After the Coronavirus pandemic broke, many preachers have gone on the airwaves instructing us not to fear – that fear cancels out faith. Some preachers have mocked Christians who followed government bans not to attend large gatherings as those who have weak or no faith.
This type of ministry is unnecessary and burdensome because it puts us under the law. ‘Do not fear’ becomes a burden – something we have to do because if we don’t, bad things will happen to us. In our case, Coronavirus might infect us. And so, most Christians grit their teeth and get on with the ‘DO NOT FEAR’.
Contrary to this popular faith teaching, FEAR DOES NOT CANCEL OR DISPEL FAITH. Actually, the opposite is true. In every instance in the gospels where Jesus said these words “do not fear”, there was fear present. Jesus spoke those words to fearful people, overwhelmed by suffering and adversity.
In the gospels, Jesus didn’t say to anyone “do not fear” who was brave and stoic in the face of suffering and adversity. Why would brave and stoic people need encouragement, anyway? Jesus spoke these words to fearful human beings overwhelmed by suffering and adversity. And no one who heard Jesus say these words felt as if the onus was on them not to fear. No! Do not fear are words of grace—Jesus imparting to us a faith which we don’t have.
Do not fear are words of grace—Jesus imparting to us a faith which we don’t have.
During this pandemic season, it’s okay to experience fear and be in faith at the same time. It’s not a binary – either/or. It’s both/and.
So, be encouraged that even though this Coronavirus pandemic has caused you to be fearful, the good news of grace is this – Jesus sees your fear and still works his faith through it. Remember, two things, it’s Jesus’ faith (Galatians 2:30) and faith is a gift (Ephesians 2:8, Galatians 5:22), to be received, not something you have to do to have.
Acknowledge your fear of the Coronavirus and receive Jesus’ faith.
That’s what grace looks like.