Our family was sharing a meal around the dinner table this week when I thought of one of the most famous slogans from WWII, “Keep Calm and Carry On.” It came to mind because we were talking about how to have the right perspective during these confusing times. Those who do not believe in Christ might want to rally around that slogan because it represents the humanistic philosophy that the right attitude can change any situation for the better.
That slogan may have helped many British patriots make it through the darkest days of WWII, but it didn’t bring lasting peace to their lives. It didn’t solve their problems once the war was over. It didn’t bring meaning to their existence. And there’s no way it could because it was focused on the finite realm of man. True meaning can only come through that which transcends humanity. True meaning can only come through God.
That is why I would like to recommend a new slogan, “Keep Calm and Live for Christ!” Those who truly commit their lives to Christ will find that they also gain peace that brings calm to their life like they have never experienced before. The sense of peace is possible because Christ deals with the ultimate fear of man, death. The Bible tells us that those who repent of their sins and commit their lives to Christ will never have to live in fear of death because Jesus Christ conquered death for them when he died on the cross and rose from the tomb almost 2,000 years ago.
Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus makes this abundantly clear, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.” When someone is made alive spiritually they are also promised to be given eternal life in the presence of God. This is why Paul can write “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” The Christian has died to himself and he is committed to living for Christ. This makes everything in life significant and it takes away the fear of death. There is purpose and meaning in life and death. Life is to be lived for Christ. Life is to be lived for the Church, which is the bride of Christ. Life is to be lived to tell others about what Christ did for them so they might be set free from the fear of death as well.
This meaning and significance applies to every situation in life. Even the difficulties in life have meaning because they reveal to humanity that we live in a broken world that needs to be redeemed. Diseases and viruses like COVID-19 remind us that there is something wrong. They remind us that we can’t look to humanity for the answers. We have to look to God. And this mentality changes everything. It helps the Christian stay calm. He might get sick, but he is not living for physical health. He is living for life after death. He doesn't need to lose hope about his own physical health because his spiritual health is secure. This allows the Christian to think about the spiritual health of those around him. This is what the right perspective is during COVID-19. We are to be concerned about someone’s physical body because it is the residence of their soul. We care for each other so that God can care for our souls.
It is important to remember that the world’s spiritual needs won’t be met with social distancing. They won’t be met with a face covering. In fact, for many people these guidelines are getting in the way of meeting spiritual needs. Just listen to what the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 10, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? and how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” The non-believing world needs Christians to reach out to them to share the gospel. They need to hear the truth so they can be set free from the power of sin and death.
The Spiritual needs of Christians are also being hampered by misinformed COVID guidelines. Churches in California are now encouraged to meet for outdoor services, yet many Christians are too afraid to go. Are we going to let the world determine how we think about these difficult times? I hope not. We are not living in the fear of man or of virus. We are living in the fear of God and his word tells us, “abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.” We need to have confidence that the Christian life is not lived for our physical wellbeing. It is to be lived for Christ.
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