I know that there are a lot of people who are uneasy, some definitely concerned, and many downright depressed. The coronavirus, or COVID-19, has made a sweeping tour of Planet Earth in just over three months.
The media has really hit the “freak-out” button and is causing a societal meltdown. Celebrity physician Dr. Drew Pinsky said the media should be “ashamed of themselves for creating panic around the coronavirus outbreak.”
We never want to call the coronavirus a hoax. It is real. But we need to put it in perspective. There are about 6,000 people who have died from COVID-19 worldwide thus far. However, according to the World Health Organization, a total of 1.5 million people died from tuberculosis in 2018. The coronavirus, compared to TB, pales into insignificance. The World Health Organization is also warning that multidrug-resistant TB “remains a public health crisis.” But none of this is mentioned by the media. It’s far worse than the coronavirus, yet the coronavirus is getting all the attention.
We need to remember Psalm 91: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God: in him will I trust. Surely, he shall deliver thee from the snare of the of the fowler [that’s someone who traps birds], and from the noisome pestilence.” The coronavirus is a “noisome pestilence.”
There is one word that describes this psalm—“security.” It reminds me of what Jesus said in John 10:28–29 where Jesus is speaking of our security in Christ: “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”
That’s a great passage. We are reminded again in Psalm 91:5–6, “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness.” And then the psalm goes on to say: “Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation. There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.”
I think it’s times like this when we feel powerless—that’s what causes the alarm. But isn’t that what faith is all about—knowing that we are powerless, knowing that we are undone, without God’s grace?
And that’s where humility comes in. First Peter 5:5–6 spell it out for us: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him: for he careth for you.”
When we do that the promise is “that he may exalt you in due time.” It doesn’t say that he will exalt you right now. Nor does it say that your faith won’t be challenged, but it does say that those who humble themselves, and who cast their cares and their fears on God will be exalted.
I believe that God is providing Christian people everywhere with a wonderful learning experience. We in America have become so dependent on government, and on all the nice things that we have. We are ill prepared for a major crisis. Well, God is preparing us right now. He is teaching us. He is challenging us. He says, “Be still and know that I am God.”