Afraid? Christianity, Fear, and the Coronavirus

Afraid? Christianity, Fear, and the Coronavirus

All, who have ever fully and faithfully believed in and belonged to God, have always enjoyed access to His blessed promise that they need NEVER: fear, nor be afraid, of anything on earth – no matter what happened, or happens, in their human world.

Afraid Coronavirus

Afraid? Who is your God? Has He not always been faithful?

As early on as Genesis 15:1, God told childless Abraham, the future father of the faithful: Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward. In Genesis 26:24, the Lord said to Isaac: “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you…” When God’s people of Moses’s day were about to face some of the greatest threats and challenges of their entire existence, God’s message to them as found in Deuteronomy 31:6-8 was: “‘Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.’ Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, ‘Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the Lord, He is the one who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.’” A very similar but somewhat more specific message was soon thereafter repeated in Joshua 1:5-9 (which see).

One of my own, personal, favorite passages of reassurance in all of Scripture is Psalm 46, verses 1 and 2 which state: “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea…

Do you remember what David, the man after God’s own heart (1 Sam. 13:14, Acts 13:22) wrote in the 23rd Psalm? “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Do you also recall what David – who certainly knew a thing or two about having death in hot pursuit of him and having to face life-threatening peril on a daily basis at times – wrote in some of the other Psalms? For example, in Psalm 27:1, 3, and 4, David wrote: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? …Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war should rise against me, in this I will be confident. One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple. In Psalm 56, believed to have been written by David regarding the time he was captured by his mortal enemies the Philistines, he said, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?

Later on, in 1 Chronicles 28:20 when he was preparing to give over the responsibilities of both building the temple and ruling the kingdom to his son Solomon, David instructed him to “Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God – my God – will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you…

God’s message to His faithful people of Isaiah’s day who were also facing terrible peril was precisely the same: “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ …For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you’ (Isaiah 41:10, 13).

While we could certainly cite other Old Testament examples, surely these should suffice  to show, that whether we’re talking about: Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, Isaiah, or anyone else, as stated earlier in our opening paragraph: “All, who have ever fully and faithfully believed in and belonged to God, have always enjoyed access to His blessed promise, that they need NEVER: fear, nor be afraid, of anything on earth – no matter what happened, or happens, in their human world.” Nor does this truth diminish or disappear once we reach the divinely-inspired pages of the New Testament. In fact, if anything, we find it enhanced and strengthened!

As our Lord Jesus Christ was instructing His disciples about those who would seek to take their lives just as they were eventually going to take His, do you know what He told them? “Do not fear,” not once, not twice, but three times in eight short verses in Matthew 10:24-31 alone! When Jesus encountered Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue whose little daughter was deathly ill – and then actually died – do you remember what He told him in Mark 5:36? “Do not be afraid, only believe.

Even the very last evening before His betrayal, arrest, scourging, and crucifixion for yours and my sins; the disastrous night within which His disciples’ world would be turned upside down by fear and uncertainty as everything they had believed, been promised, and been a part of for the past three and a half years would be suddenly and seemingly forever taken from them – do you recall what He told them? “Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:1); “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27); “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (Jn. 15:11); and, “Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone… These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:32-33).

The writer of Hebrews would go on to explain to us in Hebrews 2:14-15, that Jesus came to completely eradicate, even the fear, of death itself, from the hearts, minds, and souls of those who believe in, and belong to God… so that we may boldly say (just as He also wrote in Hebrews 13:6): “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear…”

Even when the first-century congregation of the Lord’s church in Smyrna was facing massive tribulation, persecution, imprisonment, and most likely even death itself for their faith, they were told through the divinely inspired pen of the Apostle John, that there was no need or reason for them to fear or panic, but only to continue to trust in, and remain faithful to, the Lord their God (Revelation 2:10). For, as the Apostle Paul had already written to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7: “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

New Testament Christians today must also therefore use that same sound mind, to totally trust God and not fear, even when those all around us who do not know God, are reacting in a fear-filled and panic-driven frenzy! Or, as we are instructed in Isaiah. 8:12ESV: “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread.

