Over the past few days, our communities have started to respond to the global COVID-19 or Corona Virus pandemic. We have sports seasons on hold or canceled, travel bans, and a national shortage of toilet paper (really, it’s crazy).
As a Pastor, I’ve worked with other church leaders who are leading their churches and communities through this season. Some of my friends are in cities where there are many confirmed cases of COVID-19, some have voluntarily suspended worship services, and others were forced to suspend church services altogether.
As you consider how you’ll be responding to this escalating issue, can I ask you a simple question:
Is your greatest response to FEAR or FAITH?
While fear certainly keeps us from jumping off of skyscrapers or putting our hand on a hot stove, fear makes a lousy motivator. Fear will prevent you from doing things you should and cause you to do something you shouldn’t.
Faith, however, responds to the truth of God’s Word, His promises to us, and what we know to be true of the world. Faith is what allows us to see what isn’t externally visible (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is a great motivator. It will cause us to do things we should have always done, and it will keep us from doing things we shouldn’t do.
I love the word “faithfulness.”
Faith = Our ability to trust and respond to God’s truth
Full = Modifier – To be full of what comes before
Ness = Modifier – Take the first parts, and this means a quality or condition of their combined meanings.
Collectively the word “faithfulness” describes someone who is living in a state of mind and heart where they are full of faith.
2 Timothy 1:7 tells us, “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
We were not created to live lives that are full of fear or timidity. A “spirit of fear” can be understood to reference those who have let fear become their central motivation. Their spirit is no longer full of faith. Instead, it’s full of fear.
Faith also doesn’t deny the facts. It doesn’t turn it’s head to the truth. All truth reconciles with truth, and Jesus told us that He, himself, was living truth (John 14:6). Acknowledging the facts, learning more about your circumstance, and responding to the truth of the situation doesn’t deny your faith in Jesus, it amplifies it, as long your faith remains your motivation.
For those of us that are Christ-followers, it’s time for us to show the world what faithfulness looks like. Let’s be people who don’t deny the facts, but also live with faith at the center of our motivation.
“A scared world needs a fearless church.” AW Tozer.
Let’s be faithful, church. It’s time to shine.