Facing Coronavirus by David Jeremiah
In this video
on Wednesday March 11th the World Health Organization declared covet 19 a global pandemic coronavirus which was unknown to world health officials just three months ago has rapidly spread to more than a hundred and forty-five thousand people from Asia to the Middle East Europe and the United States in the past two weeks the number of cases outside China has increased 13 fold and the number of affected countries is tripled in the days and weeks ahead said the director-general of the World Health Organization we expect to see the number of cases and the number of affected countries climb even higher as a result for the first time in my lifetime we are seeing cancellations and postponements of major events and activities that are supposed to stem the tide of the spreading virus schools at all levels are either closing for a period of time or going entirely online including sdsu USB Point Loma University San Diego Christian schools which are operated by our church have closed all campuses and suspended all activities most of San Diego County’s 42 school districts and many charter schools will close Monday to prevent the spread of corona virus Broadway theaters in New York City have gone dark through April the 12th the National Basketball Association Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League have all announced that their seasons are being suspended meanwhile the NCAA announced that March Madness will be canceled for the first time ever in history and for the first time since 9/11 and the fourth time ever Disneyland will close through the end of March on Friday president Trump declared a national emergency he did this on national television and the declaration freed up as much as fifty billion in financial resources to assist American individuals who are affected by the outbreak on Saturday the president added the UK and Ireland who has already placed travel bans on China and Europe on Thursday the US stock market tumbled in its biggest one-day percentage drop since 1987 as new societal restrictions have been rolled out you’ve probably heard a lot of the complaining that I’ve heard complaining that the government has overreacted and placed us in our economy at great risk before you go there I’d like you to listen to this statement from Andy Kraus here’s what he said any action by leaders to impose drastic measures against kovat 19 that doesn’t seem too early to most people will be in fact too late correspondingly any action to lift mitigation measures that don’t seem too late will be too early so what are we to do with all this information I’m a pastor not an infectious disease expert I find my hope in the words that Jesus spoke to his disciples in the upper room on the night of his crucifixion you remember those words he said peace I leave with you my peace I give to you not as the world gives do I give to you let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid hearing these words we are Christians and we can respond with faith and wisdom instead of fear and panic and so I’d like to give you six things we can all do as followers of Christ in the midst of this crazy time in which we find ourselves first of all we can concentrate on prayer President Trump declared Sunday March the 15th and National Day of Prayer and the Southern Baptist Convention has challenged its 147 thousand churches to devote that day to prayer as well in the middle of all the uncertainty that surrounds us at this time it is difficult to think of a better thing to do than to pray and it is difficult to think of a better prayer than the one spoken by a desperate but confident Judean king whose name was Jehoshaphat Jehoshaphat ancient perspective is more appropriate today than you can imagine in his context a dangerous delegation from Edom was closing in on his nation but his faith was all-encompassing he wasn’t just trusting the Lord in the face of potential military defeat but for all the other disasters that could come and when you read the verse it sounds almost like it could have been in the paper yesterday second chronicles 29 says if disaster comes upon a swords judgment or pestilence or famine we will stand before this temple and in your presence for your name is in this temple and we will cry out to you and our affliction and you will hear us and save us in other words Josh if had said we we’re in the midst of this thing that’s overwhelming to us and we’re going to stand in front of your temple and Lord God we’re gonna cry out to you in the midst of this if you follow in the text verses 5 through 12 is a tremendous prayer I remember preaching on this prayer years ago and the outline of the prayer is overwhelming but the conclusion of the prayer is even better in verse 12 of 2nd chronicles 20 Jehoshaphat prayed and he said Lord we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us nor do we know what to do but our eyes are on you I remember the first time I read I thought how cool that they put a poem in this verse we don’t know what to do but our eyes are on you that’s what he said I don’t know how many of you have heard this but I’ve heard it a lot from my fellow pastors and friends we’ve never been here before and most of us we don’t know for sure what to do we’re like Jehoshaphat we stand in the midst of this uncertainty but it’s really not uncertain if you know the certain God do if you can say as he did Lord we don’t know what to do but our eyes are on you Jason Seville is the pastor of an international church in China he said perhaps you feel powerless against a virus to which you can be exposed even when there is no visible symptoms maybe your anxiety rises as specialists still aren’t sure all the ways this virus can be transmitted you might feel discouraged as you watch the infection and the death toll rise if so join with Jehoshaphat and declaring that you are helpless but your hope is fixed on God Almighty how many of our prayers should end with a line like this this is the posture of the Christian appeal to God’s character confess your inability and put your eyes on the Lord that’s all we can do in a situation like this we don’t know what’s going on we we try to understand it but even