The world is in a panic. The coronavirus has brought a humming global system to a screeching halt. Flights to China have been canceled, the entire city of Wuhan has been placed in quarantine, and people are avoiding even venturing outside. Countries whose citizens were visiting Wuhan have rapidly set up special flights and landing zones in order to prevent the spread of the virus to new places. 170 people have died and thousands more have suffered from the powerful new virus.
For Christians, we shouldn’t be overcome by fear. As Paul neared his own death, he reminded Timothy: “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7). Now, refusing to succumb to fear doesn’t mean becoming reckless or stupid. As Paul himself said, “if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). We have a sacred responsibility, especially to our family, to use wisdom to keep people safe from harm as much as we can.
We should also realize that every trial we encounter is an opportunity to develop our faith. When Paul had a near-death experience, he said: “But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9). How we respond to a crisis can also show the world the real and abiding hope we have in Christ alone, which goes beyond this life. This hope, available to everyone through faith, assures us of a New Heaven and a New Earth where God “will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
About First Baptist Dallas and Dr. Robert Jeffress
Dr. Robert Jeffress is a best-selling author of 24 books, a nationally and internationally syndicated TV and radio host and the senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas, one of the largest and most influential churches in America. Pathway to Victory, Dr. Jeffress’ broadcast ministry, airs daily nationwide on more than 900 radio stations and is broadcast live to 195 countries. His latest book, “Choosing the Extraordinary Life,” is available in bookstores everywhere. He is an evangelical adviser to the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.