Good News

When I consider the number of theories I’ve heard confidently expounded about Covid-19 … it makes my head swim. I’ve heard multiple countries blamed for the purposeful propagation of the disease. I’ve heard that there is no global crisis … that it’s all “Fake News” and political sabotage. This must be a great comfort to the grieving families of almost 5,000 Italians. I’ve heard it’s a pandemic but not as bad as the common cold. I’ve read posts from terrified people with terrifying theories and from terrified people pretending it’s no big deal. What are we to believe? I suspect (with great sympathy) that most of us find comfort in being “in the know.” It provides us with a sense of control in an out of control world.

As follower of Jesus there’s a different path to personal stability. It’s the way of the Spirit. When we placed our faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit came into our lives and did a renovation. He brought new resources that we didn’t have when we were unbelievers. The Holy Spirit changed our spirit. If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  2 Corinthians 5:17   By faith, we were united to Jesus in both His death and resurrection for the express purpose that “we might walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4   The trouble is … we don’t. We don’t always walk according to the reality of who we are. Otherwise, God’s Word wouldn’t be filled with so many reminders and course corrections. 

As I have listened to the responses to Covid-19 … and wrestled with misgivings of my own, there is a reminder that I need to hear. A believer in Jesus Christ is to operate in the world with a certain disposition … or inclination. That’s what Paul meant by the word “spirit” in the 2 Timothy 2:17

God did not give us a spirit of fearfulness, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Let me break that down … Christians are not to be fearful, timid people. We are to live with power … being controlling influences for good. We are to live with kind regard and action toward our fellow man (love). We are to be self-possessed when others are losing their minds. My favorite translation of that last characteristic is … “of sound mind.” Oh, how our current situation cries for men and women of sound mind!

When Paul wrote these words, he was concerned that the young Pastor Timothy was losing sight of his purpose and calling. That calling was proclaiming the Gospel. “Because power, love and self-discipline are available to you in Christ,” Paul adds, “do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord.”

Let’s not be so enamored with, or frightened by, or controlled by the daily news that we forget our calling … The Good News.