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The Value of Fear: How the COVID Pandemic Has Increased Anxiety and Panic

In the wake of the coronavirus, fear has become widespread. With media updating headlines at a rapid rate and the matter still waiting to be understood fully, it's understandable that fear has grown almost as rapidly as the virus. God gives us hope through His word that even through life's most difficult challenges, He is still there.

Devotional Reading

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27, NIV).

Historical Context

The Book of John was written roughly around A.D. 90 by the apostle John, the son of Zebedee and the brother of apostle James (who was Jesus' half brother). To avoid getting bogged down in this post by timeline dating, I'll link Cold Case Christianity's article "John's Gospel May Have Been Last, But it Wasn't Late," from J. Warner Wallace, a former FBI agent. Answers in Genesis also has a post relating to this topic entitled "Feedback: Why are the Gospels of Matthew and John Different?" written by Ty Benbow.

What makes this Gospel unique? For starters, this Gospel details the eternally existent Christ before carnation with more in-depth teachings of Jesus and the inclusion of the seven "I AM" statements. John writes in a different style as he was a fisherman and also pours more detail into the Last Supper.

Emphasizing Fear

In the John 14:27 excerpt, Jesus encourages His disciples to not be afraid as He promises the future coming of the Holy Spirit and foretells of His own death. Later chapters detail His prayer to the Father, His betrayal by Judas, His arrest, being questioned by the high priest and Pilate, and ultimately His crucifixion.

Jesus emphasized fear in this passage, to know of it but more importantly to know His promises. He gives peace in tribulation, wisdom through trials, and strength during times of weakness. Jesus understood that fear is a part of life, due to sin. But spiritual fear (reverence, respect, and praise) of God counters physical fear as "perfect love casts out fear" (1 John 4:18). Fear has the power to hinder spiritual growth, and it also has the power to keep one close to God and away from sin.

Closing Thoughts

The value of fear lies in what is being feared. This life will have more than one virus, more than trial, and more than one shortcoming. But even with moments of weakness and testing, God promises for those who fear Him and keep His commandments He will not allow to be tested beyond what they can handle for His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30.

For more encouragement read the following articles:

  • Through the Valleys

  • Remaining Unshaken

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