How to use your Faith in case of pandemic

Man covering face with fists

Uncontrollable virus like a great storm is traveling across continents and infecting people around us. For some of us, it takes away our jobs and lives of people we loved. We feel hopeless against a virus we have no treatment for. We feel like floating in a small boat during a windstorm.

忽然起了暴风,波浪打入船内,甚至船要满了水。 耶稣在船尾上,枕着枕头睡觉。门徒叫醒了他,说:“夫子!我们丧命,你不顾吗?” 耶稣醒了,斥责风,向海说:“住了吧!静了吧!”风就止住,大大地平静了。 耶稣对他们说:“为什么胆怯?你们还没有信心吗?”

( 马可福音 4:37-40 )

It’s natural for us to build our confidence based on experience in this world. When things go the way we expect them to go, we’re relaxed and happy. When a minor trouble comes our way, we try to ignore it and move on. Our confidence is growing with industrial progress that brings us comfortable living and scientific discoveries that explain how things work and develop vaccines for all diseases. However, the foundation of our faith is very fragile and quickly fails when something unordinary happens. So what is the promise we received from our God the Father?

你若听从耶和华──你 神的话,这以下的福必追随你,临到你身上: 你在城里必蒙福,在田间也必蒙福。 你身所生的,地所产的,牲畜所下的,以及牛犊、羊羔,都必蒙福。 你的筐子和你的抟面盆都必蒙福。 你出也蒙福,入也蒙福。 “仇敌起来攻击你,耶和华必使他们在你面前被你杀败;他们从一条路来攻击你,必从七条路逃跑。 在你仓房里,并你手所办的一切事上,耶和华所命的福必临到你。耶和华──你 神也要在所给你的地上赐福与你。 你在耶和华向你列祖起誓应许赐你的地上,他必使你身所生的,牲畜所下的,地所产的,都绰绰有余。 耶和华必为你开天上的府库,按时降雨在你的地上。在你手里所办的一切事上赐福与你。你必借给许多国民,却不致向他们借贷。 你若听从耶和华──你 神的诫命,就是我今日所吩咐你的,谨守遵行,不偏左右,也不随从事奉别神,耶和华就必使你作首不作尾,但居上不居下。”

( 申命记 28:2,3,4,5,6,7,8,11,12,13 )

Yes, it is not natural for us to live this life obeying God and his commandments. When our life is out of trouble, we again and again pursue our wicked ways.

我从早起来,差遣我的仆人众先知去,说:‘你们各人当回头,离开恶道,改正行为,不随从事奉别神,就必住在我所赐给你们和你们列祖的地上。’只是你们没有听从我,也没有侧耳而听。

( 耶利米书 35:15 )

As we can see, we are not alone in our fear and lack of faith. Generation after generation of people for thousands of years were disobeying God and losing His blessings. We shook out love from the foundation of the God's commandments, leaving out dry statements with only visual and formal obedience to them. That all landed us on a place of fear…

耶和华因你行恶离弃他,必在你手里所办的一切事上,使咒诅、扰乱、责罚临到你,直到你被毁灭,速速地灭亡。 耶和华要用痨病、热病、火症、疟疾、刀剑、旱风{或译:干旱}、霉烂攻击你。这都要追赶你,直到你灭亡。

( 申命记 28:20,22 )

God’s anger is indeed fearful. But before we jump into judging our Heavenly Father for doing such cruel things, let’s imagine a doctor who’s cutting off an infected leg to save a person from dying. It’s natural for us to focus on the things that can be seen and ignore our God’s love and desire to save us. Our child will remember our anger and a painful slap on a back, but would easily forget how it saved him from falling off a dangerous cliff. And we who see only earthly things, do not even see what God's anger saves us from.

God wants us to obey him faithfully. He wants us to not be afraid of what we see, but rather gain confidence from our faith.

原来我们不是顾念所见的,乃是顾念所不见的;因为所见的是暂时的,所不见的是永远的。

( 哥林多后书 4:18 )

Whether you are at risk of losing your life, or at the peak of your health, death is perceived as the worst that can happen to us. But is it? Death is the last thing that we see of a human. The death opens up the door to the unseen for us, to the unknown.

The unknown in our life, or after it, is controlled by our fear, or by our faith. We can surround ourself with the darkness of fear, or the light of faith. As we can see in this earthly life, faithful people become successful in what they do. And there is no reason to doubt that faith will light up path after the death to those who believe. Path to a much better life than here on Earth.

“ 神爱世人,甚至将他的独生子赐给他们,叫一切信他的,不致灭亡,反得永生。

( 约翰福音 3:16 )

Right now we are alive. And we are thankful to our God for that very minute we live now, for the ability to see and to breathe, and to make a change in this world. We can still see our loved ones and tell them what they mean to us.

Love overcomes fear and reveals who we really are, created in God's image. And by going through physical death and resurrection, Jesus Christ broke the chains of death and brought us a Holy Spirit, an invisible helper that now can live within us.

就是真理的圣灵,乃世人不能接受的;因为不见他,也不认识他。你们却认识他,因他常与你们同在,也要在你们里面。

( 约翰福音 14:17 )

The Spirit we received is not the Spirit of fear, as it leads us to eternal life.

因为 神赐给我们,不是胆怯的心,乃是刚强、仁爱、谨守的心。

( 提摩太后书 1:7 )

From that we can see that if we feel fear, it’s not from the Spirit God gave us. If we walk in the darkness of a fear, we did not bring the light of faith in the Lord, our God.

<耶稣是世界的光> 耶稣又对众人说:“我是世界的光。跟从我的,就不在黑暗里走,必要得着生命的光。”

( 约翰福音 8:12 )

Now, standing in the epicenter of the pandemic, what would you choose - Fear of Faith? In the darkness of this fearful world, can someone see your light?

我岂没有吩咐你吗?你当刚强壮胆!不要惧怕,也不要惊惶;因为你无论往哪里去,耶和华──你的 神必与你同在。”

( 约书亚记 1:9 )

Nothing comes out of no reason in our world. And what would this pandemic teach us? Would we be able to actually value human life? Will we be able to value true friendship, express gratitude for what we've got? Will it end the meaningless race for a better picture in Instagram and more subscribers to our YouTube videos? Will it end the wars for money and power? Will it make the sky blue again for future generations? Will we finally be able to take off the veil from our eyes and see the real world created by our Father?

我留下平安给你们;我将我的平安赐给你们。我所赐的,不像世人所赐的。你们心里不要忧愁,也不要胆怯。

( 约翰福音 14:27 )