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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Positivity in Negativity

Positivity in Negativity

I’m a firm believer in anxiety and the power of negative thinking     Gertrude Berg

Positive thinkers

Be happy,be positive,be successful etc are very popular statements, we come across these days.

This philosophy says, you wish any thing and be positive and you are sure to get it.

So simple ! Abracadabra !

Oh My God,if only life were that simple ! Positive thinking pattern does not work just like that.

The problem with us is that you have hundreds of options making you uncertain of your choice resulting in wishing for good ones thus going in for positive thinking.

Positive thinking is nothing but a kind of ‘being hopeful’ that can be ‘deceitful’.

Nothing more deceitful than ‘Don’t worry be happy’ attitude.

In positive thinking there is no fear factor,because your wishes are on a platter !

If you go on relying on these so called positive vibrations,there are chances that you may relax a bit become overconfident and lenient resulting in failures and disappointments.Do you wish this to happen ?

This is where negative thinking comes to the rescue.How is that ?

The psychology applied here is very simple.

“When I expect the worst,then I won’t be disappointed when things go wrong”

Respect your negative thoughts by not getting demotivated and try to broaden your horizons.Negative thoughts are natural.Welcome it.

  1. Negative thinking makes you understand the problems thoroughly and keeps you well prepared to face the eventuality and you are sure to come out successfully.
  2. Negative thinking makes you a stronger person mentally.( you become a realistic )
  3. Negative thinkers have greatest advantage in winning the situation because if plan A fails…you already have plan B in motion.
  4. Negative thinkers foresee the problems,willing to learn and easily convert failure into success.
  5. You develop confidence and survival instinct.

Check this youtube clip

“Being able to tolerate negative feelings can be crucial to a wide variety of life situations: delaying gratification, learning from bad experiences, truly hearing what other people have to say, and assessing our own circumstances.”
Julie K. Norem

Please share your views.

Thank you.
Philosophy Through Photography

credits-Image-pixels.youtube

HAPPY GREGORIAN NEW YEAR!

With the changing of the calendar there are disagreements about if it is really a new decade.

What a silly disagreement.

Humans feel they control time. They can catagozie and contain it. However, as diverse as Humanity is, there are as many ways to contain time as there are civilazations.

I Celebrate three New Year’s. My actually new year is aligned with my pagan beliefs with the start of the year on Samhein, Halloween.

Then I recognize the Gregorian New Year, which most of the world, particularly the Western World, follow. Then, finally, I celebrate Chinese New Year. This is out of appreciation for Asian culture.

I once owned a Tibetan Buddhist Calendar. It being based on the moon as opposed to the sun. It was definitely different.

My friend in South Korea has two ages. One which is “western,” one which is based on her culture.

Not only are there calendar and time controls within different cultures, there are different views of time in various religions.

Growing up in the United Methodist Church we followed the Christian calendar (hint we are still in the Christmas Season until Epiphany). There are specific traditions and practices associated with certain times of the year in every religious practice.

And don’t even get me started on the different political calendars across the globe.

Sometimes this societal agree on the meaning of time is to our detriment. More and more people are having sleep problems and health issues because they are no longer in tune with their own physical, internal clock, their circadian rhythm.

It is worth remembering for all of the different views and beliefs on time, it is all fabricated by our brains. It is simply a way for our brains to catagozie and barely begin to understand our place in the Universe.

This Gregorian Year of 2020 I suggest we all take a step back and allow the Universe to speak to us, to reset our clocks to its time, instead of the chaos of societal time.

Goodbye 2019

Last night I told my mom. when she said she was grateful 2019 was almost over, there were good things which happened in 2019.

Be grateful for the good things in 2019 and leave behind the rest.

I say again: BE GRATEFUL FOR THE GOOD THINGS IN 2019 AND LEAVE THE REST BEHIND.

Going further, be grateful for the lessons learned from the bad things that happened in 2019.

Overall, move in 2020 with a grateful heart. Forgive the events, people, and perhaps most importantly, yourself. Gratitude for the what was and gratitude for what will be. This is the best way to progress into the next decade.

I end with my favorite Scripture. Philippians 4:4-9:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

How to start your day

Whenever you don’t start
Your day
With a smile,
Know that
You have not started it
On a good footing;
Whenever you don’t start
Your day
With a prayer,
Know that
You have not started it
On a good footing;
Whenever you don’t start
Your day
On a positive note,
Know that
You have not started it
On a good footing.
If you do not start
Your day
In a smart way,
Know you have missed
The point;
You should always start
Your day
On a good footing;
Which means
With a prayer,
Good thoughts,
A smile
And you will surely have
A great day.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

God can change your course of history. Have you ever been between a rock and a hard place, where you have to make a choice between two unpleasant options? I grew old from throwing stones, so I conceded to stay in prayer.

I’ve found myself at dead-ends of lonely highways, and at the edge of cliffs I thought was a gentle shoreline. I drove in storms where no man ventured, unaware I was being protected by God. Do you, too, look at your world and question how you ended up where you are today?

Second-guessing our world allows Satan a place to rest in your life. No rest for the weary may have more meaning once you understand the complexity of the verse. Being placed between a rock and a hard place is best described as a vice on your spirit. God will not allow our hearts to be bound if we continue in loving prayer. We can apply God’s command by choosing His way…

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him.”

Deuteronomy 30:19-20

How does God give us direction? He guides us by the wisdom of the Bible and wise biblical counsel from His servants. It addresses every complexing situation in life. Sometimes, though, answers may not be clear through scriptures. Search out guidance in a library or Christian websites to gain a piece of broader knowledge.

“Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14

Maybe you’re afraid of deciding about something which you may regret later. Everyone has to make choices, and my friends, our Father’s abundance of grace and mercy freely flows to His children. His forgiveness is unending.

I give God the glory! The mighty savior’s strength protects us from the storms. He knows we face situations of being caught between a rock and a hard place. But in the sanctuary of His safety, He delivers answers within the ferocious winds and the sigh of calm waters. The Lord’s love abounds among the fear. He mends the broken threads of Satan’s fury for His way is forevermore.

I pray your prayers will make miracles happen when you are between a rock and a hard place. Wouldn’t you rather find peace in a quiet harbor than on a violent sea? Pack a paddle and head for the Lord!



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