By: James Orhosere
With the increasing Corona-Virus outside of Wuhan in China, many Christians across the world are in serious a panic on how to respond to the increasing alarm of the virus. What would God our father want us to do in crisis period like this?
Recall that it started like a child’s play in Wuhan, a province in China around December 2019. Today, it has advanced beyond China, enveloping the world to assume pandemic dimension since then the whole world has not known peace. Social lives and the world bowed down to it as people had to stay at home to curtail the spread of the virus. Factories, work places, schools, markets and even churches were shut down for a period in Nigeria, life was so stressful, and people had to maintain social and physical distances.
As at today Covid-19 is a leveller with no respect for boundaries, status and power. Developed and developing nations are caught up in the web. Scientists are clueless even those claiming to be prophets parading miraculous solutions to all problems under the sun have all gone into hiding; up to this moment, no credible vaccine or solution have been proffered to stop the pandemic. In fact, statistics turning out daily in Nigeria is worrisome. More and more people are dying every day as a result of the virus and even more worrisome is the fact that it is spreading at a geometric proportion in our country.
In a moment like this we are often tempted to think otherwise about our Lord. Our Lord is not unmindful of the situation; in fact He has asked us to bring every yoke to the domain.
However in doing that we must act with faith to terminate every doubt and unbelief from minds. Let us hear what the bible says on this in book of Mathew 17:19-20 –“Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said why could we not cast it out?” so Jesus said to them “because of your unbelief, for assuredly, I say to you if you have faith as mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “move from here to there and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
This mountain was a figure of speech for an obstacle hindrance or humanly insurmountable problem. It is Covid-19 in the context. Jesus says our faith in God is like a seed. When we put our faith into action, that faith will melt down every obstacles including Corona-virus; this we must do through prayers and sometimes it requires fasting as attested to by Jesus Christ in Mathew 17:21 – However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.
We know God that He does not go back on His words, therefore the only obstacle is our inability to develop that kind of faith; of a truth it is not easy! We have seen Peter and other disciples of Jesus tremble when they encountered storm even when Jesus was with them the boat (Luke 8:22-25). The Israelites who witnessed the numerous miracles of God in Egypt gave in to doubts on their way to the Promised Land. Elijah told King Ahab that there would be heavy rain and in faith Elijah could hear the rain coming (1 Kings 18:40-46).
James the apostle made reference to the incident in his message. James 5:17-18 – Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
Remember Paul told us that our weapons (prayers) are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. 2 Cor. 10:4 –For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.
Even if the entire world is vulnerable, our God is capable of seeing us through the plague. He has done it before for His children in captivity in Egypt. Ten plagues invaded the land of the Egyptians where the Israelites were held captive, but in the land of Goshen where the Israelites inhabited the plagues did not get there ; if God did it then He is more than able to it today also; all we need do is to apply faith along with prayers and supplication without doubts.
In the book of James 1:1-5, it is through trials our faith is tested, so how elastic is your faith to trust God to save you from the pandemic after doing the needful?
Since faith is very necessary in time like this, it is very necessary to build it to a level where it can move mountain. There are some tools you need to build faith. But be forewarned: This is not a step by step process. With God’s help you will need to decide for yourself which tools to use at what time and then you will need to keep trusting in God to build your faith in His perfect time.
THE WORD OF GOD
In book of Romans 10:17 it is stated “so then faith comes by hearing by the word of God”. The Bible is not just words; it has God’s spirit and His spirit flowing through it. So find scriptures that apply to your situation. Read them over until they make impact in your heart.
EXPECTATIONS, TRUST AND PATIENCE
This is probably the hardest part, keeping up your trust and expectation while patiently waiting for answer to come. This is where discouragement tries to creep in and you have to keep reminding yourself that God is on the throne. We need to seal our faith with the belief that the ‘Lord is our rock in Him we hide and our shelter in the time of storm’. This is the kind of message we Christians needed to be motivated with in this period of pandemic.
At some points in the process, your faith will be tested. God will ask you to do something that seems opposite to what you are trusting God for and He is looking to see if obedience to Him is more important to you than your own needs, wants and desires. What we must realize as Christians is that the act of obedience is what opens the door spiritually for our own needs to be fulfilled.
THANKFULNESS AND WORSHIP
When you spend time in thankfulness and worship, you take eyes off the problems and place them on the One who can solve them. The more focus on the problem the bigger it gets and the harder it is to overcome; when we focus on Him, the problem get smaller, our trust is reinforced and its dealt with sooner. We cannot overstrikes the point as faith is about getting to know God in relating to the problem.
A WORD OF CAUTION!
Note, applying faith approach to the problem of Covid-19 does not mean we should be careless. The various precautionary measures recommended by heath practitioners, scientists and more importantly the government should be strictly adhered to; remember the word of God in Romans 13:1-2 – “All of you must obey those who rule over you there are no authorities except the one God has chosen. Those who now rule have been chosen by God. So whoever opposes the authorities opposes when God has appointed those who do that will be judged.
Neither Christ love nor God’s word encourage risks but promote obedience. Remember how our God secured safety for Jesus Christ, when King Herod wanted to kill them (Matt. 2:13-15).
My dear brethren, let us trust in the Lord and hold on to our faith as we know we have a Father who will not fail us. Let us comply with the rules and stay safe.
God is our shelter in the time of storm. Just as He delivered Peter, Paul and Silas from prison with His mighty power, so He will deliver us in this trying period of ours. Therefore, children of God do not lose hope but keep trusting and He will deliver us all from the hand of this pandemic.