Suddenly, there has been a sharp spike in the number of COVID-19 cases here in Trinidad where I live. The numbers have increased and we are in a fresh round of lockdowns. Proportionally, the deaths have also gone up, so it is hitting close to home.

Three days ago, a co-worker in my office told me that her first cousin died on Monday. Another person who I am close to, indicated that a colleague whom she knew, passed away two days prior. While leaving work that same day, another colleague said that his neighbour passed away. In the space of an 8-hour day, I found out about 3 recent deaths due to COVID-19.

Not only the tragedy of death is in the air, but the atmosphere is charged with fear. Persons are literally terrified to leave the comfort of their homes. Just to step out one’s front door is now a process of putting on courage and putting on personal protective equipment (PPE). For a truth, God’s word has come into fruition.

Luke 21:26  Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

In a twinkling of an eye the words of God which were written over 2000 years ago, have jumped off the pages and stood up to directly watch us in our faces. COVID-19 has caused fear to be front and centre and present at every 360-degree angle we might turn. Then it is compounded with job losses, uncertainty, and things like economic hardship. What a time, my Lord, what a time!

Given what is currently covering the earth, it is easy for us to turn against Him and say, “God, where are you?”. How can a loving God allow all this? God is not real. However, Now is not a time to turn from the Heavenly Father. If you are thinking about it, I say to you, STOP IT! Where are turning to go??

Now is the time to pray, fast, and seek God even more. But now is also a critical time to grow in knowledge.

2 Peter 3:18 18  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

If you are looking for a safety net to keep you from fear as most of us are, then growing in grace and knowledge of the Lord is critical to adopt now. A good question for us today is to ask ourselves, “What is growing in me since this Pandemic situation has arisen?”. Has my disbelief towards God grown? Did my anger towards Him grown? Did fear grow within me? Has my love for others and God increased? Did my ability to give to the needy grow? Examine and see what has grown, or has nothing grown? Nothing growing inside of us during these times is also frightening, as this level of detachment does not represent the love of God (1 John 3:17).

Fear is one of the easiest things to grow at present, because our hearts and minds are planted in the soil of this present-day world and watered with the rich fertilizer of COVID-19. But take heart, my friends, for there is hope! Just as the words of God about men’s heart failing them from fear are real and alive, all other aspects of God’s word are also alive!

I call to remembrance His words which aptly states:

Isaiah 41:10“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Joshua 1:9. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Philippians 4:6-7. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

John 14:27“Peace I leave with you; my peace, I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

2 Timothy 1:7 7  For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Pay particular attention to John 12:27, which states, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you”. Jesus has given us many things, salvation, mercy, power, the Holy Spirit and even peace. He has nothing else left to do because everything is now up to us. The ball is in our court. Armed with this knowledge, we are the ones to choose to grasp this peace that Jesus has set before us.   

I heard a story in a Tony Evans book, about this guy who got a free ticket to go on an all-inclusive cruise. The man went on the cruise unaware that the food was free and he didn’t have extra cash, so he packed bread and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to eat while other passengers enjoyed lavish meals throughout the day.

When he was leaving the cruise one porter asked him, “How was the cruise?”. The man replied, “The ride was nice, but I could not afford the food”. The porter looked at him astonished and said, “Sir, we included the meals in the price of your ticket! You were miserable for no reason at all.

This example reminds me about the peace God has offered us, this peace that transcends all understanding. It is right there in our grasp to access, but we lack the knowledge of how to get what is rightfully ours, thus making ourselves miserable. This lack of knowledge of God is destroying us.

Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee…”

Personally, the closer I get to God, the more I feel at peace and settled. Nothing in this world compares to this for me. For those of you who know me, this is your friend Dane Miller saying this, not a stranger. I have tested these scriptures of peace and proved them valid. What I need to do, what we need to do, is to apply them more in our lives.

I encourage you, my friend, to put off your garments of heaviness and fear and learn to trust God. Grow in His word and the knowledge of Him and quickly see your fear and anxiety dissipate because He has promised to give you peace. It is just up to us if we want to fully surrender to Him and claim it.

PS: Dane Miller was last seen pulling out weeds of fear thereby ensuring that only the right things are growing in his garden.

Part 2 of this Blog can be found here: Men’s Heart Will Be Failing for Fear – Part 2

Your Brother in the Lord,

Dane Miller | Author

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