We would note a fantastic illustration of this same “Who-do-you-trust-in-and-belong-to-truth,” exhibited in the story of the great shipwreck of Acts 27. As the terrible and tempestuous storm raged all around them and threatened to take their very lives, we see the desperate efforts of those well-seasoned but still pagan sailors summarized in verses 13-20, wherein we find the words: “difficulty” (16); “fearing” (17); “exceedingly tempest-tossed” (18); “beat on us” (20); and finally: “all hope that we would be saved was finally given up” (20).

However, completely contrary to those words and that mindset, please note the words of the faithful man of God amongst them. Although he was “in the same boat” as they were; and in the same storm as they were; and facing the same, exact, life and death peril which they were; please note his completely opposite and contrarian perspective as evidenced by His words of calm, faithful, and common-sense reassurance. In vss. 21-26, we would see his very calm and reasoned response reflected in his words and phrases such as: “You should have listened to me” (21); “take heart,” (22): “there will be no loss of life among you” (22); “Do not be afraid,” (23); “Take heart,” (25); + “for I believe God,” (also in that same verse 25).

Likewise to Acts 27, our world today is in the midst of a very nasty, tempestuous, hope-robbing and life-threatening storm known as COVID19 or the Coronavirus. It is a terrible storm of a virus that is causing (at least as far as most of our lifetimes are concerned) unprecedented mass panic and world-wide hysteria, both within the political, medical, athletic, academic, economic, + other world infrastructure. And… just like w/the life-threatening storm we see recorded in Acts 27, we, too, are “all in the same boat.” But also like the deadly perilous situation we find in Acts 27, we who truly and fully believe in and belong to God – just like the faithful man of God in that boat – have absolutely no reason whatsoever to “fear what they fear,” or to allow those who do not know and belong to our God as we do, to cause us to start sinking into the same depths of dread + despair as they are.

Now, please do not for a moment, misunderstand what I am saying here. This is a serious situation. Any one death from this thing is one death far too many. Older folks with any sort of heart, lung, or other health problem, need to pay particular attention, and take extra-special precautions not to get it! I don’t want it, nor do I want one more person – even my worst enemy – to get it. And hence, I will be careful, and take reasonable precautions, in order not to get it… HOWEVER: At same time, I absolutely refuse to panic, fear, or to stop living because of it. As a blood-bought child of the living God, I absolutely refuse get caught up and consumed in the mass hysteria of the mass media; but choose instead to let the light of my Lord shine forth brightly, during this dark time of world-wide fear and foreboding!

Read Acts 27:18-20 again. Do you suppose the fear, panic, and hopelessness on that boat was contagious? I’m sure it was. Why? Because fear is always contagious (See: Acts 5:5, 11, + 19:17) – maybe even more contagious than the Corona Virus. And make no mistake about it: the national news media knows this very, very well.  They know all too well that panic sells. Do you remember the big Y2K scare? What about the West Nile Virus (2002), the Bird Flu (2005), the Swine Flu (2009), the Ebola Virus (2014), and etc.?

Brethren; it’s way past time for a little common-sense perspective that you probably won’t see emphasized on too many news media outlets these days. Please consider:

1. As of Tuesday, March 17th, 2020, there were 4,661 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in the U.S., with 87 deaths occurring as a result. Now, while even one death from it is one death far too many; and with absolutely no disrespect or insensitivity intended to those families who have lost loved ones due to COVID19, do you understand what those numbers actually mean? They mean that over 98% of those confirmed to have had it, have not died from it.

2. As of Tuesday, March 17th, 2020, there were also 182,406 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, resulting in 7,154 deaths world-wide. And once again, while even one death from it is one death far too many; and with absolutely no disrespect or insensitivity intended to those families who have lost loved ones due to COVID19, do you understand what those numbers actually mean? They mean that over 96% of those confirmed to have had it, have not died from it.

