We are certainly in “uncharted waters” as far as our country is concerned. Never have there been so many people in quarantine, school closings, sporting events cancelled, the list goes on and on. But yet the Lord comforts us and says, “Be still, and know that I am God,” Psalm 46:10
Sometimes telling people to have faith is easy to say, but hard to practice ourselves. There are definite times in my life where I didn’t even realize that my faith was at a weakened state, but then a trial comes my way and I find myself in a struggle. Is the Coronavirus taking a toll on your nerves? We know that these times are allowed by the Lord to strengthen our trust in Him, so why should we keep a “stiff upper lip” and have peace of mind when tragedy hits? There are several reasons that the faithful ones of God should never worry to the point of despair.
The first, and most important reason to me is that only God knows the end, not us. He is omniscient, all-powerful, and in control. (Read those words again!) Worrying about the end result will not bring about the knowledge of that end. Pour your heart out to Him, and leave matters at the Lord’s feet. “. . . for we walk by faith, not by sight” (1 Corinthians 5:7). Focus instead on the responsibilities that the present day has in store for us. “Therefore, do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).
Secondly, doesn’t God assure us that the end will be sanctioned by Him? Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” We are asked to do our best to serve Him, but then let God do His part. God ultimately has this situation under control, so let’s leave things to Him. We pray, we comfort, we wait on the Lord.
Recently, our congregation lost a dear sister in Christ. She lived into her eighties, was faithful to the end, and went on to her reward. She had gone through several health struggles toward the end of her life, and her body had grown very weak. She collapsed one night at home, so her husband rushed her to the hospital. Doctors were able to stabilize her, and she encouraged her husband to go on home, and that she’d see him in the morning. She said that she loved him and her daughter too, and before he left, she said, “God will do what is best.” He went home and got a call shortly after that his wife had passed away. What a beautiful statement she said as the last words to her husband! Her words inspired me, and remind me what the many years of faithful study had taught her. She had such a noble perspective on the ways of the Lord. He will always do what is best, and always at the perfect time. “. . . casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). This faithful woman of God did not fret about what would happen to her, she rested in the fact that God was in control.
Thirdly, we are assured that the end result will be enabled by God. “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnessed surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2). “Running” like this requires movement ahead and not stopping to fret.
As a student at Bear Valley Bible Institute, our instructor, Deanna Brant, drove this point home to us during one of our classes. She asked all of us to write down our cares/burdens/trials. We put this paper into a sealed envelope with our name on it. She said we’d get back to these later, and she encouraged us to pray and leave these matters in God’s care. At the end of the course, 6 weeks later, she gave these envelopes back to us. We could see how worrying about these concerns was futile, because as we looked back over our lists, God had taken care of us, handled each trial, and hardly any of our worries came to fruition!
Looking at the Hebrews “Hall of Fame,” we can see that none of these heroes of the faith knew exactly how their stories would play out. That’s why we look to them for strength, they all took a leap of faith.
- Noah built an ark when he had never seen a world-wide flood (Genesis 6:22).
- Abraham went off to a land he’d never been to so that he could receive an inheritance (Genesis 12:1-4).
- Sarah conceived a child way beyond menopause (Genesis 18:11; 21:2).
- Moses’ parents hid him, not fearing the king’s edict (Exodus 21:1-3).
- Rahab welcomed spies into her home (Joshua 6:25).
I am guessing that you are probably not building a large boat in your yard, or welcoming spies from foreign countries, but whatever is strengthening your faith, God has allowed it to happen. There are a lot of scared people right now, fearing for their health in the wake of this virus. Take courage from reading Hebrews 11, the book of Job, and many other verses that embolden you to follow in the footsteps of those who have gone on before us. Keep at the forefront of your thoughts, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Through this health scare, let’s show the unbelievers the faith we have in our great God and Savior that He will see us through. We are the “called out” ones, the ones who put ultimate faith in things “unseen.”
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).