15 Mar 2020

Fear Faith and Me

Fear Faith and Me

Amidst all the news of Corona Virus, also known as Covid – 19, we are here today. Really appreciate us. While I was preparing this message, I was reminded of Noah and His Ark. Imagine just like this virus, the whole Earth was filled with water. In the news you could only see, one country being affected, then it comes to the other, and in this manner, it comes to us. Probably, Noah is blaring out his voice saying believe and come into the Ark. I am sure, the reactions of people those times would have been very similar like today. Creating memes, showing extreme confidence that it would not affect me, it’s only hyped or on the other hand we might be extremely fearful, wondering who the last person was, with whom we have shaken hands and think all his whereabouts. Extreme reactions. So where are we trying to get at? Some of us are already nodding with me. So today we’ll learn about how to respond in the midst of a global crisis. What you’re talking? do you mean to say, our response is not right? Nothing of that sort. It’s only, that how we need to learn from each other to respond to this global scenario.

 

  1. Let’s not Panic.

The US Peace Corps train their workers to deal with any kind of eventuality they might meet in the field, and since they work in the jungles of South America, it’s quite possible that they might encounter an Anaconda, the largest snake in the world. A full grown Anaconda is not just a snake. It is a telegraph pole with a temper! It takes 10 men to carry one — if it is in a good mood. Here are the instructions in one of the Peace Corps’s manuals, posted on the Internet:

1: If you are attacked by an Anaconda, do not run. The snake is faster than you are. Don’t try to outrun it.

2: Lie flat on the ground. Put your arms tight against your sides and your legs tight against one another.

3: Tuck in your chin.

4: The snake will come and begin to nudge and will climb about your body.

5: Do not panic.

6: After the snake has examined you, it will begin to swallow you from the feet, always the feet. Permit the snake to swallow your feet and ankles. Do not panic.

7: The snake will begin to suck your legs into its body. You must lie perfectly still. This will take a long time.

8: When the snake has reached your knees, slowly and with as little movement as possible reach down, take your knife and very gently slide it into the side of the snake’s mouth, between the edge of its mouth and your leg. Then suddenly rip upwards, severing the snake through the top of the head.

9: Be sure you have your knife.

10: Be sure your knife is sharp.

Of course, if you get to number nine, or even ten, and find you’ve forgotten your knife, or that it’s blunt, the rest doesn’t really matter!

So, yes, let’s not panic and cause others to panic. It only shuts down our capacity to think of practical ways of problem solving. We need to know exactly how to keep ourselves from such panic situations. We need to sharpen our knife and our mind.

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Tim 1: 7

Do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 6 – 7

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1: 9

  1. Be equipped:

So here, I am also, not trying to say that we need to walk right in front of this Virus, and say, come, I am not afraid of you. Don’t invite it. Keep ourselves updated. Ask God, be wise, on how we should proceed with next steps. Noah did tell them to come into the boat. He did make an effort to make the boat. He did not rely on his swimming skills. He thought about himself, his family, community, the nature and everyone. We need to learn from this experience as well. Let’s prepare our self, our family and community. Take all the precautionary measures, just like we did today in the morning. We need to love God not only with our heart, and strength but also, with our mind. We need to practice our faith. Put it into action. We need to be alert on what the precautionary measures are. So we need not panic but at the same time have the presence of mind to proceed with given safety measures.

  1. L. Moody wrote the following words next to Isaiah 6:8 in his Bible: “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do, and what I ought to do, by the grace of God I will do.”

Isaiah 6:8: “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2: 10

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Eph 6: 11

  1. Think for everyone:

Yes, I meant, think FOR everyone not think ABOUT, when we say FOR, we are putting ourselves into their position. Let’s not be self-centred. Faith is not operated by hurting someone else’s life. We need to definitely act in Faith but see to it that we don’t harm others. We may move out to showcase, how we can operate in Faith but at the same time, we need to think about all those people who might get affected because of us. Also, each one has been granted, with the capacity of their faith. Therefore, not only should we take caution for ourselves but also for others. We love enthusiastic believers, but enthusiasm channelized in an appropriate way.

And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. Luke 6: 31

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Philippians 2: 3

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is near sighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

10Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:3-11

Scripture speaks about faith, goodness, knowledge, self – control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, love.

  1. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. :- How do we get this knowledge of Him? Through His word, through people who are spiritually mature, through our time with God.
  2. …you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires:- Promises are given, so that we may participate in the divine nature and escape.. ESCAPE the corruption in the world.
  3. they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ:- These qualities will keep us from being ineffective and unproductive. So it’s not only faith but very evidently knowledge, also called understanding. We need to think, that’s what the scripture says. Think ahead, in other words persevere. How do we persevere? Only by planning ahead, understanding that this is going to take long.

So this is how we go about the situation at hand. We need to have faith, that God is in control, He is sovereign and He needs no direction from us. Every work of his is a testimony (those affected will have a testimony, those protected will have a testimony and those who couldn’t survive will have the biggest testimony when we meet them). We can witness it in our lives. Let’s spend time in asking God for his guidance, his direction into this situation. We need to read the bible, know his navigation plans, if we are in the Ark of Jesus Christ, we can’t sit idle. Noah never sat idle, I think he couldn’t. he had to feed the animals, clean them, and do all sort of filthy work. However, end of the day in a washed out world, he obeyed the voice of God. Let’s hear from Him who knows the destiny. He is the alpha and the omega. No need to panic and let’s not depend on our understanding of over confidence. Let’s think of each other. Protect and help each other. Let’s not be unaware or pretend to be unaware, but let’s gear up for this phase. Let’s pray, intercede, unite, read the word, and march on. Also, importantly, let’s encourage each other. We are God’s big family, all sailing in the same Ark, that is Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sandra wife of Virjil .The New Hope Community is situated in the heart of the city between Old and New Panvel. We can confidently share that New Hope Community is a Church in Kamothe, Church in Khandeshwar, Church in Khanda Colony, Church in Panvel, Church in New Panvel because we are centrally located and these places surround our church Venue.

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