Faith Amidst a Viral Fever

Faith, corona virusNow that most of the world appears to be in lockdown mode over fears of spreading the CCP virus, aka the Coronavirus, COVID-19, or Wuhan Flu, etc., it seems prudent to use this global “time-out” and assess, or re-assess as the case may be, our standing with God. For one of the things which scream out at humanity at this moment is that we have taken ourselves far too seriously and taken God far too lightly for far too long.

For the curious, I am adopting the name ‘CCP virus’ after the manner I recently saw used by the excellent newspaper, The Epoch Times. They explain the reason for this designation,

…because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

I agree completely with that sentiment and so I am calling it the CCP virus as well. Though it is not a strict medical designation, it is more accurate than simply the “coronavirus,” and historically indicts the people most responsible for the pandemic.

However, it is the reaction of the populace to the CCP virus that is perhaps more critical to successfully combatting this pestilence than the physical precautions. Hyper-inflating public fear for political points, as the Leftmedia is doing, only serves to promote needless panic that is foolish and potentially more dangerous than the disease itself.

Faith Cures the Fever of Fear

Inset.1.3.19.2020One of the symptoms of the CCP virus infection is a fever of varying severity in the infected person. Fear about the pandemic is capable of producing a fever effect within the human psyche as well.

Faith is the cure for the ‘fear fever.’ One reason for this is that we all operate in life through faith, in fact, no one can live any other way.

All people, regardless of viewpoint or belief or lack of such in God live by faith in someone or something. That is, all of us must trust in something or someone, and usually both, just to live our everyday lives.

For example, very few of us outside of trained technicians and the like understand how electric power works in our homes, we simply trust that the flip of a switch or press of a button will produce waves of photons dispersed as white light! The technological advances of modern times are literally impossible without the magic of electric power in all its multitude of forms today and without an almost fundamental trust in this, modern society could not function.

There is, of course, a definitive difference between faith in what man has provided and faith in God. Faith in man’s provision is always faith in a limited provision, while faith in God is faith in an unlimited provision for every situation.

Faith in God is faith that can cure fear at the heart and soul level because faith is believing at the soul level. It is the certainty of the heart that God is real and His love and power are available for all and fear has no chance against that.

Faith Is God’s Perscription for the Fever of Fear

16361200694_f51ebc396e_wThe definitive biblical passage concerning faith is found in the 11th chapter of the New Testament book of Hebrews. It begins,

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. Hebrews 11:1-3 [ESV]

Paul goes on to give numerous examples of faith demonstrated throughout history from the Old Testament all the way back to Cain and Abel. In the middle of that, as if interrupting himself, Paul writes in verse six,

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. [ESV]

The most often used phrase in the Bible is “Fear not.” When this phrase is used it is invariably connected with some statement of assurance that God is present to handle whatever is causing such fear.

Perhaps the most iconic words exhibiting this are found in the 23rd Psalm when David writes in verse 4 that,

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. [ESV]

David is stating that it doesn’t matter even if death seems to threaten all around him, he knows that he knows the LORD is with him. His faith is not shaken because he trusts not only in the existence of God but in God’s provision of comfort, encouragement, strength, and love to see him through the darkest of times.

The brilliant Christian writer C.S. Lewis once wrote that,

Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world.

Much the same can be said about fear especially when it concerns something that is out of human control like the current struggle with the CCP virus. Fear, like pain, can function to draw us near to God, or we can choose to give in to the ‘fear fever’ and move in panic away from God.

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Fear

49203379398_b3a2ba72ca_wThere are two different types of fear, one type that is unhealthy and another type that is healthy. The type of fear being expressed in hoarding and panic buying is the unhealthy type that I have been addressing until now.

There is also a healthy type of fear that cautions most people against attempting truly dangerous activities. However, there are those few that do, and indeed feel they must act contrary to such caution and risk even their very lives for a moral and righteous end.

This is seen most often on the battlefield and in places where law enforcement and first responders rush into danger to protect and defend others. In those instances, it could be contended that is is the ‘righteous’ fear for others that overcomes the fear of harm to self.

We have a name for that phenomenon called courage. You see, courage is not the absence of fear, it is rather acting ‘righteously’ in spite of the presence of fear for a good and noble result.

Nowhere is that better exemplified than in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross to pay for humanity’s sin. Jesus, the eternal Son of God, knew that He would suffer and die before He left heaven but also knew that humanity had no chance against the greatest of all maladies, sin, without His sacrifice.

Jesus demonstrated an act of almost unfathomable courage in the face of incredibly fearful circumstances bourne of His unlimited love for humanity. The greatest infection of all is the sinfulness in the human heart.

Sin has a 100% infection rate and left untreated will result in a fate worse than death with 100% certainty. The sole remedy for this is faith in Jesus and His complete atonement for sin.

Jesus put it this way,

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 [ESV]

During this period when things are in discord I would urge people to do two things. One, follow the precautions recommended such as ‘social distancing’ and others even if you are in a low-risk group for contracting or dying from CCP virus for the sake of others who might be at risk.

Secondly, and most important is this advice. Take this time of relative isolation to contemplate your life and relationship with the One who gave His life for you.

Take this time to choose to live with faith instead of living in the grip of fear and panic. If you know the LORD Jesus as Savior, choose to live for Him and show others His love. If you don’t know Him, come near in faith for He is waiting with open arms for you.

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Jerry Worster’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Hernan Pinera’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Kevin Shorter’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Lluis Ribes Mateu’s Flicker page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

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