“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10
The stock market is crashing, and the world is on the verge of a pandemic. People are refusing to leave their homes over fear of the coronavirus. The stores are out of hand sanitizer and toilet paper. If you turn on the news, an “expert” will tell you how this plague is spreading and will soon infect you. I received a letter this week from a woman who was genuinely concerned about the coronavirus. She asked me for some advice on what she should do in this time of worldwide panic. Since this virus has so many people worried, I decided to address it here.
First, I personally am not at all concerned about the collapse of the stock market. I have been preparing for Wall Street to bottom out by having no money in the market. In fact, I have no money at all. My wife, Amanda, has all of it. I’m not sure what she does with it. But she doesn’t give any to me, and she doesn’t give to a stockbroker. So, I’m not worried about the exchange.
Second, I refuse to lock myself away and not interact with people. I had a meeting with my church deacons on Tuesday. I shook hands with everyone. Since they are all men, you know they weren’t all washed hands. Besides, the odds are greater that I will catch a cold, the flu, scabies, or rabies from one of my deacons than the coronavirus.
Third, I am not going to hoard supplies. Nobody has been able to make me understand how having ten cases of toilet paper is going to help your immunity to the coronavirus. I suppose that people are concerned about running out of toilet paper. Well, if that were to happen, I still have that box of Joel Osteen books that my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas… I also saw that people are asking $75.00 per bottle for hand sanitizer on Amazon and eBay. I don’t know about you, but elephants will roost in trees before I pay that kind of money for hand sanitizer. I will just stick to soap and water.
Fourth, I refuse to listen to the doom and gloom coming from the “experts.” They are the same bunch that said that all the computers were going to blow up at Y2K. In 2004, they told us that SARS would destroy the world. In 2008, it was the bird flu. The swine flu was going to kill us all in 2010. Zika was the bad bug in 2016. I’m beginning to think the “experts” are only experts at getting things wrong.
Now understand that it is not my intention to make fun of an epidemic. Thirty-one people have died in the United States from the coronavirus, and I am saddened for their families. But I am even more heartbroken over the 1.6 million lives that were lost to abortion last year. However, I don’t hear any outrage from any “expert” over the murder of 1.6 million babies.
It seems to me that people’s reactions to the coronavirus are based totally in fear. Over and over in the Bible, God says, “Fear not.” Additionally, God also says hundreds of times, “…for I am with you.”
The point is: As Christians, we fear not, for Jesus is with us. I don’t know about you, but I refuse to live in fear. Instead, I will live in happiness, security, and with a peace that passes all understanding. None of these are possible without the one thing that is the opposite of fear… FAITH.
What about you? Are you facing each day with fear? If so, know that the Lord Jesus Christ is with you and He will strengthen you.
Have faith instead of fear.
James Collins is the pastor of First Southern Baptist Church. He can be reached through the website www.fortscottfsbc.com or by phone at (620) 223-2986.