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Learning How To Handle The Virus Crisis 2020
By Dr. Norman R. Wise
Spiritually Handling the Virus Crisis
34 “After this time had passed, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven. My sanity returned, and I praised and worshiped the Most High and honored the one who lives forever. His rule is everlasting, and his kingdom is eternal. 35 All the people of the earth are nothing compared to him. He does as he pleases among the angels of heaven and among the people of the earth. No one can stop him or say to him, ‘What do you mean by doing these things?’ … 37 “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble the proud.” [Dan 4:34-35, 37 NLT]
- God has allowed this season of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide epidemic for good purposes.
- Who is the Lord God who allows such things to happen?
13 And rend your heart and not your garments.” Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of just judgements due to immorality. [Joe 2:13]
This was part of the “Creed” of Israel concerning the character of God.
Neh 9:17, 31
- Humanity is worse than we think we are morally
[Rom 3:10-18 NASB] 10 as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; 11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; 12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.” 13 “THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING,” “THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS”; 14 “WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS”; 15 “THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD, 16 DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS, 17 AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN.” 18 “THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.”
[Rom 2:5-6 NASB] 5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS:
- We should not think that just because one nation or region is hit harder by the virus that they are worse then other regions.
[Luk 13:1-5 NASB] 1 Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were [greater] sinners than all [other] Galileans because they suffered this [fate?] 3 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 “Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were [worse] culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? 5 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
- Everyone will die. The vital issue is are we reconciled to God before we die and ready to face the judgment. It is only a matter of when and how.
[Heb 9:27 NASB] 27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this [comes] judgment,
- So natural disasters, epidemics, plagues, and crisis are to remind us of how fragile we are, that death can occur at any time, and that we are not ultimately in control of things. They are to humble us and lead us to draw near to God.
[2Ch 7:13-15 NASB] 13 “If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, 14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 “Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer [offered] in this place. (Also read Joel 2 – https://www.npr.org/2020/01/03/793440776/largest-plague-of-locusts-in-a-quarter-century-hits-africa-and-middle-east )
[Heb 4:13-16 NASB] 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. 14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as [we are, yet] without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
- How do we draw near to God?
[1Ti 2:3-6 NKJV] 3 For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For [there is] one God and one Mediator between God and men, [the] Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,
[Heb 4:14-16 NKJV] 14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all [points] tempted as [we are, yet] without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
How to be at peace with God
- Yet the sun that melts butter also hardens bricks.
Are you butter or brick?
Prayer List During The Virus
- Pray that people will be led to humble themselves, turn from their sins, turn toward the Messiah Jesus for forgiveness and help, and seek first the will of God for their lives.
- Pray that the community of believers will learn to continue to minister to people without the need of buildings. This will be critical for times of persecution.
- Pray that the community of believers in Messiah/Christ Jesus will show love and compassion towards those in need and show care for all who are suffering.
- Pray for our government leaders and medical experts to act with wisdom and skill in handling this crisis.
- Pray for the passing away of the virus as soon as it has accomplished its work of awakening
How to draw close to God daily – Vital for finding his strength in times of crisis
- Request the Holy Spirit to fill you, reveal hidden sins, and renew your love for righteousness. Sit for two minutes silently before the Lord. – Sing a song of praise or listen to one.
- Read a short portion of scripture. The Psalms are a good place to begin
- Pray that the Holy Spirit speak to you specifically in what you read
- Paraphrase what you read into your own words
- Read the section out loud again
- Ask the Holy Spirit to point out key words to you
- Mark any words or phrases that seem important to you
- Ask the Holy Spirit why these particular words are meant for you today
- How should you use this passage in your life today?
- Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the power to apply what you have been shown.
- Be silent before the Lord with the passage open before you for two minutes
- Review the last 24 hours before the Lord
- Notice every good gift God has given you
- Notice every difficult thing that happened as part of God’s plan
- Notice every ugly sin that you committed
- Notice any God sightings – Events that spoke to you of God’s presence
- Repent of any lack of love or respect of others. Confess sins of commission and omission. Accept the forgiveness of God in the Sacrifice of Christ. Turn from these sins. Look for the roots of these sins. Deal with the roots as well as the fruits of sin in your life.
