Before we discuss how Christians should respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). we must all first have background knowledge of COVID-19. So, what exactly is the Coronavirus (COVID-19)? According to John Hopkins Medicine, “COVID-19 is the disease caused by the new Coronavirus that emerged in China in December 2019. COVID-19 symptoms include cough, fever, and shortness of breath. COVID-19 can be severe, and some cases have caused death.
The new Coronavirus can be spread from person to person. It is diagnosed with a laboratory test. Prevention involves frequent hand-washing, coughing into the bend of your elbow and staying home when you are sick”. Since this virus began to emerge in other parts of the world, the media began to only cover news on COVID-19, and the number of confirmed cases and deaths increase as did the fear of people all around the world. Then when school began shutting down, restaurants, stores, and businesses began to close, fear only increased. Then when certain states in the US and certain countries began to have lockdowns and it was recommended that people not gather with more than 10 people present, stay at home quarantine became the new normal, fear only grew and grew in the hearts of many.
In the midst of this crisis, this pandemic of COVID – 19, one may ponder how does a Christian, believer of Jesus Christ, a son/daughter of the Highest God, respond to COVID-19?
♦ Stand Firm
The first thing a believer of Jesus Christ should do in responding to this sort of situation is to be still and stand firm. The first to be still. Whenever fear wants to make its way in our hearts, we must first be still and know that He is God. “Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10). Once our hearts are filled with peace from being still before God, we can begin to stand firm, firm in the Word, in Him, and His promises.
The Word of God is crucial in times as such, for the Word of God is the grounds, The Rock to which we even stand on. The Bible tells us that“the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12).We must know the power of the Word which thereby comes alive when we in agreement with it, declare the Word of God out loud in our situations. We must also remember that every word spoken is working in the situation for we know that “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11).
Standing firm in Jesus means spending time with Him, being strong in Him. “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). Remember who He is to us. Remember that He calms the winds and the waves, He tells them “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” (Mark 4:39). We must remind ourselves of who our God is and just how big, great, and mighty He really is. While we are standing firm on the Word of God, it is increasing our faith, it is also equally important to seek the face of Jesus, to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. It is vital to just soak up in His presence, for He is the Author and finisher of our faith. Standing firm in Jesus is what will make you drunk on the new wine of Heaven, to be lost in His presence and in that it will keep you in the joy of the Lord and keep you strong and firm no matter what comes your way.
♦ God’s Promises
“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”(2 Corinthians 1:20). God’s promises are Yes and Amen, they can never be revoked or canceled. God’s promises stand forevermore. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matthew 24:35). God’s promises are the one sure thing we must cling to in order to stand firm in any situation. God is faithful. God never breaks His promises, He always keeps His Word. God is so serious in keeping His Word that He puts His Word above His own name, “…For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.“ (Psalm 138:2). God is who He says He is, He will do everything He said He would do.
♦ The Blood
In the Bible, blood has a purpose for two things. The blood, specifically of a sacrificial lamb, and Jesus was the sacrificial Lamb of God in the New Testament. The blood protects and the blood purifies. In Exodus 11, we see when Pharaoh would not heed to the command of God per Moses, God sent many plagues to plague the Nation of Egypt. One of the plagues was that of the Angel of Death, that would kill all of the first-born males in every household. But God warned the Israelites ahead of time to sacrifice a lamb without blemish or spot and to put the blood on their side posts and lintels of the house in which they eat the lamb. The Israelites followed these instructions, so when the Angel of Death came over the land of Egypt, it passed over all of the doors that had the blood on the posts and lintels and the Angel of Death went into the houses of those without it, which were all the Egyptians and went on the firstborn males, including pharaoh’s son.
We know that Jesus was the symbol of that sacrificial lamb whose blood was slain and served as the sacrifice made to Passover God’s people. The Blood protects God’s people. As believers in Jesus, the blood of Jesus protects us from the power of the enemy. When the Holy Spirit fills us, there we are sealed also with the blood of Jesus and the enemy can no longer touch us. The blood of Jesus speaks of more excellent things than the blood of Abel, (Hebrews 12:24). Blood symbolizes power, power over death and as well as power over any enmity in the earth. The blood also purifies, so therefore if you have given into fear about this Coronavirus, COVID-19, and allowed it into your heart, we are able to repent as believers, and the blood of Jesus will purify us and we can begin to walk in faith.
♦ Fear vs Faith
A believer can respond one of two ways in this current crisis, they can either respond in fear, or they can respond in faith. What does it look like to respond in fear? What does it look like to respond in faith? The perfect picture of what it looks like to walk in fear and what it looks like to walk in faith is that in the story of Jesus walking on water and Peter walking along with Him found in Matthew 14:22-33. When Peter focused his eyes upon Jesus, in other words, walking in faith, he was walking on water. But when he looked at the winds and the waves, he was walking in fear, he began to sink. According to 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”.
