Today we have the second reminder to help us steward this current storm.
Many are captive to the fear of death—and rightfully so, for they have no hope. But after remembering the curse, we must remember Christ—the only cure for the curse.
May we steward this storm by remembering Christ our curse-bearer. “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’—” (Galatians 3:13). Sin is the cause of the curse. Removal of the curse can only come through removal of sin. Christ alone is the perfect substitute sacrifice for human sin (2 Corinthians 5:8; 1 Peter 3:18; John 14:6; Acts 4:12). This is why of Him it was written, “the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings” (Malachi 4:2). Sin and the curse of diseases are directly linked, both finding their cure in Christ: “who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases” (Psalm 103:3). He gave the world a foretaste of the healing that is found in Him when He went throughout the land “healing every disease and every affliction among the people” (Matthew 4:23). Our response to pandemics must be marked by repentance and faith—trust and hope in Christ.
Trust corresponds to the known, worry to the unknown. Corrie ten Boom said it best, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” The revealed character of God is sufficient for all our trust. It is imperative that we demonstrate an otherwise unexplainable trust in God in trials such as this pandemic.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.” – (Proverbs 3:5–8).
Remembering Christ means not worrying. Jesus said, “‘I tell you, do not be anxious about your life … which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matthew 6:25, 27). He teaches us that God intimately cares for us and is more than capable of providing all our needs, no matter the circumstance. He then directs us to seek first God and His promised kingdom, which will be without disease and death—without the curse (Matthew 6:32-33; 2 Peter 3:13). “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34). Again, Corrie ten Boom reminds us, “Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrows, it empties today of its strength.” In her book, Reflections of God’s Glory, Boom writes,
Time is necessary for making wise plans, but carrying them out belongs to only one day—today. We become concerned about the future—our financial concerns, our health. Where does this lead to? Nowhere. Nowhere that is worth the trouble because tension ruins things. It depletes the energy that you need to live today. The Holy Spirit does not give you a clear blueprint for your life, but He leads you from moment to moment. Live for today! The sun will shine on the problems that tomorrow brings. I read somewhere, “… Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s grief; it takes away today’s strength. It does not enable us to avoid evil, but it makes us incapable of dealing with it when it comes.”
Remembering Christ means hoping. Our hope is not in immunities, disinfectants, fully stocked shelves, or even restored comfort in this life. Our hope is in Christ and the life to come. Hope corresponds to value and speaks of what we look forward to. Hope is based on promise and is only as sure as the power of its promise. The promise that we have in Christ is secured by the power of His own resurrection. It is as sure as He is risen! Just before saying, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true” (Revelation 21:5), our Lord promised that “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). Dane Ortlund helpfully applies these principles to the present coronavirus pandemic:
From heaven’s shore we will see how eternally safe we were all along, even amid the global upheaval and anxieties that loom so large as we walk through them. The dangers out there are real. The cautions are wise. Our bodies are mortal, vulnerable. But our souls, for those united to a resurrected Christ, are beyond the reach of all eternal danger. How un-harm-able we are, we who are in Christ. Be at peace. All is assured.
As headlines bombard us, let us remember Christ. Let us trust and hope in Him. This will require discipline of mind (Philippians 4:6-8; 1 Peter 1:13; 2 Corinthians 10:4–5; Romans 12:1-3). Discipline of mind set on Christ is the way to shalom: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3; Colossians 3:1-2). Jesus also reminds us that our trust in Him is for a future hope: “in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). We will not run out of tribulations and fears in this world. Let us not be governed by fear, but let hope mark our hearts. And hope should work in us patience (Romans 8:25).
Let us steward this storm by remembering Christ our curse-bearer.