I believe it is very important that we seek to help your people to respond with faith and not out of fear. I believe the Lord wants to speak to us concerning the present coronavirus pandemic, through the occasion of the storm on the Lake, recorded in Mark 4 v.35 – 41.
Like the coronavirus “storm”, the storm on the Sea of Galilee was a serious crisis which came without warning (Matt.8 v.24) and Jesus’ disciples were overwhelmed and nearly swamped by it (Mark 4 v.37), but the Lord was with them (in the boat) and today He is with us in our situation – His promise is ‘never will I leave you nor forsake you’.
Jesus had given His disciples a specific word in advance of this crisis. He had told them: “Let us go over …” but when the crisis hit them, their belief was: “we’re going under!” They had let fear into their hearts (Mark 4 v.40) and seemingly forgotten God’s specific word to them.
In a crisis, whether it be the coronavirus scare or an unexpected personal or family situation, beware that it can negatively affect your whole perspective. In the midst of the storm, Jesus’ disciples began to doubt that the Lord really cared for them, saying “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” There is absolutely no doubt that despite how our circumstances look, our Lord truly cares for each one of us and His word to us for situations such as we are facing is:
- “… do not fear, for I am with you; …” (Is.41 v.10)
- “… my peace I give to you. … Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14 v.27)
- “… Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And (then) the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4 v.6-7)
Cast all your anxiety on Him for He [does] care for you.
1 Peter 5:7 NIV
Let’s be wise and continue to follow government and the health experts’ advice, but now is not a time for fear, but a time for faith in our God and His promises and an opportunity to be a witness to friends and neighbours in the way we respond to this crisis.
: Roy Wheeler :