Just to be honest, pandemics are pretty tough. In fact, I think they really stink.
Many people are sick right now, barely clinging to life. Some have died. Medical supplies are low.
Our hearts are pretty low, too.
Disney World, the “happiest place on earth,” is now devoid of happy people (or any people).
The ball park has no cheering crowds, no umpires yelling, “Batter up!” Movie theaters no longer vibrate with surround sound or smell like hot popcorn.
In churches, pipe organs, electric guitars and powerful audio systems are silent.
We’ve lost the pleasure of a good handshake; the warmth of a sincere hug.
And it’s so sad how weddings and funerals have been cancelled. (If that’s happened to you & yours, I’m so sorry)
But here’s the good news. This pandemic will not last forever. No matter how unending it feels right now, eventually it will pass.
As you try to survive this ugly, global pandemic, remember that a virus isn’t the only thing you’ve got to fight.
You must also fight fear and anxiety daily, like the plague.
The Bible tells us why:
“Anxious hearts are very heavy…” Prov. 12:25 (TLB)
In other words, the more anxiety you carry in your heart, the harder this time will be. Anxiety weighs you down. It weakens you. And right now, you need to be strong for yourself and for others.
So how can you fight this pandemic of fear when your whole world is falling apart?
This verse tells us:
“Anxious hearts are very heavy, but a word of encouragement does wonders!”
A good, encouraging word lightens the weight of anxiety and fear. That’s why you need a daily diet of encouragement. (*see the uplifting links below)
Today, I’m writing to give you this word of encouragement: Remember.
Your own memory is good medicine. It can help you fight the pandemic of fear and anxiety, if you use it. You can find peace in this trial by remembering these 3 truths:
Remember Who God Is.
> God is a Provider: recall the good things God provided for you, even during this horrific, unprecedented week. What’s He done for you today? In the midst of this historic time, thank God for His provision. Write your blessings down, so you’ll never forget it—even years from now.
Here’s a few of God’s blessings I’m thankful for:
My wonderful husband, who’s going through this pandemic with me.
That none of my family has the virus.
Precious people who’ve called or texted to cheer me up.
My fridge is stocked and my bills are paid (at least for today).
I found 3 containers of Clorox wipes under the guest room bed. Aha!
My Japanese magnolia is in full bloom. Birds are singing each morning.
I bet God’s provided a lot of blessings for you, too. And He will again. Remember.
> God is a Savior. Aren’t you glad He is? Remember even if you die, God made a way—through Jesus Christ—for you to live, forever. That’s why He’s called Savior. He doesn’t partially save. He doesn’t wish He could save. He saves completely.
Mercifully, the Savior saved me. Has He saved you?
If not, there’s no better time to be saved than today. Please don’t go through this time without the Lord. Reach out to Him for eternal life (Jn. 5:24). Believe. Repent (Acts 3:19). Claim Jesus as your Savior, for He alone can save you (Jn. 14:6).
Remember, no virus can touch your saved soul. No crisis can separate you from the Lord’s presence or His love (Rom. 8:38-39). Economic loss cannot touch the treasure awaiting you in heaven, for it’s protected by His great power (1 Pet. 1:3-5) Remember.
> God is a Healer. In Exodus 15, God calls Himself “Jehovah the Healer” (Ex. 15:26) So naturally, Jesus was also a healer. He touched the sick and dying and He still does today. But He can do more than heal bodies. He can also heal our hearts, our souls and our land. If there’s ever been a time to cry out to the Lord for healing, it’s now.
Ask the Lord to heal:
Those who are on ventilators right now, struggling to breathe.
Those grieving the loss of someone they truly loved.
Those suffering from isolation and fear.
Those who’ve lost their dreams.
Those who’ve lost their jobs.
The Lord is your healer, too. He can help you fight the pandemic of fear and suffering. Remember.
Remember What God Has Promised.
“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe in him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.” Eph. 1:19-20 NLT
“The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 2 Tim 4:18 NIV
“I will be your God through all your lifetime, yes, even when your hair is white with age. I made you and I will care for you. I will carry you along and be your Savior.” Is. 46:4 TLB
“The bodies we now have are weak and can die. But they will be changed into bodies that are eternal. Then the Scriptures will come true: Death has lost the battle! Where is its victory? Where is its sting? . . . Jesus Christ gives us the victory!” 1 Cor. 15:54-56 CEV
Life with Him Forever:
“For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.” Jn. 6:40 NLT
Remember Other People.
“Illness can make you really selfish” a friend once told me before she died. It’s true. When you’re hurting physically or emotionally, it’s easy to forget others and to focus on yourself.
This is why so many people are hoarding, right now. It’s why someone stole the entire tip jar at the coffee shop near my house. It’s why a co-worker shows up at the office with a fever. It’s why this guy in Tennessee tried to stockpile goods and then price-gouge people who wanted to buy sanitizer, masks and wipes.
These people are not thinking of others—they’re only thinking of themselves. And remember, they’re not the only ones.
Pain, fear and need can cause all of us to focus on ourselves and to forget the needs of others.
Don’t let that happen. I’ll try not to, either.
Remember others during this pandemic:
People are isolated: Facetime or call someone today. Make a patio visit. Give an air hug.
Some are in need: Share willingly. Open your heart and hands, instead of gripping stuff so tightly.
Others are sick: Check on your neighbors. Donate blood. Pray for others, daily.
Some are losing their jobs: My friend has been leaving giant tips. Another paid a bill early. What can you do?
Many are losing hope: Remind others of God’s love. Be encouraging. Share your faith.
Panic is growing: Choose your words wisely. Be careful not to add to the panic or to get sucked into it.
Above all, remember this truth on purpose. Embrace it every single day:
God loves you. Personally. Totally. Forever. No matter what.
Live loved this week, have faith and hang in there!
*Here are some uplifting links that will make you smile:
- This flash mob gives me chills. So many praising God! I sing with them every time (or at least I try).
- Doctors and nurses dancing to keep spirits high in Tehran.
- Neighbors play music together from balconies in Sicily.
- Miss the treadmill at your gym? This guy has it figured out.
- And…watch this kitchen “DJ” genius.
- For more go to Good News Movement.
- This sermon inspired this post: Peace in a Pandemic by David Platt.