It’s been a little depressing reading the news of late. Even if you’re personally not too worried about the COVID-19 outbreak itself, it’s clear that no-one is going to escape its impact. In Singapore, we’ve been hearing repeated warnings about how the coronavirus outbreak will hit our economy, as fears and strict measures hit the travel, retail, and other industries.
Day after day, the media is full of bad news. More COVID cases. More companies retrenching workers. More warnings of hard times ahead.
And that’s just Singapore. Around the world, the picture is even more dismal. And as if that’s not bad enough, nature is throwing in some flooding, locusts, and tornadoes into the mix. Everything seems to be crumbling around us.
What should believers make of all this? Are these signs of the end times? Is this a period of testing for all? Or is this a time for us to reflect on our personal walk with God and really think about how we express and practise our faith in daily life?
Already, many Christians in Singapore have had to figure out whether they should continue attending church service. Some are tussling with the question of why all this is happening, and what they should do.
Perhaps this is a good time for each of us to ask ourselves questions like:
- What does it mean to trust God when I have practical fears like being infected or losing my job?
- What do I depend on God for, and how will I respond when things don’t work out the way I hope?
- Do I believe God is really in control of my life and sovereign over all things?
As we reflect on such questions with honesty, however, let’s not beat ourselves up if we feel overwhelmed or weakened by fear or doubt
Rather, let’s spur ourselves on to walk closely with God and deepen our faith in Him. I believe our Father is thrilled when a disciple in his inadequacy looks to Him for strength and help to please Him. As 1 Peter 1:7 notes, times of testing can be times of refinement: “These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
As the COVID crisis prompts people to ponder over the fragility and uncertainty of life on earth, we can, as individuals and a community, give them a glimpse of how our faith in God helps us cope with fear and worry, and stand firm in unshakeable hope.
As Hebrews 12:28 assures us, “we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken.”
Father, please help me build up
my knowledge, trust, and faith in You.
I know I can depend on You completely,
for You are my Rock and my Deliverer.