Fear is a major by-product of the coronavirus crisis across the globe.
I recently listened to an impassioned message from Israel’s President, Reuven Rivlin. He urged the citizens of Israel not to fear, not to panic, not to give way to anxiety. He addressed the very present danger of our hearts giving way to fear.
Yet how are we to manage our hearts in such a climate of uncertainty? Businesses and jobs have taken a huge hit. What is the hope for the future? An Israeli journalist noted how much this crisis differs from all other threats we’ve faced. “Israelis … don’t like to confess that we’re scared. But I’m scared” (David Brinn, JPost, March 16, 2020).
[While we’re on the subject of fear, I’ve got to interject that there is a healthy kind of fear that we’re commanded to embrace. It’s the fear of the Lord. It is knowing that God’s power and authority are so awe-some that we are legitimately afraid of the consequences of sin, evil, and rebellion. It is our trembling, worshipful respect when confronted with ultimate majesty.]
The wrong kind of fear is something we really have to deal with. It can cripple us mentally and emotionally. It can also spur us to rise up, check its source, and reach for the faith and love to overcome it. How can I deal with the wrong kind of fear when it enters into my heart, silent, but deadly?
1. Know that the Prince of Peace is with you
A storm threatened to drown them all. The small craft carrying the disciples had little chance of surviving, as a violent wind filled the boat with wave after wave. Yeshua slept through it, oddly undisturbed. They shook Him, desperate to survive.
“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. But He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’” (Mark 4:39-40)
The presence of Messiah in their situation changed everything. Remember. God has guaranteed that He will “never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
2. Counter Fear with Perfect Love
The Apostle John survived boiling oil, only to be cast alone, on to the island of Patmos. Yet, he received the greatest revelation of God’s love. John said,
“There is no fear in love; but
Perfect love casts out fear …
We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:18¬19).
When we’re attacked by fear it’s time to run into the arms of our Savior Shepherd.
3. During Tribulation, Look Up!
End-time events are already taking place, events given in the Bible as signs of the Lord’s return.
“And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven … Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:11,28).
We must not close our eyes to human suffering nor collapse in stressed-out fear. Yeshua makes it clear that these things are coming our way, but that they point to His ultimate return, when He will bring peace and blessing to all the earth. So, during these trying, life-threatening times, let’s be confident that He is with us and ask Him to use us in the lives of those next to us who are hurting.
“Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
“Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).