We are in a key time, I am deliberately not using the word critical because it implies we are in a crisis and I do not believe we are. This virus has been labelled a pandemic not because of lethality but due to how rapidly it is spreading. We need to behave in a responsible manner to see it stop. In that context there is the expression, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” While not entirely true it is a good pithy statement that captures an important point. Fear has a debilitating effect. Cognitively and physiologically fear and anxiety lead to the release of stress hormones, a heightened state of arousal and an increased heart rate. All things which decrease the ability of our immune system to fight disease.
This aroused state is exactly the opposite of what Jesus says.
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. John 14:27 (NKJV)
My wife and I were recently at a gathering and someone shared that we had all been afraid this past week. I leaned over to my wife and whispered, “Not true. I have no fear at all.” In stating that I am not trying to boastful, arrogant or denying reality. The reality is that the lives of many around us are imploding. Yet I have a deep seated confidence that Jesus is in charge of my life. I believe what Isaiah wrote millennia ago about the effectiveness and power of God’s word.
11 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
I also believe what Paul wrote.
8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. 9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 2 Corinthians 5:8-9 (NKJV)
21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. 24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, Philippians 1:21-25 (NKJV)
For the church, this is our opportunity to arise and shine, to be seen helping those around us and pointing them to the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Interesting that inherent in this title for Jesus is the idea that He had authority over peace. An example of this can be seen in Jesus sleeping in a terrible storm while the disciples are terrified (Mark 4:35-41). When they wake Him up He releases what He carries and the storm stops. He calls us to carry this same peace and release it to stop the storms of fear sweeping our society and bring about a great calm.
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. Mark 4:39 (NKJV)
Kari Jobe – I Am not Alone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfveawSAHJA
NOTE I will be doing another post this week on Understanding the Times