I don’t know about you, but I have been fighting worry and sometimes panic over the current coronavirus pandemic. It hits me early in the morning as I am waking up and can unexpectedly any time set my mind racing into all kinds of what ifs that make my stomach lurch. I also know, as a survivor of continuing clinical depression, that anything can trigger this sudden stagger in my emotional balance. If I’m not alert to what’s ongoing, other triggers can flood in, creating a downward emotional spiral that can lead to total despair.
Where does fear come from?
We need to remember that Paul and other New Testament writers are very clear that Satan is the source of fear and doubt.
He prompts panic and fear at every turn and we have to immediately recognize and resist him (often repeatedly) and ask God for help.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you.
Fear comes from not knowing the Bible well enough.
The Bible offers wisdom and hope at times like these: strong and dependable answers that have stood the test of time for every generation—from those dying in the Roman Colosseum to us in the twenty-first century facing the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.
Unfortunately, when I am in crisis, my mind seems to go blank, unable to remember important passages that will help me. That’s why I have created and printed off the following scriptures that help keep fear at bay.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” –
“Immediately he [Jesus] spoke to them and said, ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’”
The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
No, I [Jesus] will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.
Fear comes from doubting that God’s Word is really true.
Jesus was tempted by Satan, who twisted scripture in an attempt to make Jesus short-circuit God’s plan for redemption. But Jesus knew the Scriptures and quoted them accurately, defeating Satan. Do not doubt that God’s Word is utterly dependable. God’s Word is our sure defense against evil, worry, and untruth.
For the word of God will never fail.
Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear. (Jesus)
John 1:1-5, 14
In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it….
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
Fear comes from not understanding God’s character or believing in God’s strength and comfort.
However, God is the source of all comfort!
2 Corinthians 1:3
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us” (italics mine).
“The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.”
“God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not fear when earthquakes come
and the mountains crumble into the sea.
Let the oceans roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!”
Matthew 6:26, 32-22
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?’….’So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’”
Fear comes from not knowing how to access the peace that God promises to those who have put their trust in Him.
Pray, pouring out your heart to God with thanksgiving.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Understand that God’s peace is promised specifically to believers.
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
Concentrate on God instead of your fears and problems
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you,
whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Trust in the Lord always,
for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.”
Trust in God utterly to work things out.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
1 Peter 5:6-7
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.”
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.’) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“Be confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.”
And most importantly…
When life seems unstable and you can’t find the clarity you’re longing for simply praise God. Thank him for all that He is doing and all that you trust he will do.
None of us can know what pressures others are facing for both themselves , their families, and their friends or employees. But God knows. At this time of worldwide emergency, I urge you to depend on God and his Word as your first and final line of defense.
You and not alone. Ever.