- Rejoice in all of God’s gifts and the sightings of God in your life.
- Release to God the difficult things that have happened, your worries about what you fear may happen, and the events planned for the next 24 hours.
- Rest – Be silent before the Lord and know that nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Listen to any movement of the Spirit in your heart for at least two minutes. Sing a song of praise or listen to one.
Key: For every hour you watch the news, spend an hour in prayer. Commit the details of the news to the Lord in prayer.
How to handle the Emotional / Social stress of this time of isolation and change
- Set a schedule for yourself, daily and weekly. Don’t go into a day without a plan.
- Make 20 minutes of journaling part of your plan every day
- Emotional vomit journal
- Positive journal
- Prayer journal
- Reading journal
- Thinking journal
- Spiritual journal
- Exercise a little everyday – 30 minutes – Don’t kill yourself
- Eat healthy and fun
- Use phone and social media to keep connected to friends and family – Don’t isolate
- Join groups that meet through electronic media like “Zoom”
- Pray for others and where you can be of help to others
- Breathing exercises – Relaxation Response and progressive muscle relaxation
Progressive Muscle Relaxation – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClqPtWzozXs
- Disciplined self-talk
- Any negative self-talk debate and don’t suppress the thoughts. Give the yourself the advice you would give your best friend.
- Develop a positive interpretation of the current situation including God’s plan
- Set up some core or foundational truths to steady yourself and say these to yourself at least 7 times a day
- In Christ Jesus, God is good I can trust HIS character
- In Christ Jesus, God is great I can trust HIS competence
- In Christ Jesus, God is full of grace, I can trust HIS compassion
- In Christ Jesus, God is with me in time of grief and shares in my grief, I can trust his companionship
- In Christ Jesus, God is going to use all my grief for good, I can trust HIS commitment to fulfill HIS plan for my life.
- Review the passages of scripture that have made the greatest impact on your life.
- Review any promises of God in scripture that seem to relate to you
- Enjoy hobbies, reading, games, and inspiring movies – Sabbath Rest
Rejoicing Tithe: [Deu 14:22, 26 NASB] 22 “You shall surely tithe all the produce from what you sow, which comes out of the field every year. … 26 “You may spend the money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household.
Have play time before the Lord as one of his children. He loves to see us play.
- Clean comedies – Laughter is medicine to the bones
- Joke books
- Reading that inspires
- Adult coloring books – (Or children’s – it doesn’t matter)
- Playing board games if with family
- Taking Walks
- Inspiring Movies
- Gospel movies – those which are nearly word for word “Noble”“Freedom Writers”“Robber of the Cruel Streets: The Prayerful Life of George Muller”“The Case for Christ movie (2017)”“Hacksaw Ridge” (very violent but with a strong faith message – Real biography)“Amazing Grace movie” Wilber Wilberforce
Financial handling of Crisis
[Mat 6:19-27, 31-34 NLT] 19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. 22 “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! 24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. 25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life–whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? … 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
[Jas 2:14-17] 14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “God bless you and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”–but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
Places to go to get help for those in need.
Physical Handling of the Crisis
- Clean the hands regularly with an alcohol-based sanitizer, or wash them with soap and water. The CDC also make this recommendation, advising that sanitizer should contain “at least 60% alcohol” and that people should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Clean surfaces — such as kitchen seats and work desks — regularly with disinfectant.
- Avoid crowded areas when going out, for people over 60 years old and people with any underlying health problems.
- Try to avoid close contact with people who display flu-like symptoms, including coughing and sneezing.
- Get accurate information about COVID-19. Some good sources include the Pan American Health Organization and WHO websites.
The American Red Cross also advise against touching the mouth, nose, or eyes when out and about, before having a chance to wash the hands.