical faith.  For example, to illustrate this idea, I asked a class during one session, “How many of you believe that I would never do anything purposely to hurt you?”  Everyone raised their hand.  I then asked, “Who will loan me their credit card?”  No one responded.  You see it doesn’t cost you anything to believe, or to mentally agree, that something is true, but to trust someone (the real meaning of biblical faith) does cost.   There is always a cost to trust.

For example, when you start letting someone close to you and start sharing things from your personal life with them, there’s a cost involved.  You are trusting them to keep what you share with them just between the two of you.  And as long as that trust is not violated, the friendship continues to grow and deepen.  However, when that trust is violated, then it takes a while before trust can begin again.  In other words, there is a mental, emotional, social, and even spiritual cost involved in trust.

But the word “faith” not only means “trust,” but it also has another side to it as well.  It also means to “remain steady,” “faithful,” or “faithfulness.”  In the Bible, there’s the account of the people of Israel being involved in their first battle since the Exodus.  They were fighting Amalek, and Moses had Joshua lead the army, while he, Aaron, and Hur go up hill that would overlook the battle.  We then read,

And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand [that was holding his staff], that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. (Exodus 17:11)

To help Moses out, Aaron and Hur got a stone for Moses to sit on, and then one of them held up the one arm and the other held up the other arm.  And it says, “and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun” (Exodus 17:12).  The word “steady” here is the Hebrew word for faith, ‘emunah.

Biblical faith is not believing while things are going well, but then throwing in the towel and walking away when things get tough.  True faith holds in there, through the hard times and the good times.  It remains “steady” and “faithful.”  It is the same thing that many women are looking for in a relationship: someone who will be “steady” and remain “faithful.”  It’s the same thing that God is looking for in His own people as well.

AN EXAMPLE OF HEALING

Let me share an experience with you.  Back in 2009, I was pushing against the wall when all of a sudden, it felt like whole right arm was on fire.  I literally looked at my arm, thinking that I was going to see flames it hurt so much.  I went to the doctor, and they x-rayed me, and I discovered that I had a bulging disk in my neck that was laying on the vein that ran from my neck down my right arm.  The doctor said that they could fix it, but they would have to operate.  But they could not do it from the back, but they would have to go in through my mouth.  Now this concerned me, particularly when he said that there was a chance that my vocal cords could get nicked in the process and make speaking difficult for awhile.

At the time, I was teaching full time at Oklahoma City Community College.  I made my living speaking.  If I couldn’t speak, then how could I teach.  I had to go home and think about this.  As I was sitting in my rocker recliner we had at the time, I was leaned back to the only position I could sit and not be in pain.  In my left hand, I was holding an IPad and reading Psalm 119, which is my favorite psalm.  But as I was reading it, the page on the IPad changed to Psalm 118 without me touching the screen.  I thought this was rather strange, so I managed to change it back to Psalm 119 to continue reading.  When I finished though, I thought about the screen changing, and I thought may be God was wanting to tell me something, so I changed it back to Psalm 118.

As I read through the chapter, I got to verse 8, and as I did, the letters on the IPad started getting bigger without me touching the screen.  The verse says, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”  And as I continued on, the same thing happened when I came to verse 17, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.”  It was at that point, I understood that instead of having the operation, God was telling me to trust Him.  Now I am not saying that people should not go to doctors or have needed surgeries, but for me in that situation, God was telling me to trust Him.  At that point, I had a choice to make: Trust God or trust the doctor.  I decided to trust God, and I recited these two verses whenever I felt the pain, and slowly, day by day, the pain went away, and it is now eleven years later, and I never did have the operation.

The point is that God does heal today, but He’s not looking for people who only “mentally accept” the idea that God can heal, but He’s looking for people who will legitimately trust Him with their whole hearts, minds, and strength, and then remain steady and faithful to Him.  What is hard for us to understand is that sometimes God chooses to heal the person physically, like He did me, but there are other times, He decides to heal the person by taking them home to be with Him.  This is hard, but we must remember that He is the sovereign King and, therefore, we need to trust His decisions, and that He knows what is best.  But regardless of which way He chooses, the real question is, “Will you continue to believe?”

WHAT CHOICE WILL YOU MAKE?

The fact is, yes, we are facing some difficult times right now, as well as ahead of us too.  The question, though, is will we choose to face them with Yeshua (Jesus) by our side or by ourselves?  It really is our choice to make.  I would encourage you to choose to trust Yeshua (Jesus) and God with your life.  The benefits far outweigh the cost.  But don’t just say the words, go all the way.  Truly hand over to Him your life, all that you are, the good and the bad, as well as your dreams, your fantasies, and even those things you don’t want anyone to know about you.

Give it all to Him.  Give Him complete and total control.  Let Him truly be your King, Your Lord, Savior and Healer.  And then get into His Word and start learning more about who God is and about your new life.  I recommend beginning with the book of Genesis.  It’s a book that Paul, in the New Testament, references quite frequently, so start there.

If you are wondering what to say, there are no magical words.  There is not right way or wrong way to pray, just tell God what you feel, what your thoughts are, ask Him to forgive you of your sins, and to come into your life, to truly be your Lord and King.  It will be the best decision you will ever make.  If you have any questions about any of this, just hit the link below, and respond to the article.

 

 

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