How should Christians react to the Coronavirus crisis and what are the appropriate solutions to apply during this pandemic?
For the Christian believer we can react both practically and spiritually to this pandemic.
During the Black Plague it is believed that Martin Luther said the following: “I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, He will surely find me and I have done what He has expected of me and … so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God”
Below are some suggestions to how we can respond during the Covid-19 pandemic:
AVOID ANXIETY & PANIC. REACT IN PRAYER
During this Covid-19 crisis it is important that we avoid panicking and worrying. There are many things that are beyond our personal control. This is why we need to depend on God because He alone is sovereign and in control of all things. Therefore we must cast every anxiety concerning this pandemic into God’s hands and trust Him to deal with this crisis.
Philippians 4:6-7 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
The only way that we can have peace even in the midst of this crisis, is by praying to God and trusting in Him to resolve the problem. The peace that God gives us is not the absence of problems, but it is the inner peace that removes worry, helplessness and depression.
HAVE FAITH IN GOD & HIS SOVEREIGNTY
The existence of this virus did not catch God by surprise. He knew of this virus before the formation of the world. God is omniscient or all-knowing. He is also sovereign and therefore there is no event or situation in the universe that He does not know or control. Therefore God has the power, wisdom and authority to do anything He chooses within His creation. All things are under His mighty hand.
Psalms 147:5 says: Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; His understanding is beyond measure.
Romans 8:28 says: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.
Therefore our faith must be in God alone and we must trust that no matter how bad things are – God is still in control.
TAKE PRACTICAL PRECAUTIONS
The Bible tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:18, 26). Therefore in addition to our faith in God, we must take the necessary practical and hygienic steps as advised by health and medical experts to avoid catching the virus or carelessly infecting others. We must also avoid going to places where we are at risk of picking up the virus and observe the appropriate social distancing guidelines.
Therefore it’s important to avoid ignorance, but instead we must educate ourselves as much as possible about the virus in order to help ourselves and inform others regarding the practical precautions we need to take.
SHARE THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST
The sobering truth is that unless we are raptured, all of us will face certain death. The issue is how we will die. Will it be due to an illness; will it be due to old age or will there be some other reason for our death?
The Coronavirus crisis gives Christians the opportunity to share the gospel of Christ and explain to unbelievers about what will happen to them beyond the grave if they die without Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 9:27-28 says: And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.
The anxieties and reactions to the Covid-19 pandemic is also because people have a fear of dying and they lack of knowledge or understanding of what happens beyond the grave.
Therefore sharing the gospel that Jesus was crucified on the cross for our sins and He alone is able to give us eternal life is the most essential thing to do.
In John 16:33, Jesus said: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
As long as we live on this earth, God does not promise us immunity from tribulation or problems. The world is full of tribulations because it is a fallen world where sin resides. Diseases exist in our world because sin exists.
The Coronavirus does not discriminate. Even Christians can be infected. It affects people of all races, all religions and all backgrounds. Ultimately our trust must in the Lord. Our hope is in Him alone. Our peace in the midst of the pandemic and crisis is found in Jesus Christ alone.
Whether we live or whether we die, the most important thing is that Jesus Christ must be a part of our life. He alone gives us eternal life. He alone is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).
God alone is our refuge and strength and He alone can protect us from every pestilence, disease and danger should He choose to do so in accordance with His will.
Therefore be encouraged that no matter what is happening around us, our focus must be on Jesus Christ who is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).