In the past few weeks, people all around the world have become familiar with coronavirus (COVID-19), which has resulted in great fear and concern by many. And just when we think we have learned all there is to know about COVID-19, a new day comes, and we find out something else that results in even greater concern. Only God knows how serious this virus is and how many people will be infected by it in the near future.
As a pastor, I have had many come to me with concerns about how COVID-19 can and should be approached. In addition, I have received numerous suggestions from various ministry, medical and governmental sources offering guidelines to adapt what eventually may bring a resolve to this tragic worldwide situation.
I thank God for those in the medical science field who are searching for a solution to COVID-19. I am also grateful for political leaders who are attempting to provide direction that will keep the general citizenry informed, calm and peaceful. But I realize that those of us who are in pastoral ministry have a great responsibility before God to provide the spiritual leadership necessary to guide America through this tragic circumstance.
Certainly, there is no lack of secular advice being given as to how to approach COVID-19. But I believe the ultimate approach should be from the biblical perspective that presents God’s way of dealing with this issue. Yes, we need to look at COVID-19 through the eyes of a biblical worldview.
One passage of Scripture to consider is Psalm 91, which teaches how God takes care of His own. Take time to read all 16 verses of this precious passage. To summarize the psalm, we are told that those who belong to God through faith in Jesus Christ dwell in the inner sanctum of the presence of God, who protects them as a mother bird cares for her young under her wings. The promise is that no evil shall befall them because God will keep them in all of their ways. Through God’s grace, love and mercy, He will “set them on high” and show them his salvation that involves the deliverance through whatever may come their way. This applies to COVID-19 and all other trials of life.
Realizing God’s promise to provide for His own as taught in Psalm 91, and then trusting God to keep His Word, as He always does, will erase the greatest of all fear, anxiety and panic in the hearts of the deeply concerned.
So how does one get to the place of trusting God and seeing His provision? Perhaps remembering the following facts about God will help.
- God is in control. So depend upon Him to do what is right.
- God has a purpose. So watch for Him to work.
- God will provide. So trust in Him to deliver.
- God has a mission. So declare His truth abroad.
- God has a remedy. So praise Him for what He will do.
Even though there is a lot of advice being given in the world as to how to approach COVID-19, the sooner one focuses on Who God is, what God expects and how God works, and then is convinced of the fact that God causes, allows and directs all things according to His sovereign plan, the more one will experience the strength, hope, peace, comfort and confidence that only God can provide.
As Philippians 4:6,7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Yes, those who follow that comforting admonition from Scripture will surely experience all the provision of God that is needed to face COVID-19 or any other troublesome issue that will come upon us in life.
Remember the words of the old hymn written by Civilla D. Martin that says:
“Be not dismayed what-e’re be-tide, God will take care of you.
Beneath his wings of love abide, God will take care of you.
“Through days of toil when heart does fail, God will take care of you.
When dangers fierce your path assail, God will take care of you.
“All you may need he will provide, God will take care of you.
Nothing you ask will be denied, God will take care of you.”
Gary G. Dull is executive director of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network, board member of the American Pastors Network and co-host of APN’s “Stand in the Gap Today” radio program. He pastors Faith Baptist Church of Altoona.