the people that are smart to understand it don’t truly understand it and so here we are we’re in a situation and we all know we can either pray or we can worry I know what some of you are doing we can remain alert against the viruses of doctrine or disease and realize that worrying is not going to change any of this it won’t help us fight off illness it won’t move us to action worrying about kovat 19 or anything else will only increase the trouble rather than worrying and being anxious Jesus calls us to respond with prayer he says be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer remind yourself continually that it takes the same amount of energy to worry as it does to pray and one leads to peace and the other leads to panic you make your choice and since we’re on the topic of prayer let me suggest two more things we need to pray for those who are on the front lines this cannot be emphasized enough right now we need to call out to God Almighty and ask for divine intervention to protect our country and its citizens we need to pray for those who are infected that the Lord would touch them we need to pray for everyone who is on the front line of this pandemic from medical professionals who are caring for patients to vice president pence HUD secretary ben Carson and others who have been tasked with responding to this crisis some have mocked and criticized the vice president for praying with his team for a solution but that is the first thing we must do whenever faced with a challenge of this magnitude and we need to join him in this and we need to have a few choice words for those who criticized him the first thing we can do when we face an issue like this is concentrate on prayer and then secondly we need to control our minds the great teacher and writer Oswald Sanders once said your mind is the greatest gift God has given you and it ought to be devoted entirely to him you should seek to be bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ this will be one of the greatest assets of your faith when a trial comes along because then your faith in the Spirit of God will work together I love this verse in 2nd Timothy chapter 1 for God has not given us a spirit of fear but he’s given us a spirit of power and love and a sound mind how many of you know the human imagination is a powerful force it can create a beautiful vision of a desirable future or it can conjure up the worst case scenario these dark products of the imagination can put us in the grip of fear a place God would never have us go how many of you know that when you face an issue like this one of the things that’s easy to do is to let it take its way all the way to the terrible end that it could be some people do that with everything in life every time they face an issue that’s difficult or negative in instead of letting it be controlled in the environment in which it occurs they allow it to go to the ultimate end and it and it destroys them and it’s choice their peace as this scripture verse shows the power that banishes fear is a sound mind we maintain a sound mind by bringing every thought into captivity Paul wrote those words when he was being attacked by the Corinthians he was obviously not happy by what was going on but he managed to deal with it by taking every thought in the control in his mind does this thought have any basis in reality he asked himself if it doesn’t I take it captive if it’s not true I’m not gonna let it run free in my mind and my imagination and keep me from the goodness of God and put me in unhealthy fear when Isabel Coon was fighting cancer she realized that she she had two enemies one that was too deep for the surgeon’s scalpel it was the invisible world of her imagination and she wrote about it in her book and she said I had to refuse to allow my imagination to play with my future that future I believe is ordered of God and no man can guess it so I had to bring my thoughts into captivity that they might not dishonour Christ maybe some of you who are listening and watching this service have been overwhelmed by the anxiety that comes when something like this happens you have the opportunity and yes the responsibility not to let this destroy your peace you can control your mind if you couldn’t God wouldn’t command you to do it he said to let your mind become captive to Christ gaining a sound and centered mind is not as difficult as you think it just means filling your mind up with Scripture a mind centered on the truth of God is the key to being sustained and not losing heart best definition I ever heard of anxiety is imagining the future without Christ that’s what it means to be anxious imagine the future without Christ coronavirus without Christ is a scary thing but with him it’s not scary because we know he is capable and able not only to give us the cure toward immediately but also to heal those who may have been already touched by the disease one of my favorite stories is about a pastor who was on a long cross-country flight when there were some problems fasten your seatbelts said the flight attendant and then we won’t be serving beverages this time as we’re expecting a little turbulence please be sure your seat belt is fashion is fastened and then the storm broke and cracks of thunder could be heard above the roar of the engines lighting up the darkening skies and within moments the plane was like a cork tossed around on a heavenly ocean if you ever been anything like that you already having the squeamish feeling in your stomach that happened when that took place one moment the airplane was lifted on a terrific current of air and the next it dropped as if it were about to crash the pastor who was on this plane confessed that he shared the worry and fear of those around him and he said as I looked around the plane I could see that nearly all the passengers were upset and alarmed some were praying then he saw this little girl apparently the storm meant nothing to her she had tucked her feet beneath her as she sat on her seat she was reading a book and everything within her small world was calm and orderly sometimes she closed her eyes then she would read again and then she would straighten her legs but worry and fear were nowhere evident in this