With new cases of the Coronavirus disease growing every day in the United States, and throughout the world, we recall other disease outbreaks in the past. An influenza pandemic in 1918 effected nearly one-third of the world’s population and killed an estimated 50 million individuals. It was a new or novel flu strain for many people. No antibiotics or antivirals existed in 1918 to fight the flu outbreak.
Since then, other severe viruses have arisen periodically to threaten mankind. These included the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2002-03 , the Swine flu or H1N1 influenza outbreak in 2009, and Ebola virus outbreak of 2014. All were eventually brought under control. Additionally, influenza or the flu strikes the world’s population every year, and no two seasons are exactly alike.
The Coronavirus or COVID-19 isn’t the first dangerous disease that has spread around the world. While it is a dangerous disease, there is no need to panic. While many have died from it, the majority of the cases are mild, and most people recover from their symptoms. Still, everyone needs to take precautions to contain the spread of the virus, and to protect those who are most vulnerable to it. This means following the instructions made by our health professionals and local, state, and national leaders. We should be limiting our contact with others, including extended family members.
To combat the spread of COVID-19, we have seen a surge in school, store, amusement park and business closings. Travel restrictions have been put into effect bringing stress and uncertainty to many. People have been told to stay home and not to go to work or if possible, to work from home. American workers are getting laid off at an unprecedented rate which has caused many to become anxious about their financial future.
Daily life has changed drastically for all of us. How are we coping with this? As Jesus stated in Luke 10:29, we are all neighbors and therefore, we are all in this situation together. If we want true peace in the midst of this experience, we can find it in the word of God, the Bible. To his disciples, Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” When Jesus spoke these words, he was about to face his trial and crucifixion. Still, he was at peace, because he had God’s peace abiding in his heart.
God’s peace can help us overcome the chaos, sorrow and pain in the world BECAUSE God’s peace is based upon His power and His love towards the followers of Jesus. We can find this peace if we focus our heart and mind on God and His promises. (Prov. 4:23) The follower of Jesus has access to God’s peace and should realize that “godliness with contentment is a great gain.” (I Tim. 6:6) God’s peace gives us the ability to survive life’s strongest storm’s BECAUSE of our faith is in the love, power and wisdom of God toward us. (Isa. 46:10; Eph. 6:10) That same great power which raised Jesus Christ from the dead is now operating on the behalf of those who believe in Him and His son, Jesus—Eph. 1:19-20
God’s plan for man’s salvation promises peace, not just to the Christian, but eventually, to every human being who has ever lived. Jesus died to take away the sin of the world and the result of that sacrifice is that Jesus returns to establish an earthly kingdom that will bless all the families of earth. (John 1:29; 1 John 2:1; Gen. 12:3) Jesus died to take away man’s sin, and free us all from the curse of death. (Heb. 2:9,14,15) The prophet Malachi wrote about this kingdom saying, “The sun of righteousness [Jesus] shall arise with healing in his wings.” (Mal. 4:2) In that kingdom, God promised “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (Rev. 21:4) There will be no death nor disease in this kingdom. The current COVID-19 pandemic is an evidence of the nearness of that kingdom. May your faith and reliance on the Lord continue to be strong in these difficult and trying times as we wait for the soon establishment of Christ’s earthly kingdom.—I Pet. 5:7
Image Copyright: 97984141 Kateryna Kon © 123RF.com
For more information, please see the following: