In midst of the global pandemic that has swept over the nations, God is teaching us to continue entrusting our lives to Him! With the world telling us to panic, it’s more important than ever to live and love like Christ. Here are three reminders of how we can be like Christ to both each other and to the world.
Trust God (Don’t Fear)
One of the clearest examples that Jesus left for us was in His unwavering trust and devotion to God. When the Spirit led Him into times of uncertainty [i.e. the wilderness experience as well as the events leading up to the Cross], the Bible says that He “…continued entrusting Himself to God…” (1 Peter 2:23). How was He able to do this? Because Jesus was confident that, no matter what life threw His way, His Father would always see Him through. When the enemy came against Him, He stood on the foundation of God’s Word. When times of testing came His way, He sought the Father in prayer. Jesus was the perfect man and we are to be like Him in every way.
COVID-19 has thrusted all of us into times of uncertainty. As in Matthew 4:1-11, the enemy is in our garden trying to sow seeds of doubt and distrust. We are all asking questions such as: “How will this impact my family? Will we get sick? How secure is my job? How will I provide?” Those questions are not wrong to ask. God already knows what is laying on our hearts and desires us to be honest and open with Him. Yet even while these questions swirl around in our head, we must follow the example set by our Savior and continue to entrust our lives to God regardless of circumstances. Many of us have more time now than before to seek God. Let us take advantage of this opportunity and be intentional with the time God has given. Let us study and meditate upon Scripture and seek the Father in prayer. When we do these things, we are modeling this type of trust and devotion to the Lord for others to see and learn from.
Give Thanks (Don’t Complain)
How are we personally handling this crisis? I want to challenge us to think about our time in quarantine so far: what have we done, shared, thought, etc.? Have we thanked God for giving us a roof over our heads and food on the table or have we allowed our focus to slip into complaining and focusing on everything we don’t have or can’t do.
I think about the Israelites when God led His people into the wilderness after rescuing them from Egypt. At first, there was excitement – they even broke out into song (Exodus 15:1-21), but then, after three days in the wilderness, the Bible says “…the people grumbled…” (Exodus 15:22-23). They lasted three days before they began complaining and focusing on the struggles. Even though they knew that the Spirit of God led them into the wilderness [i.e. these times of uncertainty] and that God would see them through, they allowed the enemy to sow seeds of doubt and distrust in their hearts and minds. They did not trust in the unfailing Word of God. While we may not be in a physical wilderness, our lives are in a difficult place right now. Let us look for things to thank the Lord for today because, even if the world is falling apart, the fact that you are reading this indicates that God has continued to sustain your life!
Submit Yourself (Don’t Rebel)
Every human in this world is placed under a certain level of authority which is a good thing. This means that we are all ultimately held accountable to the sovereign Lord of the universe. The institution of government and leadership in our lives has been established by Him for a specific reason. Thus, a clear way to actively live life that is set apart from the world and more like Christ is to look for ways to honor the government. I am not saying you must agree with everything they do because, let’s be honest, at times that would be foolish! However, you and I are commanded to honor those whom God has placed in authority over our lives (Romans 13:1-7), regardless of who they are. How do we show honor to our leaders? Yes, with our words and with our actions, but are we submitting to them with a complaining spirit? That’s not honoring, just obeying. We should seek to honor our leaders in our words, actions and attitudes. Most importantly, we should pray that the Lord will give them wisdom and discernment in how to best lead those under their care.
We do not know what the future holds but let us remember to: trust God, give thanks, and to submit ourselves to our governing authorities. And let us seize this unprecedented time for God’ glory. People have often spoken of the three T’s that God has given us: Time, Talents, and Treasures. How are we using our three T’s during this pandemic? We know that God has been preparing us for this moment. So, let us prayerfully consider how we might best use our time, talents, and treasures to minister to our Church and give hope to a scared world.