Who can give us security now?
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly given us all a fright. In crises like this we really should realise that neither the state nor our bank accounts bring us the basic security we need in life.
A lot of Christians have eagerly shared encouraging Bible verses on social media recently, particularly Psalm 91.
I would like to mention a paragraph in 1 Timothy which illustrates five of the most important things we should remember in these difficult times. This is a paragraph that really speaks to us who live in wealthy, developed nations:
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
(1 Timothy 6:17–19)
1) Don’t put faith in temporary riches. Paul speaks of money as being uncertain wealth. We may never have thought of it like this.
It is important to see the limits of what the government or the banks can help us with if the financial effects are long-term. The government’s role is not to create worth, but they collect taxes from the wealth that we create. If this goes on for an extended time then no government can compensate for the loss.
2) Trust in God. The word crisis is never mentioned in the Bible, not even in Job, which depicts a man in deep crisis more than any other book in the Bible. The main message of the book is that we should realise that there is a lot outwith our control and our understanding, no matter how much we try to explain it. This includes trials that God allows, and how He is able to intervene but sometimes doesn’t.
God is always faithful.
I do believe that God will perform many miracles in the future. A lot of people will experience God as people help them (even though they may not think about it). But it’s hard to believe that anyone in the west will go through the same kind of trials that Abraham, Joseph, Job, David, Daniel and others went through:
A hard and long-lasting time of crisis.
However, if there is something the Bible stories show us, it’s that God is always faithful.
And He is faithful today.
Whether we notice it now or we need some time in order to see it with hindsight, we will see it. We need to hold onto this in times of crisis, when most people see that neither the state nor their bank accounts give them basic security in life.
3) God blesses us abundantly so we can enjoy it. Usually Christians use this verse to justify going on an expensive holiday or spending money going to the theatre on eating out. We can’t do that now.
God has given us something else in abundance: time at home.
These days I’m enjoying being at home, something other busy parents may identify with. Most of us are very busy in modern life. We want to be effective but end up busy. It is almost as if God has given us a sabbath rest for an unspecified time.
Crises do not develop people, they reveal them.
As we look back on our normally hectic lives, we get a chance to think about some of the changes we can make when we return to ‘normal’. Perhaps we’ll have a different perspective on what we want to spend time on compared to before COVID-19?
Enjoying time at home isn’t an excuse to spend hours watching films on Netflix. It does, however, give us the opportunity to invest valuable time and attention in those around us, whether that is children, parents or others in the family. We can also invest time in people we know are lonely, by internet or phone.
4) Do good and share with others. Someone once said that crises don’t develop people, it reveals them. Times of crisis will probably reveal what is inside each of us. Will we choose to make our own lives secure in the midst of financial turmoil, closing our eyes to people we could help? Or will we Christians be revealed to be generous, finding solutions to help those worse off than ourselves? These may be in our own neighbourhood or in countries where we know of missions or mercy ministries. (See 2 Corinthians 8:13–15; Luke 16:9).
God is our security.
5) Gather treasure that will make a good foundation for the future. Believing the gospel is all about ordering your life according to the hope God has promised us: God’s kingdom in full, after sin and death have been conquered – a world that is renewed and transformed by Jesus’s resurrection, and eternal life from God.
This is the future we’re actively looking for, whether in times of prosperity or crisis. This is why we can meet the COVID-19 crisis with the same attitude: God is our security. By turning to Him, He can give us what we need so we can do good to each other, in anticipation of the real life that lies ahead.
This article is published with permission from sennep.net