Just for perspective: Did you know that there is an even deadlier virus floating around out there today than the Coronavirus? (You certainly wouldn’t know that by listening to the news today, now would you? Nor has the world ever been shut down before because of it.) In her article, entitled “How Many People Die From The Flu Each Year,” Claire Gillespie writes: “While everyone is in a panic about the coronavirus (officially renamed COVID-19 by the World Health Organization), there’s an even deadlier virus many people are forgetting about: the flu.” (1) While COVID19 has been blamed for the deaths of 87 people, total, in the U.S. as of March 17th, the CDC itself, according to Ms. Gillespie’s article, estimated that during the brief four month span between October 1st, 2019, and February 1st, 2020, that in the U.S. alone, “at least 12,000 people have died from influenza … and the number of deaths may be as high as 30,000.” Updated estimates from the CDC itself indicate that from October 1st of 2019, through to March 7th, 2020, there were somewhere between 22,000 and 55,000 deaths due to influenza (or the flu). (2) (Did you also know, that on the CDC website it said this regarding the Coronavirus: “Reported illnesses have ranged from very mild {including some with no reported symptoms} to severe, including illness resulting in death. While information so far suggests that most COVID-19 illness is mild … a report out of China suggests serious illness occurs in 16% of cases.” Do you know what that means? It means that, according to the CDC itself, 84% of COVID19 cases are “mild,” or “not serious.” You didn’t see that emphasized in the news last night did you?)

So, let’s see… That’s an average of around 40,000 or so deaths due to influenza over that 5-month period… versus 87 deaths from the Coronavirus. That’s just over two tenths of one percent as many deaths from COVID19 as of the common flu. Or, put another way, that’s 460 times more deaths from influenza than from COVID19, over approximately the same time span. Where’s the 460 times the attention, panic, and news media coverage of the flu? There isn’t. In fact, it’s hardly even mentioned. Why? Because the flu is old news. People have had it, passed it, and survived it. Therefore, it doesn’t sell like the new Coronavirus fear and crisis does right now.

For further common-sense perspective… Did you know that according to the National Safety Council, an estimated 38,800 people lost their lives in automobile accidents in the U.S. last year, as well as 39,404 in 2018, and another 40,231 in 2017? (3) That’s an average of 39,505 deaths on our roadways annually, versus the 87 to COVID19 by mid-March. That’s 454 traffic accident deaths to every one death due to the Coronavirus up through March 17th. Let me ask you a question. Were you over 450 times more concerned for your life the last time you got into your car to go somewhere (back when there was somewhere actually open left to go), than you are of the Coronavirus? No. Why not? Because despite the far more deadly danger of being killed in a vehicle crash on our roadways than of dying of the Coronavirus, that’s old news. It doesn’t sell. Thus, the news media isn’t hyping it, because the news media knows it.

And, how’s this for perspective? While there were 87 U.S. deaths due to the Coronavirus as of March 17th, the American Cancer Society estimated that in 2019, 1,762,450 new cancer cases would be diagnosed, while there would be “606,880 cancer deaths in the United States.” (4) Running those numbers, that means that as of mid-March of this year, you were 6,796 times more likely to have died of cancer than of the Coronavirus in the U.S. But you certainly wouldn’t know that by watching the evening news, now would you?

Finally, there is this… While as of Tuesday, March 17th, 2020, there were 7,154 confirmed Corona Virus deaths world-wide, according to the World Health Organization, there are an estimated 40-50 million – that’s right: MILLION – deaths of unborn children who are killed by abortion world-wide every year. W.H.O. goes on to further report, “This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day. In the U.S.A., …there are over 3,000 abortions per day.” (5) What that means is, that since January 1st of this year, through to March 17th, while there were 87 confirmed Coronavirus deaths, that there are more unborn children’s deaths due to abortion, every 45 minutes on average in the U.S., than all of those U.S. Coronavirus deaths combined! It means that during that same 77-day period, while 87 have died due to COVID19 in the U.S., that approximately 231,000 unborn children in America, and approximately 9,625,000 unborn children world-wide, have died of abortion during that same exact time period. Tell me, where’s the mass-media driven mass hysteria about that? Where’s the public outcry and government shutdown due to those 2,655 times more U.S. deaths? It isn’t there. In fact, we have people running for President of this same United States who remain 100% in favor of keeping up the killing of these innocent victims – and millions who will vote for and support them (Rom. 1:18-32)!

