Summary: This message, written in 2020, shares the biblical cure for the stress, depression and anxiety associated with the Corona Virus pandemic.
If you haven’t noticed, there seems to be a lot of chaos in our world right now with the corona virus/Covid-19 pandemic. And in all honesty, there are times when I find myself feeling anxious and discouraged; but then I always find a way to bounce back emotionally. I am reminded of the blessings I have, which brings peace to my heart; and then out of that peace arises hope. I have hope that we’re going to get through this; but then I realize that not everyone has hope, and not everyone has peace. Not everyone has what I have in Christ. The Lord has been bringing a passage to mind over and over; one that is encouraging to me; but I feel impressed that it’s not something just for me. I believe the Lord wants me to share it with others; and so I’m bringing a message this morning called, “The Cure for the Corona Virus Blues.”
We Must Focus on the Positive Things (vv. 6-8)
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.
Paul said, “Be anxious for nothing.” I don’t know about your experience, but when I look on the internet to catch up with the latest news about the corona virus, all I see is bad news; and when I get off the computer I feel really stressed out. When I look at Facebook, people are posting doom and gloom and political drama. It’s really easy to get down in the dumps, or be driven to a state of despair and panic when we listen to what other people are saying. For example, the rate of suicides has climbed sharply during this pandemic. The headline of one news article states, “More People Died from Suicide than Coronavirus in Tennessee This Week.”
Some of us are cooped up in social isolation with cabin fever, which is hard; but that’s the least of the problems we could be facing. Others are laid off or fired from their jobs with little to no income, being unable to pay the bills or put food on the table. Some people have the corona virus, or know someone who has it, and their loved one might be fighting for their life. So, when you add to this mix seeing and hearing bad news, it just amplifies the emotional impact; and let me tell you, it’s taking a toll on people’s sanity and even their lives. Even me sharing these observations is probably really stressful, so I think I had better change the subject! Amen?
So, based on what the Scripture says, we need to first of all pray about the things that are creating anxiety. There is power in prayer. Jesus said, “Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24); so let’s get busy praying for provision for those who have lost their jobs, praying for healing for those with the corona virus, praying for protection for all the medical workers, praying for wisdom for our state and national leaders, and praying about anything that is simply out of our control. Let’s place it all in the hands of the Father!
Now, here’s something else we need to consider based on what the Scripture says: We need to stop looking at all the bad news! This might translate as, “We need to limit our time on Facebook” or “limit our time spent watching the big news networks.” We need to get our mind out of the statistics, away from the death toll reports, and simply out of the gutter; and focus on – for lack of a more spiritual term – things that are “positive.” You see, it’s not just about abstaining from the negative, it’s about adding or supplementing with the positive. We are to refocus on, or fill our minds with, things that are “pure” and “lovely,” for example, or things that are of “good report.”
Let’s quickly look at what’s mentioned here and see if we can come up with some examples. “Whatever things are true.” With all the fake news, it’s nearly impossible to find something true in the evening news. The only thing true I know of that we can focus on are the words of the Bible. So, let’s catch up on that devotional time with God. “Whatever things are just.” The word “just” means, “based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair.” Perhaps we can get involved with something where we’re helping those who are on the front lines of this pandemic, such as sewing masks or helping pass out food. Perhaps we can help the elderly and widows of our church by calling them or picking up groceries.