Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had quite a global impact. Schools are closing, social distancing is encouraged, churches canceled, etc. There have been quite a few helpful blog posts on COVID-19 from a Christian perspective. For example Miguel Núñez posted an explanation of the coronavirus, and my friend Gunner posted some Christian reflections on the COVID-19 crisis. I even found a helpful post about Spurgeon’s advice during the cholera outbreak of 1854.
Because of the significance of the coronavirus and its life-altering nature, I want to offer six opportunities that the Christian has during this season of life.
Coronavirus provides an opportunity to witness and be a testimony.
Many people are quite fearful for their lives during this coronavirus epidemic. Many of their hopes and dreams have been taken away from them. This is a fantastic opportunity to share the message of the gospel and the hope to be found in Jesus!
Not only does the coronavirus give us an opportunity to tell others about Jesus and the comfort He provides, but this is also a great opportunity to show a quality of life that is different. For the Christian, there should be a qualitative difference in how life looks. This difference becomes starkly evident when difficulties arise in life. There is a tremendously attractive quality to the Christian who lives a peaceful life, trusting completely in his God.
Coronavirus provides an opportunity to grow in your faith and trust in God.
The coronavirus scare is a trial to be sure. It has upset the normal flow of life and in some cases has caused job losses or other difficulties. These are opportunities to grow in our faith. James says trials are for our benefit (James 1:2-4). Peter also reminds us that trials are extremely valuable for us and lead to the glorification of Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7). Going through these difficulties provides us with opportunities to depend less on ourselves, and trust our Creator more—as we should have done all along!
Coronavirus provides an opportunity to disciple both family and friends.
Difficult times allow excellent opportunities for discipleship. We can help teach our family and friends think through issues like disease, pain, suffering, fear, etc. We can provide comfort and a hopeful look to the return of Christ! We also need to help others apply the doctrine of God’s sovereign control to everyday life, showing how anxiety must be surrendered, replaced by trusting God’s loving control and provision (cf. Matt 6:25-34).
Coronavirus provides an opportunity to pray.
Difficulties in our lives or in the lives of those we care about should prompt prayer. Although prayer should be a normal part of the Christian’s life, because of our laziness, it is often a trial or difficulty that kickstarts our prayers anew.
Coronavirus provides an opportunity to read or listen to edifying material.
Because of the suggested (and in some cases mandated) social distancing guidelines, there are less opportunities to busy ourselves. That means there is more time to be reading good biblically-sound books or listening to sermons, lectures, and podcasts. We live during a time where we have so much access to edifying material. But, many times we fail to slow down or find the time to actually benefit! This could be such a season of life for us.
Coronavirus provides an opportunity to observe media influence.
Time will tell exactly how impactful the coronavirus was. But even now the observant Christian should take note of the power of media influence. Both mega media and social media have a special power in influencing large groups. Christians can certainly utilize and benefit from these mediums of communications, but we must be wary of technology and the way it influences our way of thinking. For example, media is incentivized to promote anxiety because that provides them with more ratings and clicks. But as Christians, we must resist the temptation to be anxious. Additionally, many individuals give in to panic because they see everyone else doing so on media. But the Christian is called to think critically in times like these.
This is certainly a unique time. The existence of this coronavirus provides a great opportunity for the Christian! We understand that God is working all things together for the believer’s good (cf. Rom 8:28). We also understand God is in control of all things (Eph 1:11). There is no reason to fear, and every reason to use the coronavirus as an opportunity for our growth and God’s glory.
Photo by CDC on Unsplash