By Cindi McMenamin, Crosswalk.com
If you’re feeling on edge, concerned, or downright panicked over the Coronavirus pandemic, you are not alone. Uncertainty can lead to fear, which is powerful. So is panic. But hope can be contagious, too.
You and I need hope, and the reminder that God is in control, even when it feels like everything else--this nation, our health, our economy, and our toilet paper supply--is out of control. To help you focus on hope and not get caught up in the hype, here are 10 scriptures that prove God is in control of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.
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1. Isaiah 55:8-11: Assurance that God’s ways are higher than ours
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (verses 8-9, ESV).
This passage of Scripture assures us that God knows what He’s doing, His thinking is different than ours when it comes to what is best for us and His ways – and everything He allows – are so much higher and better than ours.
Yes, the economy is tanking, but is our hope in the condition of our economy? Yes, people are staying home from work, but what an opportunity to be with family. Yes, there’s less stores open and less to do and you may be going stir crazy at home, but what a way to take a heavenly pause and refocus on what really matters.
God allows pauses and rest stops for us to regroup and reprioritize, and this just might be one of them.
2. Deuteronomy 31:8: A reminder that God goes before us
Moses spoke these words to Joshua as he commissioned him to take the Israelites into the Promised Land. But we can glean from these words the hope and confidence today that God goes before us, He walks alongside us, and He’s got our backs.
He will not leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) and He is well aware of all that is happening, all that has happened, and all that will happen according to His wisdom, His love, and His plan.
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3. 2Chronicles 7:14: Words from the Great Healer
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
I am not suggesting that the coronavirus is God’s judgment on us as a nation, nor on the entire world for its wicked ways. I believe God is far more concerned with our individual hearts than our national and world politics.
This verse reinforces that God wants His people to be humble and dependent on Him. He is the Gentle Healer and the Great Physician. He can heal individually, as well as heal nations physically, economically, spiritually. But He desires we call out to Him for help.
Trust what He is allowing in the world, in your country, in your local community, and in your family, and personal life. And cry out to Him for healing of you and your land.
4. Psalm 32:7: Comforting words about our Protector
While we are practicing isolation from others in order to protect our health and the health of others, God invites us to hide away in Him.
In Psalm 32:7, David sang of his Protector: “You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.”
Furthermore, David proclaimed in Psalm 18:2: “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
As God is our hideaway who surrounds us with songs of deliverance, surely He can protect us in our current circumstances. God is not interested in being our Santa Claus who only gives us what we desire so we can leave happy and return to Him when we want something more.
He wants our faith, our daily dependence (“Give us this day our daily bread, ”Matthew 6:11), and He wants us to cling to Him. He will allow and at times arrange situations to draw people closer to Himself.
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5. Ecclesiastes 8:17: A proper perspective of His knowledge compared to ours
“…No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it.”
All of our scientists, medical researchers and economic strategists cannot completely figure out or fix what is going on. But God is over all and in control. 1 Corinthians 1:25 tells us: “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”
Furthermore, 1 Corinthians 3:19 tells us, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness.” Look to Him for answers. Better yet, look to Him as The Answer.
6. Job 42:5: A proclamation of the all-powerful nature of God
When Job experienced a season of intense suffering (including the loss of his crops, animals, investments, livelihood, children, and personal health) he gained an incredible amount of wisdom, with which he was able to respond to the Lord: “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”
The story of Job assures us that God is sovereign, that He holds the sun, moon, stars, and galaxies in His hand. Nothing takes Him by surprise and no plan of His can be interrupted or undone (see chapters 38-41 in particular).
In the story, Satan--who was wreaking havoc on Job’s life in order to get him to curse God--had to seek God’s permission in order to take Job’s possessions, as well as touch his body.
That is scriptural evidence that nothing touches us--or our world--without first going through God’s loving hands. He sees the outcome. And if you read the story, you’ll see God was already preparing Job’s reward.
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7. Luke 22:31-32: A reminder that nothing touches us apart from His permission
Jesus assured us that He is in control of whatever evils attempt to befall us when He told His disciple Peter: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
Just like in the story of Job, Satan had to ask God’s permission in order to mess with Peter. If you are feeling the weight of a situation, it is not something that is happening at random. God knows exactly what you are going through--and what your future holds--and must give permission to not only the enemy of our soul, but the forces of nature, to touch any of our lives.
8. Mark 4:35-41: Evidence that God controls the earth’s elements
In Mark 4:35-41, Jesus’ disciples were scared that a storm on the sea would overturn their boat and they would all drown. So, they woke up Jesus, who had been asleep in the bottom of the boat. Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves with the simple but powerful words “Quiet! Be still!”
Scripture tells us “Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” Then Jesus said to His disciples “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Their response was terror as they asked “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
In this story, we are assured that God controls the elements of the earth. The wind and the waves obey Him. So do the winds and currents of disease, the laws of nature, the cycle of life and death. He is able to calm the storms on the sea, as well as the storms in you and me.
Don’t miss the teaching point in that story, which is found in Jesus’ question to His freaked-out, panicked disciples: “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (verse 40). Jesus was right there in the boat with them, and was perfectly capable of getting them safely to where they needed to go.
Jesus is right here with us, too. Be encouraged. The God who can still the wind and the waves can still this situation as soon as He deems it is time. So, exercise your faith so His words to you will not be “Do you still have no faith?”
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9. Matthew 10:29-31: Proof that God cares for His Creation
Jesus said to His followers in Matthew 10:29-31: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
This passage of Scripture assures us God is all-knowing and ever aware of our health, our concerns, and our needs. If He is not healing immediately, He knows what is best and when it is best to answer our prayers.
10. Matthew 6:25-27: Proof that God is in the details
In this passage, Jesus assures believers that it is not their obligation to worry, but to trust Him to care for every detail of their lives.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, (or if you will run out of toilet paper) … Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”
Jesus continues to assure us in verses 31-33: “Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the [unbelievers] seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Jesus summed up His command by saying: “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow…(verse 33).
In spite of the worry, fear or panic that might come naturally to you right now, look to the Supernatural God who can give you peace that passes understanding (Phillippians 4:6), and the assurance that He is in absolute control.
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