John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”
Jesus was of course saying this just before His arrest, trial, scourging, and crucifixion, all things that would trouble His disciples to the very limit. It was only much later that they were able to recollect what He had said, and with clear evidence of His resurrection, receive His peace in full. That said, His words here apply to us today just as well. Our hearts are troubled by many things, in our personal lives, in world events, and where those two overlap. Right now the world is in considerable turmoil over COVID-19, and the Lord speaks these words to us. One of the biggest reasons God allows all sorts of trials into our lives is to test and grow our faith. We don’t know how strong our faith is until it’s tested. Sometimes we find that it’s not much more than wishing, “I hope this is the case.” Sometimes we find that it is a solid rock that will anchor us in the fiercest storm. The thing is, faith is a gift from God, (Ephesians 2:8-9) but it also requires our will to be exercised. We always have the choice of whether to trust God or not. When we choose to trust Him, the rewards are essentially limitless. As John said, and as the hymn triumphantly proclaims, faith is the victory that overcomes the world. (1 John 5:4) God offers that victorious faith to us, but we have to choose to receive and exercise it. This isn’t a matter of ignoring reality, it’s a matter of saying that even in the middle of the most horrific events, God is still God and He is still love, and I will cling to Him even when everything else is taken away.
This is something I think about from time to time, particularly since I live in a place that suffered severe persecution and produced many, many martyrs. Those martyrs are certainly witnesses that God is faithful! (Hebrews 12:1) Just yesterday I saw a meme on Facebook that had Jesus telling someone, “You say that your health is in my hands, but you still need to maintain distance, wash your hands, and disinfect.” I am not to use faith as an excuse to be foolish or presumptuous. That was tested for me this past week, when someone sneezed in my car, without a mask, and the next day I had a sore throat. I frankly don’t like masks, especially since surgical masks make my glasses fog, but yesterday I did my best to wear one when talking with others, not as protection for me but to protect them from me, in case I have the virus. I’m not particularly afraid of getting sick, but I don’t want to be a carrier for others to get sick. My faith needs to be humble, as well as secure!
Father, thank You for this reminder. Help me be a carrier of Your grace and love and faith, and not of the virus! I ask for wisdom and anointing in my every interaction, that people will have their eyes opened to You and choose to trust You, for their eternal blessing and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!