The world is making every effort to find a cure for the coronavirus. Some medicines have already proven to help treat it and we are on our way to find a vaccine. We all long the day when we can go to the doctor and he is able to write a prescription to take it all away. But there is a greater prescription already available given to us by the Great Physician to treat all our ailments. It is found in the apostle Paul’s inspired letter which he wrote to the church that met in Philippi long ago. Then, as now, there were all kinds of trials and temptations that Christians had to face. In chapter 4 verses 4-9 we find God’s prescription for a coronavirus pandemic and whatever else you may be facing in your life.
Rejoice always in the Lord (v. 4).
Many see no reason to rejoice these days. But joy is not dependent upon our circumstances. It is a commandment. It is a choice we make.
Here is what makes that choice so easy. It is in the Lord. In the Lord we have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places – forgiveness of every sin, salvation from the power and condemnation of sin, strength to do all things according to God’s will, love that surpasses knowledge, joy unspeakable and full of glory, peace that passes understanding and hope eternal. In the Lord we are not alone – we have each other and we have the heavenly Father, our Lord and Savior, the Son of God and the Holy Spirit, our Helper. In the Lord there is always a reason to rejoice.
So, God’s prescription calls for us to rejoice in the Lord always.
Wait calmly on the Lord (v. 5).
If you’ve seen some of the videos of how people are acting in the stores, fighting, shoving, pushing, panic, yelling over toilet paper, it is easy to see that many are anything but calm or gentle in this pandemic. But this is a time for God’s people to let their gentleness be known to all men.
To do that we must trust the Lord to act on His own time and in His own way. We must not become impatient and restless or go ahead of the Lord and move on our own but wait calmly on the Lord (Psalms 27; 62:5-8).
We can wait calmly on the Lord because we know that the Lord is at hand. He is not very far from anyone of us (Acts 17:27). He promises to never leave us (Heb. 13:5). He is always ready to act on our behalf (Luke 18:1-8) and He is coming to take us home (John 14:3). Though it may seem like the Lord is taking a long time (to answer, to fix, to bless, to come), remember that a day is to the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day (2 Pet. 3:8). In a very real sense, the Lord is always at hand (Jam. 5:8)!
So, let’s take God’s prescription and let the world see our faith by showing them a calmness or gentleness that comes from knowing the Lord is at hand.
Give all your anxieties to the Lord (vv. 6-7).
The coronavirus pandemic has brought many worries that weigh on our hearts, but we don’t have to carry them around with us. Let go and let God. When we don’t have control of what is going on, we need to remember that He is always in control of everything. So, give it to God and trust Him with it all (1 Pet. 5:7).
When you are praying and asking God for help, remember to do it with thanksgiving. Be thankful for what He has done for you and is doing for you so you can be assured of what He is going to do for you. Thank Him for caring, for listening and for always being there for you.
When you know that God is in control, that He understands and that He cares, then you can give it all to Him and you will experience the peace of God. It’s incomprehensible, but It will stand as a centurion by your heart to protect it from any and every anxious thought you might have.
Act on His prescription and give all your anxieties to the Lord.
Meditate on the good things of the Lord (v. 8).
There are so many negative things going on. There is a 24 hour/day news cycle of negativity, doom and despair about the coronavirus and its effect on our nation and the world. The more we hear it and dwell on it, the more we become discouraged and upset.
So, God prescribes the positive – the true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, if there is any virtue, anything praiseworthy. Let me tell you some of the good things I’ve been hearing and seeing in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic: families are pulling together, evangelism is flourishing, people are waking up to the more important things in life, turning to Christ and coming back to Christ, there is a deep sense of brotherhood and appreciation for the local church, the word of God is being spread far and wide over the internet, many prayers are going up to God, much good work is being done in the name of the Lord and God is being glorified everywhere and every day.
This is God’s prescription: Meditate, concentrate, set your mind on the good things of the Lord.
Walk continually with the Lord (v. 9).
Paul calls upon the church at Philippi to do what he had taught them when he was with them. They could not go back to their old way of living but needed to keep on in the faith that he had left them. None of us should think that we can fail to live the Christian life and expect to survive this pandemic or anything else in this world of sin and death.
When we are striving to do the Lord’s will we not only have the peace of God, but we have the God of peace. When we turn from His way, we lose them both. The prophet Amos asked long ago, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3).
God’s prescription is to walk continually with the Lord. Are you following His prescription?
Jesus invites you to come to Him for rest! Matthew 11:28-30
The key ingredient in each prescription is the Lord God. Without Him we are all desperately lost but because of Him we have hope. He came that you might have life and that more abundantly (John 10:10). He died for your sins and rose again to give you the assurance of eternal life (1 Cor. 15:1-3). He is the only Savior, the Lord of all, the Son of God. This One invites you to come to Him for rest (Mat. 11:28-30). No one else but Jesus (John 14:6).
Will you put your faith in Him today? Then repent of your sins, confess your faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God and be baptized for the remission of your sins. Is your faith still set on Him? If not, confess it and turn back to Him, pray to God and let us pray with you and for you. Whatever your need, please let us know how we can help you towards heaven, today.