One of the most terrible weapons that the devil uses against Christians is the weapon of fear. He harps on circumstances and situations to create fear in the lives of Christians. It is natural for humans to respond to external stimuli through fear, which is why the devil capitalizes on this to make faulty evidences appear real.
The omniscient God, who knows the end from the beginning, knew the schemes of the devil and gave us the command “fear not.” This command appears 365 times in the Bible to counteract the daily fears produced by the manipulations of the devil on an annual basis. Every day, the devil produces fear and God has already given the daily command of “fear not.” It is now left for us to make a choice between what the devil says and what God says.
The fear of COVID-19 and its Omicron variant can kill more people than the virus itself. Obedience to the command of “fear not” will inevitably provide psycho-spiritual support needed in these uncertain times. Fear is a torment that comes from the devil and Christians should not opt for it. Rather, we should continue to be strong regardless of the circumstances and the level of infection.
Joshua was able to conquer Canaan because He obeyed God rather than his fear: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). Our ability to recognize that the Lord our God is always with us will help us to have confidence that He will see us through, no matter the situation.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego survived the burning furnace because they were not afraid; they had confidence in the deliverance of God. They were determined to perish instead of bowing down to other gods. Sometimes, the root cause of fear in the lives of Christians is not lack of trust in the ability of God to see them through, but lack of readiness to suffer, die or lose something precious for the sake of the Kingdom.
Whenever a Christian has strong faith in God to deliver or do something for him or her, the devil usually comes with the question — what if God fails you? This is where the fear intrudes, and we rarely have an answer to this question. Our inability to answer the question results in fear. The three Hebrew men gave the answer to the enemy before he even asked the question: “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:7-8). Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were bold to talk to the king of Babylon. Whether God would save them or not was irrelevant; fear would not grab a hold of them.
When Christians depend absolutely on their emotions, the tendency to be afflicted with fear by the devil will be very high. We should not depend on what we hear, see or feel. We should depend on what God says. Many of us are already afraid because we read news that the World Health Organization says there are over 7 million new cases of Omicron in Europe in the first week of January. Shouldn't we at this time trust God to repeat what He did for the Israelites in the land of Egypt, if He so wills?
“The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike the Egyptians” (Exodus 12:13). Christians should trust God that COVID, like every other disease, will eventually pass. God protected the Israelites from the plagues of Egypt; He can do so now as well.
Jesus’ disciples could not evangelize because they were afraid of persecution. When the Spirit filled them after Pentecost, their lives were changed. We need daily infilling of the Spirit if we must obey the command of “fear not.” The Holy Spirit gives us the enabling power act with boldness. Paul also brought it to Timothy’s attention: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Our ability to understand the dangers associated with Christianity and our readiness to face these dangers will help us obey God. Christ did not promise us comfort. He has already said that in this world we will have tribulations. He did not assure us that He will deliver us from all troubles, rather He prepared our mind to face difficulties and be ready to die for His sake. “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Mathew 10:28).
Instead of being afraid of the Omicron variant, humans should be afraid of what happens after death. Where we spent eternity should be of utmost concern to us in this perilous time when persecutions, killings, natural disasters, accidents, and pandemics have continued to occur regularly. Let us therefore boldly walk unto the Throne of Grace in this time of trouble, to obtain God's mercy.