Faith, Hope, Love in Times of Crisis

Stay 6 feet apart.

Wash your hands for 20 seconds. To count 20 seconds, sing Happy Birthday twice or the Alphabet song.

Don’t horde toilet paper and other food supplies.

There might not be a cure this year, but we all can do our part to stop spreading the virus.

Everything above comes from the health officials and the government. But is that all? More restrictions? more regulations? What about prayer? Vague expectations that by 2021, this is all just a passing memory?

As a nation, I think we have forgotten about hope. In fact, I think we have forgotten how to hope.

True hope transcends race, religion, and political parties. Coronavirus, like all diseases, doesn’t care what race you are, where you are born, or who you voted in the last election. At the same time, true hope exists for all. Medical research have proven that those with the most optimism and upbeat attitudes are more likely to survive major heart surgeries.

I am reminded of the passage from 1 Corinthians 13 – the passage that everyone like to quote at weddings: “Love is patient, love is kind.” Even if you are an agnostic, somehow, having that verse is still part of the ceremony. Everyone starts reading at verse 4 and stops after verse 7. To paraphrase comedian Jerry Seinfeld, “What’s up with that?”

That famous passage ends with: “But now these three things abide: faith, hope, love; but the greatest of these is love.”

Faith, hope, love: three things sorely missing now.

America (and the rest of the world), where is your faith? Are we looking at our circumstances and panicking? We were once a Christian nation. We once declared our faith that God is sovereign and has blessed us.

Where is the source of your hope? I get it. Being sick is no fun. When I broke my tooth last year, all I could think about was surviving the next surgery and appointment. Then when everything was done, I was relieved. Hope in my Great Physician – Jesus – carried me through the procedures. Now, I have the same hope in the same Great Healer.

As I mentioned before, this virus should remind us of 2 things: 1) this is not the world we were meant to live in; and 2) there is a better world coming. Not an escapist fantasy, but the truth that all things will be renewed.

Love? What happened to love? The Bible uses the word agape – the highest form of love. It is a love that demands nothing in return. It is not self-interested like all lesser loves. The highest form of that love was when Jesus Christ died and rose again to save us from our sins. Easter is coming up but it seems doubtful we could all celebrate in person this year. Yet, this should not stop me and the rest of us from pouring out love to those in need.

The next time you read the news and start to worry, remember: faith, hope, and love in Jesus Christ.

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