Before we begin, I’d like to make a point that I tried to avoid this subject. I waited for God to give me a more inspired idea and prayed for something that would be a bit more out of the box. But alas it seems at the moment I’m in the middle of the box with the rest of the church livestreams and encouraging face book messages. You might have guessed it but this article will be about faith and love.
This is a time of faith
Faith is important in a time that is unprecedented - a time which is almost constantly upon us, humanity is frequently balancing on the edge of disaster and revolution. You only have to open a history book to discover that each decade brings new trials and discoveries.
Despite life making a point of being unprecedented recently, the necessity of faith has been consistent throughout the decades.
Why is faith so important?
Faith is the start of beginning a relationship with God. Instructions to begin such a relationship ensues from Romans chapter 10, verse 9, “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
From there on it is a journey of faith. Faith encompasses all aspects of our lives, it is not merely believing that God exists but believing that he loves us.
It is trusting that he has a plan and purpose for our lives. It is surrendering our own ideals to his unending wisdom.
Before the world was held hostage by the coronavirus, faith existed and has been needed in everyday life.
We still faced personal hurdles and needed to believe in the goodness of God. It has always been the crux of Christianity; it is how we develop a closer relationship with Jesus.
However, I propose the idea that faith does not merely exist for personal gain and furthering our own ‘spirituality’.
With the world evolving or devolving (take your pick) and the coronavirus establishing a presence across nations; we need to be strong in our faith, not only for ourselves but also for those who have none. Hebrews chapter 12, verse 1-2 says: “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
Let’s not forget that we are called to live by example. To have hope in a world of hopelessness is a testament.
This is a time to love
The greatest testimony of all would undoubtedly be the story about a man being sacrificed on a cross for our sins, not because he was afraid about what would happen if he didn’t, or because they were the orders he had received from the big man but because he loves us.
If we are to live by example this is the example that we need to be led by (1 Peter chapter 2, verse 21). This is not a commission for anyone to go searching for a cross or a crown of thorns, but a commission to love selflessly.
Mark chapter 12, verse 30-31 says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength…you shall love your neighbour as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”
With the nations facing economic and social disaster, there is a unique opportunity here to love with greater proportions.
We have a health crisis but we also have people who are becoming afraid. People who are struggling against financial instability, mental health or grieving after the loss of a loved one.
To combat fear, the adversary has always been love (1 John chapter 4, verse 18). In unprecedented times we must always love because this is showing the character of God and living as a testament to Jesus.
Little Children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. (1 John chapter 3, verse 18) To ‘love’ is to not only send well wishes but to act on this commission of love that we have been given.
This is a time for community
How then are we supposed to act out this love?
As a church and as individuals, we all have a responsibility for each other, especially in unprecedented times.
During the pandemic we can support each other by calling one another on the phone, looking after our neighbours and supporting our local businesses.
We also need to be alert after the pandemic and the struggle that will begin.
The effect the corona virus will have economically is substantial, but we need to be attuned to the people and the impact that will come after, as people begin to rebuild livelihoods and deal with the financial hardships.
We need to be ready with faith and the love of God.
Teya Murphy is an outgoing young Australian who is always on the lookout for the next adventure to have or the next hobby to adopt. She’s passionate about people, writing and Jesus.