When we walk in fear, it paralyzes us and doesn’t allow us to do what God has called us to do. But when we walk in faith, we walk in peace and thereby are able to do whatever it is that God wants us to do. To walk in peace is to walk in faith so there are two ways to walk to obtain the peace of God, other than the peace Jesus already gave us when we got saved and received the Holy Spirit who helps us produce the Fruit of the Spirit which includes peace.
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For Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” The first way is from the Word of God according to Isaiah 55:11-12, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace.”
The other way is through prayer. In Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” The way to keep our peace and our joy is to keep our eyes on Jesus in these times. And if we have any cares to cast them up on the Lord (1 Peter 5:7) and don’t pick them back up, whatever we placed in His hand.
As Christians, we can stand and be confident in God‘s protection over us. But it’s crucial that each of us has a revelation of that in our own lives, a revelation of God‘s protection. If we do not have a revelation of God‘s protection over us, then we are just as susceptible as the world is in our minds. Recall, the Bible says in Proverbs 23:7, “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he”. Therefore, we must allow God’s word and promise of protection over us to go from our heads into our hearts.
The way to bring the Word of God into our hearts is by meditating upon it, by spending time in the word and repeating the Scriptures over and over until it burns in our spirit. There are so many scriptures regarding protection over God’s people, which a few will be quoted below, but others which are much longer will just be stated and can be of later use. The only way to ensure our protection is effective in our lives is to read the word about it and believe it. For we know faith comes by hearing, hearing the Word ( Romans 10:17 ).
Faith is the currency we use to access the realm of the spirit and the things of God. The whole Psalm 91 is one of the most powerful passages on God’s protection. Another powerful passage to read is Psalm 121. Here as the shorter verses on God’s protection.
Proverbs 18:10 says “The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”
Job 1:10 says “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has?…”
Zechariah 2:5 says “‘And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’” Though this was referring to the city of Jerusalem, we as believers are now God’s sanctuary and we are a city on a hill that cannot be hidden.
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Psalm 46:1 says “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 says “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
2 Thessalonians 3:3 says “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”
1 John 4:4 says “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world”.
Psalm 34:19 says “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.”
Psalm 20:1 says “May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.”
Isaiah 41:10 says “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
♦ Win Souls
Lastly, during this time of confusion, uncertainty, and chaos, one of the wisest things we can do is win souls (Proverbs 11:30). It’s not like it’s a new thing we came up within this time, Jesus commands every believer in Matthew 19-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” In these dark times, people need the shining light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only hope in this crisis and in life, period.
The good news of Jesus Christ ought to be preached in every street corner and to every person that there may be brought hope to the hopeless, life to the lifeless, and joy and comfort to the hurting. In these times people’s hearts may be softened to the gospel and they are just waiting and looking for someone to bring to this hope to them. This is the perfect time to go through your contacts and call your loved ones, families and friends and ask them “Has anybody ever told them that God loves them and has a wonderful plan for their lives?” and pray the prayer of salvation with them if they so choose.
People are very vulnerable in these times and must ask themselves the question of where they are going to spend eternity. Therefore, it’s a great time to share with the gospel and give them the opportunity to give their hearts to Jesus and spend eternity in heaven with Him.
♦ TAKE-HOME MESSAGE
The take-home message is to share how we, as Christians, should respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) or any other virus, pandemic, crisis, etc. Once again, we must stand firm in God‘s word, in His presence, and in His promises. Know and trust the power and protection of the blood of Jesus over us. We must walk in faith and not fear, faith in the faithfulness of God and faith in God’s word. We must also know and have a revelation of the protection that is over us from God as believers. We must also make the most of this situation and win souls for Jesus.
Having reiterated this, we want to make it absolutely clear about what it looks like to put this into practice in the natural. In no way, shape or form are we saying to go out and have an attitude of nonchalance towards everyone as well as the virus, disregarding laws and orders, not washing our hands, not taking any kind of precautionary measures. We must take precautionary measures in the natural and trust and believe God in the supernatural for our protection, that is using wisdom. Therefore, it is crucial for us to wash our hands for at least 20 seconds often, don’t go anywhere unless we must, if our country, city, state etc., permits it, practice social distancing, if not for ourselves, then for the sake of others our communities.
Also, the only time Christians ought to disregard laws and orders, is when they conflict with our beliefs and freedom to worship God in all our ways, other than that, we must follow laws and orders. We also want to share the importance that no matter what’s happening around us, to keep our eyes on Jesus, hang tight our families, spend time with them, enjoy time at home with them, and to reach out to our friends, keep in touch with them and make sure they’re all well. Lastly, and certainly not least, we want to reiterate how we ought to spend time with Jesus and trust Him with our lives.