What do you do with your anxieties in the coronavirus pandemic? How are you dealing with the fear of catching COVID-19? We’ve been talking about this on our “Soul Talks” podcast and people have asked for more help from the Bible so here’s a short Bible Study “soul kit” for dealing with the coronavirus. (Listen to “‘Fear Not’ the Coronavirus? Empathy and Courage are Needed.”)
Today real dangers are everywhere on our news feed and in our conversations: sickness, not having enough food, financial losses, social isolation, being quarantined, family conflicts, cancelled events, not being able to work, a grim future, death, a loved one dying.
Unfortunately, many people looking for help from Bible promises or to Christian preachers and friends get the idea they should not feel afraid: “Just have faith… Believe God’s promises… Be strong… Focus on loving others…” These messages are a misunderstanding of God’s Word. They can shame people for having emotions and weakness. They can discourage faith in God.
Faith is trust. To trust God (or anyone) includes being emotionally honest and vulnerably asking for what you need. You can cultivate real faith by expressing emotions like fear, anxiety, anger, discouragement, and sadness to God and gracious people. Ask for empathy and then in time you’ll be able to return to peace, joy, confidence, and love for others.
When you’re emotionally wobbly and receive empathy it grounds you so you can stand up again. It clears your heart and mind to absorb the comfort, wisdom, and strength of God’s Word.
Coronavirus Scriptures on God’s Comfort and Strength for Fear and Anxiety
These Bible promises encourage the healthy faith in God that fosters non-anxious living and courageous love for others. These Scriptures are especially encouraging in this time of the coronavirus. (All verses are from the NIV.)
Jesus is Calm in the Storm (Then he Calms the Storm and his Disciples)
“Then [Jesus] got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping” (Matthew 8:23-24).
When You’re Stressed and Tired Jesus Offers Rest for Your Soul
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Ask Jesus’ Father to Receive Good Gifts
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you… your Father in heaven [will] give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:7, 11).
God Cares for Your Emotions
“My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me. Fear and trembling have beset me… I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. He rescues me unharmed…” (Psalm 55:4-5, 16-18).
God Takes Your Hand to Comfort Your Fears and Help You
“I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God… For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you’” (Isaiah 41:9-10, 13).
Fear Melts Away When You Hear God’s Love Song for You
“Never again will you fear any harm… The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:15, 17).
God’s Love Through One Another Calms Fear
“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another… There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:11, 18).
Empathy Engages us with God’s Spirit of Power, Love, and Self-Discipline
“To Timothy, my dear son… Recalling your tears, I long to see you… I am reminded of your sincere faith… For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:2, 4-5, 7).
God’s Grace Helps You Accept Your Weakness and Become Strong
“Three times I [Paul] pleaded with the Lord to take [the thorn in my flesh] away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ …That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10).
Trouble, Hardship, and Death Don’t Separate us From Christ’s Love
“If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? …Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:31-32, 35-37).
Be Still to Take Refuge in God in Trouble
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea… He makes wars cease… He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (Psalm 46:1-2, 9-11).
Rest in the Lord’s Beauty and Strength to be Safe
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? … Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling” (Psalm 27:1, 3-5).
God’s Mighty Hand Protects and Cares for You
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).
Jesus is Our Healer
“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness” (Matthew 9:35).
The Word of the Lord Ministers Healing
“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave” (Psalm 107:19-20).
Experience Jesus’ Help for Your Fears and Anxiety
In Your Best Life In Jesus’ Easy Yoke I share stories from my life and people I’ve helped on how to overcome fear, worry, and anxiety. I’ll show you to draw closer to Christ and to pray Scripture so that you can experience God’s love, joy, peace, and power! This book is great for personal devotions and small groups.