little girl’s life and so as the pastor watched this he was trying to figure it out he could hardly believe his eyes and when the plane finally reached its destination all the passengers were hurrying to disembark the pastor lingered to speak to the little girl whom he’d been watching through the whole flight and he asked her why she had not been worried while she was up there in the storm like everybody else was and she said cuz my daddy’s the pilot and he’s takin me home she was in perfect peace because she knew her father was trustworthy and he was taking her to her destination reminds me of Isaiah 26:3 here’s what it says you will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you we have a captain don’t we we know who he is we know he knows what he’s doing and he is worthy of our trust in the midst of uncertainty you need somebody in whom you can trust and thank God we have that person in the Lord Jesus Christ so concentrate on prayer and control your mind and here’s something that you might not think to do count your blessings the Bible says blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing from his abundance we have received one gracious blessing after another and when you go through something like this it may seem counter intuitive to count your blessings but it’s not for instance Don and I went to the store have you been to the store recently you may not think that’s any reason to count your blessings and I have to be honest I’m wondering what in the world have I gotten myself into I mean there was nothing on any of the shelves and yet there were hoards of people there and they had they had their little baskets full and I couldn’t think what of it what is it full out and I’m moving through the store and all of a sudden this man comes up to me and he says hello dr.
Jeremiah I go to your church he said I work here at this store I’m on the production manager II so I used to manage the store but now I just take care of all the product and putting all the products on the shelf and we kind of laughed about the fact that he can put it up fast enough and then he said something to me I’ll never forget he said I have worked in the grocery business for forty five years and I have never ever seen anything like this and I agreed with them and I walked away and all of a sudden I thought thank you Lord that for 45 years we’ve never had anything like this in our lives most of us we’ve lived we’ve lived lives that haven’t been touched by anything like like this and we ought to just stop and thank God for all of the blessings we had all of these years and we’ve never had to experience this and now we’re going to get to experience it and we don’t know what it’s all about but we’re gonna learn along the way I was at home the other night watching television which can be very depressing and I decided to turn it off and I told my wife I said you know what I’m gonna call my grandkids and that’s not unusual but it was unusual to do it then and you know I did it I have three grandchildren that are in college and and all of a sudden I was so grateful for my family it’s so grateful for my grandchildren and I just wanted to hear their voice have you had an experience like that when you go through times like this you you slow down your focus sharpens your perception of what’s truly important narrows and it starts excluding peripheral values that clutter up your life when you’re too busy to appreciate the simple blessings which are often the best blessings we have and one of the best blessings we have outside of Christ it’s our family the Bible doesn’t say we have to be thankful for everything and maybe you’re not in the position right now where you want to give thanks for the coronavirus I’m not either but it doesn’t say we have to give thankful for it it says we have to give thankful in the midst of it in the midst of all of this we need to maintain a gratitude spirit for the blessings of God and when you’re at home maybe you can’t go to work or maybe your whole schedule has been changed just take a moment during the uncertainty of it all and give thanks to God for all the blessings you have in your life you know we live in a country where this is a rare occurrence many followers of Christ live in a country where this kind of thing is the norm not something unusual we are so blessed Corrie ten Boom in the hiding place tells about an incident that taught her always to be thankful she and her sister Betsy had just been transferred to the worst German prison camp they had ever been in yet Ravens Brooke and when they got into the barracks they found it extremely overcrowded and flee invested that morning the scripture reading in first Thessalonians had reminded them to rejoice always pray constantly and give thanks in all circumstances Betsy told Corey to stop and thank the Lord for every detail of their new living quarters Corey at first flatly refused to give thanks for the flees but Betsy persisted and Corey finally succumbed and she gave God thanks for the flees during the months spent in that camp they were surprised to find out how openly they could hold Bible study and prayer without being interfered by the guard and it was not until several months later that they learned the reason the guards wouldn’t enter the barracks was because of the fleece so they were right to give thanks for the fleece ages and know how God was going to use them in their life in the midst of all of this we’re gonna see a lot of things we don’t understand and we may not want to give thanks for them but in the midst of these things we can’t become ungrateful people when we lose things that we have come to expect we need to pause for a moment and give thanks for the things that we’ve forgotten to say thank you for in times of Plenty count your blessings alright here’s the next one claim your promises claim your promises you know the Bible’s filled with all kinds of promises promises that we can take to heart I remember reading that a man once said to evangelist DL Moody I found a wonderful verse to help me overcome my fear it’s Psalm 56 3 it says whenever I’m afraid I will trust in you moody said I can give you a better promise it’s in Isaiah 12:2 behold god is my salvation