The Bible & coping amid COVID-19Sunday, March 14, 2021
IN the words of one colleague, we are living in “covidious” times.
Many feel trapped, as the world is literally on the edge in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic. A deadlier strain of the virus is here. Some have done all they can, yet there seems no way out.
Well-meaning governments are trying their best, but hopelessness and helplessness seem all around. Is there a source higher than humans that we should look to in these dark times to help us stabilise our mental health and sanity? Are these things happening by chance, or are they part of a larger prophetic outlay of things destined to occur in these times?
Destined to occur
In a prophecy which spoke of the destruction of Jerusalem and which carries a larger fulfilment for our day, Jesus was asked at Matthew 24:3: “When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and the conclusion of this system of things?”
Jesus gave a composite sign that his disciples were to look out for. In other words, while the majority may be in panic, Jesus's disciples would understand that what is happening is a part of a larger prophetic fulfilment and as such needed not panic like those who do not have understanding.
While Matthew gave many a feature to the sign of the last days, the doctor Luke specifically said this at Luke 21:11: “And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.”
What is a pestilence? A pestilence is not just a disease, but a disease that spreads rapidly. Many would readily agree that the novel coronavirus meets the definition of a pestilence. But, in the face of things like these, the Bible tells us, “See that you are not terrified.” This is a loving reassurance from a book that predicted these happenings in our time.
Conscious of your spiritual needs
Imagine how fearful it must have been when the Roman army under Cestus Gallus came and surrounded Jerusalem in 66 CE. In a move not fully understood by historians, Cestus Gallus pulled back his forces. But what did Jesus say? Luke 21:20-21: “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by encamped armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains...”
When General Titus came in 70 CE, Jerusalem was destroyed. Only those individuals who were wise remembered Jesus's words and had their lives spared. They were conscious of their spiritual need by listening to the words of Jesus. In these fearful times, how can we, in a figurative sense, flee to the mountains in the face of the wicked things surrounding us?
Proverbs 3:5,6; Philippians 4:6,7; Matthew 19:26
We need to trust in God.
Says Proverbs 3:5,6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. In all your ways, take notice of him and he will make your path straight.”
We easily get anxious; let's remember: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, along with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). God's word is alive and exerts power in its reminders.
As we keep living in a bedarkened world of fear and insecurity, not knowing what tomorrow brings, let us take the necessary precautions. But, importantly, too, give God and His word a chance in your lives to impart hope and comfort. “With mere humans, this is impossible. But with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
If you have any questions or would like to discuss how the Bible can further be of comfort in these times, please contact Warrick Lattibeaudiere, a minister of religion, at email@example.com.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login