In this time of global crisis we are being bombarded with news. And most of it is bad news.
News stories are filled with statistics about those who have contracted the COVID-19 virus, virus testing, and the number of deaths caused by this pandemic. There are stories about the economic impact of this disease and the depressing effect on communities. Add to this the unreported news of those who have succumbed to depression through loss of livelihoods as a result of isolation.
The net effect of all of these negative news stories is fear, panic, desperation, depression, and in the worst cases, suicide.
The news is depressing
There is an adage in news reporting that says, “If it bleeds, it leads.”
In essence this means that the most gory, dramatic, and fear-inducing stories are the ones that take precedence in the news bulletins. They are the stories that appear on the front pages of the print media and are the highlights in the television newsreels.
It is even worse at present because all that we hear about is COVID-19 and the effects of this disease across the world. It continues to push the fear factor up and drive panic.
We saw the depth of this fear in the early days of the disease with panic buying, and in particular the ridiculous panic over toilet paper.
So we are faced with a challenge. If we fill ourselves with this negative and depressing news then we feed depression, panic and fear in ourselves.
What are you filling your mind with?
This raises the question, what are you filling your mind with?
If a person fills their mind with depressing and fearful thoughts it is no wonder that they are fearful and panic-stricken.
And in the situation we find during the current crisis it is difficult to escape such thoughts. Every time we turn on the news or read a paper we are bombarded with negativity. Internet news stories are filled with the same depressing stories and there is no escape.
The only escape is to turn off the news, and at present that is not an option because we are getting instructions from government as to what we can or can’t do. The best we can do at present is to reduce our news intake and limit the depressing impacts these stories are causing.
What the Bible tells us
The scripture gives us a great insight into this issue, and there is one passage that speaks directly to this matter.
"The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! (Matthew chapter 6, verses 22 and 23)
It is through our senses, and the eyes in particular, that we see the world.
When we fill our eyes with dark things, like the news stories that depict depressing events or highlight the worst aspects of humanity, then we fill our mind with things that will depress and lead us into darkness. And if we are in darkness, the darkness grows until it spawns fear, panic, depression, and hopelessness. It is hopelessness in particular that causes some people to commit suicide.
Conversely, if we seek out what is good and focus on positive things then we are filled with light. When we look for what is good in all things we are lifted up and we can lift others also. The light leads us to hope and the ability to be encouraged and encourage others. The greatest good we can seek is to focus on the things of the Spirit and seek the Lord in all things.
Fill yourself with light
If we are to overcome and not succumb to the fear that the world finds itself in today, then we need to fill ourselves with the light of the Lord.
Open your eyes to the good that is around us. Understand that in all things, the Lord is in control.
This current COVID-19 crisis is not a random thing. Nothing that happens on this earth occurs outside of the will of God and this pandemic has been allowed to happen at this time for a reason.
We know from the signs that are taking place that the Lord is coming soon, and we know from prophecies the Lord gave us in Luke chapter 21, verse 11, that there will be pestilences not long prior to His return. COVID-19 is such a pestilence.
But the Lord does not tell us to be depressed over it. He said to look up and be encouraged knowing that His return is soon to come. So focus on His return rather than this disease, and take heart for your redemption is near.
Since retiring from work, John Lemmon now spends his time teaching, preaching and writing about the word of God, online and offline, answering God's call on him to “Speak to my people.” You can connect with John on Twitter (@JohnBLemmon) or on his website: freegiftfromgod.com/ or listen to his podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/the-free-gift-from-god-podcast/id1440682375