i will trust and not be afraid so the man said i just trust God whatever I’m afraid and moody said no trust God you’ll never be afraid when we trust God when we’re afraid we look to God for the strength that we that we need one of my friends earlier in life was a pastor in Grand Rapids his name was edy Dobson edy was an amazing man he used to be the Dean of Students at Liberty University years ago and he was a very godly person after he’d been in the ministry in Grand Rapids for several years he discovered that he had ALS and in 2016 pastor edy Dobson passed away he left behind a little book called prayers and promises in which he described what he went through during his illness for years he had borne into God’s Word like a drill but he eventually he said he couldn’t even read the Bible or even pray he said I could take spiritual truth only in small bites but God gave him a few verses that kept him common strong and many of the verses were ones he had previously learned in the earlier days of his life one of them Hebrews 13 5 and 6 helped him more than any other passage in the entire Bible this is what that verse says he himself has said I will never leave you nor forsake you so we may boldly say the Lord is my helper I will not fear what man can to me soon after my diagnosis Eddie wrote I learned to take five-minute timeouts whenever fear would begin taking over my life I would take a timeout and I would repeat Hebrews 13:5 and six I would say these words over and over for the entire five minutes I wrote them on cards they were the first words I looked at every morning and they were the last words I looked at before I went to bed they were God’s special portion for me maybe you need some verses like that the world the Word of God is full of them you say how do I find him go to your concordance and look up the word fear if you can’t find enough there look up the word afraid and you will find more promises to help you then you can imagine let those promises give you the strength and the courage and the faith and when everything else around you doesn’t make sense God still does he still makes sense I’m gonna just touch on this one quickly consider your responsibility I know that most of us when we face a crisis like this worry about ourselves and we should we worry about our families I concerned about Donna I know she’s concerned about me we should be we want to make sure that we’re all okay but throughout history Christians have often stood out because they were willing to help the sick even during plagues pandemics and persecutions the history books are filled with people who loved others and weren’t afraid to die because they understood that to live is Christ and to die is gain by stepping into the mess of sickness and disease they were able to demonstrate their faith to a watching world so I just want to make this point let’s take care of ourselves but let’s not forget folks there’s some other people that needed been cared for too let’s care for them let’s press on let’s pray let’s walk in God’s strength and let’s be on the lookout for others who we can encourage I had this idea this week I’m going to ask you to join me in the experiment you know they’re telling us that we have to distance ourselves socially from each other that means physical contact should be very limited but I would like to suggest that while we’re distancing ourselves from each other socially well socially we’re distancing why don’t we try spiritually to get closer you say how can we do that well here’s here’s what I’d like to suggest use your phone your phone can be an instrument during this time to encourage others let me tell you a little story when my daughter Jennifer went to college in Ohio it was one of my children’s experience of living in California all of them wanted to go to go to school on the East Coast I’ve never figured that out but they all did and Jennifer went to Cedarville which is where I grew up and she was okay until March Cedarville and March isn’t a very fun place it’s cold it’s it’s blowing but I wasn’t okay even when she started to go there because she was so far away and I missed her and I found out something during that time that I really didn’t recognize and realize before and here it is when I prayed for Jennifer I felt close to her when you pray for somebody I don’t know how this works but you draw close to them at the throne of grace when you pray for somebody even though there are a long ways away you draw close to them and when you call somebody on the phone and God puts that person in your heart just pick up the phone you don’t have to be with anybody you can do that at home just pick up the phone and call them and say hey I’ve been thinking about you I want to be alright if I pray with you and pray for them maybe they want to pray back with you that’ll be fine have a little five-minute prayer meeting on the phone use the time when you’re being socially distant to become spiritually close call people and there’s all kinds of people in our congregation out in our and our great world of people that would be so encouraged and blessed by a call I want to urge you to give yourself this goal I’m going to spend five minutes every day calling somebody to encourage them and pray with them and maybe give them a verse and let them pray with you if everybody does that and we can start this little spiritual closeness thing might be a great thing to happen in our church so here we go I’m almost finished with my little list concentrate on prayer control your mind count your blessings claim your promises consider your responsibilities and continue your work you know that while you may not be able to go to work like everybody else because you perhaps you’re a schoolteacher and your schools been closed or you know a lot of things have been shut down where your routine is different and and even here at shadow mountain our schools are closed and some of the things that are happening now we got all these problems with young parents who have children who aren’t in school so they don’t know what to do and so there’s a lot of confusion and and in just nobody knows for sure where this is all going to go but one thing I’ve learned is that when these things happen