What do you do with your anxieties in the coronavirus pandemic? How are you dealing with the fear of catching COVID-19? Are you facing new pressures to care for people in new ways during this pandemic? You can use this short Bible Study “soul kit” to help encourage your leadership team, your church, and for your own personal soul care during this trying season.
Today real dangers are everywhere on our news feed and in our conversations: sickness, not having enough food, financial losses, social isolation, being quarantined, family conflicts, cancelled events, not being able to work, a grim future, death, a loved one dying.
Unfortunately, many people looking for help from Bible promises or from Christian preachers and friends get the idea they should not feel afraid: “Just have faith… Believe God’s promises… Be strong… Focus on loving others…” These messages are a misunderstanding of God’s Word. They can shame people for having emotions and weakness. They can discourage faith in God.
Faith is trust. To trust God (or anyone) includes being emotionally honest and vulnerably asking for what you need. You can cultivate real faith by expressing emotions like fear, anxiety, anger, discouragement, and sadness to God and gracious people. Ask for empathy and then in time you’ll be able to return to peace, joy, confidence, and love for others.
When you’re emotionally wobbly and receive empathy it grounds you so you can stand up again. It clears your heart and mind to absorb the comfort, wisdom, and strength of God’s Word.
Coronavirus Scriptures on God’s Comfort and Strength for Fear and Anxiety
These Bible promises encourage the healthy faith in God that fosters non-anxious living and courageous love for others. These Scriptures are especially encouraging in this time of the Coronavirus. (All verses are from the NIV.)
Jesus is Calm in the Storm (Then he Calms the Storm and his Disciples)
“Then [Jesus] got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping” (Matthew 8:23-24).
Ask Jesus’ Father to Receive Good Gifts
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you… your Father in heaven [will] give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:7, 11).
God Cares for Your Emotions
“My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me. Fear and trembling have beset me… I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. He rescues me unharmed…” (Psalm 55:4-5, 16-18).
God Takes Your Hand to Comfort Your Fears and Help You
“I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God… For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you’” (Isaiah 41:9-10, 13).
Fear Melts Away When You Hear God’s Love Song for You
“Never again will you fear any harm… The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:15, 17).
God’s Grace Helps You Accept Your Weakness and Become Strong
“Three times I [Paul] pleaded with the Lord to take [the thorn in my flesh] away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ …That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10).
You can find the full list of the Coronavirus Scripture passages here: Coronavirus Bible Versus and hear more about how to persevere in these trying times from Bill & Kristi’s podcast ‘Fear Not’ the Coronavirus? Empathy and Courage are Needed.
This article is submitted by David Rimoldi of Soul Shepherding. Soul Shepherding is a Missio Nexus member. Member organizations can provide content to the Missio Nexus website. See how by clicking here.