It’s Ok to Fear Coronavirus

It's Ok to Fear Coronavirus

We find ourselves in a time of unprecedented trouble. Faced with a global pandemic, we need to take a moment to think biblically about our response to COVID-19.

I only have one thought that I will repeat in today’s devotional: Be afraid, but don’t give way to fear.

That statement may seem contradictory, so let me explain.

Fear is one of God’s good gifts to us. I think there are three types of spiritually healthy fear:

1. Fear of God. This is a holy reverence of the Almighty, living in awe of, and submitting to, the King of the universe.

2. Rapid Response Fear. This is our instinctual ability to react in a moment of danger. Think of a parent who spontaneously leaps into action to protect their child right before they hurt themselves.

3. Appropriate Concern: This allows us to be sobered by what we are facing, and with our God-given ability to analyze, we make wise and planned choices to protect ourselves and those we love.

God designed us with the ability to be afraid because he loves us and wants to protect us.

Be afraid, but don’t give way to fear.

Giving way to fear is characterized by meditating on the trouble we are facing and forgetting God in the process. This fear reveals itself when we allow our minds and hearts to be controlled by what was initially appropriate concern.

Is the pandemic (or anything that makes you afraid, for that matter) all you think about, all you read about, and all you talk about? If any type of trouble consumes your meditation, the larger it will loom, the more impossible a solution will seem, and the more frightened you will become.

In this world, you will face danger, so ignoring that reality is not wise. God has given you the ability to be concerned, so acting as if there is no reason for concern is not the solution.

The problem is that your meditation has been consumed by the trouble you are facing.

Whenever trouble consumes our meditation, it’s because we have ultimately forgotten God. We have forgotten that there is a Lord of glory, wisdom, goodness, power, and grace who sits on the throne of his universe. No difficulty of any kind – no person, place, or pandemic – can negate his good and glorious promises to his children.

As you look horizontally, things may seem entirely out of control. But when you look vertically, this world is under careful supervision.

Do I claim to understand the pandemic? Not at all. Until we’re on the other side, we may never fully understand why God would allow this trouble to enter our lives.

But we know who he is. We know what he can do. We know what he has promised. We know that he is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

In this moment of global pandemic, don’t let your meditation be dominated by fear so that you become God-forgetful. Don’t ignore the reality of the situation, don’t be embarrassed by your instinctual ability to respond rapidly when needed, and make wise plans out of appropriate concern.

Most of all, never stop fearing God.

Be afraid, but don’t give way to fear.

God bless,

Paul Tripp

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

1. What makes you most afraid of the pandemic? Why is this fear a God-given gift?

2. Besides the coronavirus, what else are you afraid of currently? Have you allowed this trouble to capture your meditation?

3. What happens to you spiritually when horizontal trouble consumes your thoughts and time?

4. How can you practically take steps to fear the Lord in this moment of crisis? Be specific.

5. Who do you know who is afraid at this moment? How does the Bible address their fears? Contact and comfort them today with the gospel!

This article originally appeared here.

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Paul David Tripp is a pastor, author, and international conference speaker. He is the president of Paul Tripp Ministries and works to connect the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life. This vision has led Paul to write many books on Christian living and travel around the world speaking and teaching. Paul's driving passion is to help people understand how the gospel of Jesus Christ speaks with practical hope into all the things people face in this broken world. Paul and his wife Luella reside Philadelphia. They are the parents of four grown children.