that sort of want to take you off your pace you can still do a lot you can still do your work I can still study at home if I can’t go study at church I can still pray at home I can still write letters where I am NOT where I normally do it just because it’s not what you normally do doesn’t mean it’s not something you do so I want to encourage you figure out what it is that you do and keep doing it do it the best you can do it to make things better for you and for others I’m not much in the poetry but I met with our staff this week and I share with him a little poem that somebody sent me I don’t know why they sent this to me I don’t get a lot of poems but this poem was written by Elizabeth Elliott and it’s an old poem but it has a great message and and I hope you will you will not stumble over the Old English in the poem and hear the message of it because I’m gonna read it the way it was written from an old English parsonage down by the sea there came in the Twilight a message to me it’s quaint Saxon legend deeply in graven hath it seemed to me a teaching from heaven and on through the doors the quiet words rang like a low inspiration do the next thing many are questioning many a fear many a doubt has its quieting here a moment-by-moment let down from heaven time opportunity and guidance are given fear not tomorrow child of the king trust them with Jesus and do the next thing do it immediately do it with prayer do it reliant Li casting all care do it with reverence tracing his mind who placed it before you with earnest command stayed in omnipotent safe Neath his wing leave all the results to him and just do the next thing looking for Jesus ever serene ER working or suffering by thy demeanor in his dear presence the rest of his calm the light of his countenance be thy some strong in his faithfulness praise and saying then as he beckons you do the next thing what is that all about it’s all about that in the midst of all of this we get this an or we get disoriented we get discombobulated and so we just kind of don’t know what to do our world has been attacked and it’s been changed and our routines are gone and if we’re not careful we just sit in the middle of it and we just go and God I think is saying to us know if you ask me I will show you what the next thing is do the next thing say well that’s not what I know that doesn’t matter if it’s the next thing do the next thing do it with all your heart take the structure that God gives you in the midst of destructure and do the next thing if all of us do that we’ll come out on the other end of this and we will still be motivated will still be moving will still have momentum we won’t have lost our way we won’t have to take a month to catch up and go back and do what we should have done when in the midst of it we could have done if we would just do the next thing during the dark days of the London World War two scene when bombs were raining down on the city the people lived in constant fear hard for us to imagine the kind of pervasive anxiety that they had then during those dark days there was one man’s undaunted voice that would regularly be heard on the radios all over the nation inspiring them to new hope and new belief their cause was just their government was resolute their armies would not fail them that people listened and they took heart and of course you know that was the voice of Winston Churchill what he did for the English during World War two Jesus Christ does for us in the midst of whatever struggle were in the battle is the Lord’s it is voice that we listen for it is the voice of absolute certainty and power and strength he speaks to us a piece he gives us encouragement he raises our morale he fills us with the strength we need he says my peace I give to you not as the world gives do I give to you let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid men and women we can get through this this is like nothing we’ve ever experienced before I never dreamed anything like this would ever happen during the time of my ministry but I am so excited to see how God uses this to strengthen us to grow us to help us understand what really is important in life and together if we pray for one another we hold each other’s hands during this time and move forward and follow the instructions we can make it through and we can come out on the other side with our hands up high that is my prayer that is my hope and I know that together that will happen let’s pray father we thank you for the realization that we are not alone ever and it seems like when we are in tight spaces you’re more present than before but it’s just our realization of your presence that changes we sense your presence in these moments we have a lot of questions that don’t have any answers but we don’t have any question about who’s in the middle of all of this and in whom we can trust we confess that we are putting our trust in you we are not going to try to do this in our own strength we’re going to believe in you every day to show us what the next thing is that we need to do we’re going to do the next thing and all the next things with all of our heart and all of our soul father someone listening to me today needs to back up get away from all of the negativity and discouraging news and take a whole new look at the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ grab hold of his promises and move forward in faith lord we know we can do this we know that you will help us that nothing is too hard for you and that none of this has caught you by surprise you have a purpose in this that we do not know but you have told us in your word that all things work together for good to those who love you and are called according to your purpose so we’re waiting to see how this all works out in your plan in the ultimate plan for your glory and in the plan for our lives each one we commit ourselves to you we commit this congregation to you spread out as it is over this weekend may Jesus Christ be lifted up in all of our hearts and his name praised and we ask this in Jesus name Amen.
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We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENINT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.