In conclusion then, why do I take the time to write and tell my beloved brethren in Christ all of this? To help comfort, strengthen, and encourage all of you in a world gone “CV Viral” and “Coronavirus Crazy.” To help you, as a child of the living God, to constantly remember, that if we continually listen to those who neither know, love, nor listen to our God, that we can become so scared and consumed with the same all-consuming fear that they are, that we allow their fear-driven and panic-filled perspectives to overshadow, overtake, control and/or make us forget or neglect the comfort, peace, joy and security, that we are supposed to have, live, and enjoy daily, as provided by our heavenly Father (Nehemiah 8:10). Such all-consuming fear often also isolates, neutralizes, and prohibits us as New Testament Christians from joyfully and effectively completing our mission of spreading the gospel! As it says in Prov. 29:25: “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.

Brethren, as children of the living God, we must never let anything – from cancer, to car crashes, to Coronavirus and/or beyond – cause us to live in any form of pagan fear and trembling, instead of in godly faith and trusting! I am not talking about being unobservant, unprepared, or testing God foolishly or unnecessarily; but what I am talking about is not letting fear take over, and consume and control our lives, faith, thoughts, and service like it does those who do not know our God and His word.

Do you recall what David and the Apostle Paul said in Psalm 23:6 and Philippians 1:20-21 respectively? Do you know what those verses mean? They mean that if we die – whether by cancer, car crash, coronavirus, or anything else – that we get to go and be with the Lord; and that if we live through these things and for a time longer on earth, that we get to live with and for Him here, until we go to live with Him there! Either way it’s a win-win! We, as New Testament Christians must surely understand and accept that in order to go to heaven, we are going to have to one day shed and get out of this earthly, physical body (Ecclesiastes 7:12; 1 Corinthians 15:50). So, doesn’t it make far more sense, rather than to let those who do not know God and His word cause us to be increasingly more fearful, to let the words of those who do/did know God and His word (as we covered at the beginning of this article), cause us to be increasingly more faithful?

As you go forward and are forced to endure even more Coronavirus craziness over the next few weeks, may you exercise a bit greater level of common-sense than the panic-stricken and fear-driven pagan people all around you; and may the divinely-inspired sentiments of Isaiah 33:6 be your heart’s desire and focus: Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation; the fear of the Lord [your] treasure.”

Speaking of your upcoming week, one final question before we close: If your friend, neighbor, family member or co-worker had one of those rare but acute cases of the Coronavirus and you had the cure… would you share it with them, or let them die? Because, as you know, there is another virus that: “Is infinitely more deadly. It infects and affects people on every continent, in every country in the world. It reaches from the largest metropolitan cities to the smallest villages on earth. This disease touches every family and the results are devastating. This disease harms individuals, it divides families, and it causes wars between nations. It drives people to make devastating decisions, it ruins churches, it brings anyone it touches to their knees, and it results in death. The Word of God calls it ‘harmatia,’ or sin… You know the cure, don’t you? The answer is Jesus. He is the only answer, the only solution, and the only way to be protected from the sin virus.” (6)

So go let your light shine this week brethren! Go shine it deep into the Coronavirus crater of darkness! Let everyone know that if they are not a Christian, then COVID19 is the very least of their worries. Let them know about the infinitely and eternally far more deadly Sinvirus, and how you have and would love to share with them, The Cure, The Christ! God bless!

~ Douglas E. Dingley (


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