How to Live Faithfully in a Time of Coronavirus
- Daniel Darling Author
- 2020 13 Apr
If you are getting a little frayed around the edges, weary of our national shutdown, and a bit anxious about the future, then you are in good company with the rest of your fellow citizens. Around the world, normal life has shut down as most of us stay home to avoid the spread of COVID 19. Meanwhile, health care workers risk everything to keep people alive in places like New York, New Orleans, Spain and Italy.
So how do Christians live in this moment? We are humans, and we all experience the same emotions in difficult times: fear, worry, anger, sadness, and grief. For some, these emotions come from the loss of a job, the cancelling of a wedding, the shattered dreams of a thousand tiny plans. For others it’s a deeper grief, experiencing the loss of a loved one or friends to this deadly virus and unable to mourn in the company of family and friends. Still, there are many millions who are laid off from their jobs and unsure about their financial future.
But as Christians, we have a place to go with our fears. We can take them to the one who hears us in our distress and comforts us in our despair. Jesus, who defeated the curse that causes viruses like corona. He understands the human condition, willingly came to the earth as a fragile baby, and endured the injustice of the cross before rising again in victory over death and the grave. He unites us to the Father who hears our pleas and our prayers. The Father is not indifferent to our distress, but is a Good Shepherd who cares for his sheep.
The Scriptures are not just trite words on a wall calendar but the very breath of God, spoken to us in this moment, for this time and for our good. Psalm 46 offers us God as a refuge, a safe place in a time of need. Psalm 60 reminds us that in times of hardship, God shakes us loose in confession and repentance. Isaiah 40 describes the unparalleled power of God, a reminder we need as the virus works its way through our communities.
It’s interesting that passages we might have once read with passing disinterest now find new relevance in this time. Passages that speak of finding hope in the midst of fear. Scripture that calls us to courage when everything seems bad. We Americans prize our independence and our security. We have built lives we can easily control, futures we can map out for years down the road. But now the world is upside down and very few of us know what the immediate future looks like, much less what life will be like in five years. The only hope Christians have in this moment is the hope we’ve always had: we can entrust our uncertain future to an all-powerful, sovereign God.
For me, the Scriptures have become a lifeline these last few weeks. I hope they are for you. A couple of weeks ago, I read a dire, worst-case-scenario report that had me so wrought with fear I couldn’t sleep. I got up the next day and spent time in the Psalms. I realized then that I had begun to let my soul become wrapped around the news cycle and daily updates in a way that was catechizing me toward calamity.
Perhaps you’ve had similar swings from fear to faith. I believe this is a time for us to renew our strength in Christ. We can’t afford to lean away from our spiritual disciplines. Instead, we must lean into them, especially as we are so disconnected from friends and away from formal church gatherings. The fresh spiritual food of God’s Word and prayer is what our heart needs in this moment.
Christians in a Time of Coronavirus
This is why I was excited and delighted to partner with my friends here at Crosswalk to feature some meditations on some key Scripture passages as we Christians wrestle through what God might be asking of us in this moment. We've created a ten-day devotion for you in the form of a podcast. You can click here or on the link below to listen. The first episode is also embedded at the end of this article.
In a time of coronavirus, during this unprecedented season, will we have the faith and courage to live for Jesus in newly radical ways? Will we be the people who point others to the story of the gospel? Will the world see God in the way we process uncertainty and fear?
I hope you enjoy this series. I’d love to hear your feedback.
Here is the list of Scripture that we walk through in the podcast. We’ve posted the first half of the podcast episodes already, and the rest will be posted over the next few weeks. To listen to what is up now, head over to LifeAudio.com.
Christians in a Time of Coronavirus: Studying Our Faithful God in Uncertain Times
Image Credit: ©Getty Images/WestEnd61
Daniel Darling is the Senior VP for Communications at National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) and served for six years as VP of Communications for the ERLC. You can find more from Dan at DanielDarling.com.