CoronaFormation #1

CoronaFormation #1: Fan the Flame of Faith, Rather than Pour Gasoline on Fear

New vocabulary related to the coronavirus is spreading almost as fast as the virus itself. For instance, I’ve heard “quoutfit” (quarantine outfit – what you wear at home all day in a quarantine) and “quaranstream” (binge-watching if you’re confined to your home). To this new vocabularly, I’ve made up another one: CORONAFORMATION (Coronavirus + Spiritual Transformation). Does God long to continue to shepherd you as your Heavenly Father with tenderness and strength during the coronavirus?  You bet! Our church staff will be providing digital content during these unusual times. You can check out this page or Pastor Jason’s blog for frequent CORONAFORMATION content for your personal walk with the Lord and for your family.

The Lord delights and takes great pleasure in reminding you “to not be afraid”.  From Genesis to Revelation, the divine decree to “Fear Not” appears to be among the Lord’s favorite commands in holy scripture to his people.

When the biblical writers use repetition, we can rest assured that the idea has a weighty sense of gravitas to our Lord. For instance, the Bible repeatedly tells us that God is Holy (Lev. 19:2; Ex. 15:11; 1 Sam. 2:2; Psalm 77:13; Isa. 6:3; Luke 1:49; 1 Pet. 1:16), and when the majestic “Holy, Holy, Holy” is sung around the throne of God (Rev. 4:8), God is praised as three times holy. This trifold doxology not only flattens us before a majestic God but also helps us understand the holy seriousness of the nature of God. God is three times Holy!

Repetition communicates gravitas in the scriptures. When our family arrived in Edinburgh, we constantly had to tell our young sons in the midst of a bustling city, “Look both ways before you cross the street!” Their lives were at stake! In a similar vein, God is constantly telling his children to “Fear Not”, for their own good and spiritual health.

Though I have not counted personally myself, I’ve heard it said that the Bible says “Fear Not” (and its close companion phrases) 365 times – one for each day of the year. That is, the command to “Fear Not” or “Be Not Afraid” is repeated so frequently in the Scriptures (Psalm 23:4; 27:1; 56:3; 94:19; Proverbs 12:25; Isaiah 41:10; 43:1; Matthew 6:34; Mark 6:50; John 14:27; Philippians 4:6-7; 2 Timothy 1:7; 1 Peter 5:6-7) that you could say that God is trying to use a Bull Horn to get your attention!

During the coronavirus, how do you fan the flame of faith rather than pour gasoline on your fears?

  1. Be Reminded: The Lord Goes with You…Wherever You Go.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. ~ Joshua 1:9

2. Be Prayerful: Have You Sought the Lord in the Midst of your Fear?

Are you afraid?  This is a natural human reaction. Yet, the Christian response is to seek the Lord in the midst of your fear. The Lord delights to deliver you from all your fears.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. ~ Psalm 34:4

3. Be Strong-Minded: Take Every Thought Captive

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. ~ Rom. 12:2

Ask the question: Does this thought come from fear, panic, or hysteria or does this thought help me become transformed by God and, therefore, better able to discern what God’s will for my life is at this particular moment? 

4. Be Thankful: God is with you during Trials

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
 When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
  ~ Isaiah 43:1b-3a

Even when challenging times arise for the Christian, we can rest in the Lord and be thankful.  Our Rescuing and Redeeming God walks with us during the trials of life. The promise of God’s presence is secure: I will be with you!

Thankful to remind you of God’s steadfast love during these times,

Pastor Jason Carter