When I listen to news outlets or overhear people talking (from a safe social distance, of course), all I can think about his how Orwellian this all seems. And, amid the constant “breaking” reports of the medical, political, and economic impact of this pandemic, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and panicked. Uncertainty is the only thing we can be certain of right now.
Unless, of course, you are follower of Jesus Christ.
Christians, we can—and must—be different in this crisis. Stand firm and find the opportunity in the adversity this global pandemic has created. We must let our light shine so that others can see our good works (and attitude) and glorify our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
So, what can we do to shine?
1. Trust God. Really.
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Hold fast to the hope and promises we have in the Lord, anchoring our minds to His Word. Start each day, not scrolling through your social media feed or your favorite news outlet, but in the Bible. Set your mind on the Truths of God as the foundation for each day. Here are some verses you can start with: Psalm 46:1-3, Proverbs 18:10, Nehemiah 8:10, Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 9:9-10
2. Embrace God’s peace that passes understanding and walk in it.
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!” (Isaiah 26:3)
Clearly, this is not a peaceful time in our nation. Angry, venomous words are flying across political aisles and even kitchen tables. But we have the opportunity to practice the supernatural peace we’ve been given as sons and daughters of God. If a virtual coworker or family member starts heating up a COVID-19 conversation with hateful accusations, just (politely) stop them. Shift the topic of conversation from what they don’t have control over, to what they do. Ask how they’re doing, and what their family or friends are looking forward to the most in the coming months (COVID-19 aside).
3. Pray. For President Trump and his team, for our nation, community, friends, and family.
“ I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
With this pandemic monopolizing most conversations, there’s a tendency to discuss, complain, stress, even cry about it. Sometimes it makes us feel better—other times it just intensifies those emotions. But the Lord wants us to take our cares to Him. We can talk, shout, and cry to Him. And we can—and must—lift up the burdens of today to His throne. Instead of being angry about a particular leader, pray for him or her. Walk your neighborhood and pray for each neighbor. Have a regular virtual prayer time with friends. Just keep praying.
4. Take opportunities to help others.
“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (Hebrews 13:16)
You may be blessed enough to still be working, albeit remotely. If so, use those times of virtual connectedness to ask if there is anything you can do for your coworker or customer. Perhaps you’ve never met the neighbors down the hall or the street. Why not leave encouraging notes (or cookies) at their doors or offer to pick up groceries for them. Be creative. Sometimes just a smile to a passerby is the only kindness that person may see that day or week.
5. Be ready to share the reason for your hope.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15)
When we are intentional about shining our light, others will notice. They may ask why you have such a good attitude, or how you can be so confident about the future—even when no one can predict the ultimate fallout. Are you prepared to tell them about the hope you have in Jesus Christ? This self-quarantine-downtime is a great opportunity to practice! Write down your testimony and the Gospel in a way that you feel comfortable sharing. Be ready for God to use you, at any moment, to make a difference for such a time as this…the type of difference that He needs in this world.
Right now, times are dark. People are floundering through a haze of uncertainty, fear, and anxiety. So, Christians, keep moving forward, shine your light! And show others the way to the Prince of Peace, because this, too, shall pass.