How to Maintain Your Faith During a Pandemic
For millions of people, 2020 has been an extremely difficult year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some have either lost their faith in God amid the pandemic or it has been shaken to some degree.¹ The current distress has caused many to question whether our Creator cares about what His people are facing right now. It’s certainly true that God is a being who cares about our circumstances (1 Pet. 5:7). He is ready to help us whenever we are in need, but we must be willing to face adversity head-on and rise up to the occasion (2 Tim. 2:3). God never said His people wouldn’t have to endure tough times, but He does expect us to maintain (and even grow) our faith whenever the road gets rough (Jude 20-21).
“God’s people must be willing to face adversity head-on and rise up to the occasion.”
So how do we do that? Here are some things we can put into practice to ensure that our faith remains intact at all times, even amid a pandemic (they are in no particular order):
Trust more in God and less in yourself (Prov. 3:5-6). Hiram Kemp once wrote, “It is easy to say, ‘I trust God’ when all is well, but in times of uncertainty or hardship, we will show what we truly believe.”² This statement is so true. How many individuals do you know that portray themselves as “Super Christians” when their life is in cruise control but when things hit the fan, they start to fall apart? That’s because we rely too much on ourselves and don’t reach out to God when it’s time to hit the panic button. Mature Christians know that it’s important to trust and rely on God not only when times are good but also when times are tough. The prophet Isaiah said one time, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength” (Isaiah 40:28-29). We must be ready and willing to turn things over to God so that He can handle it. It's really a complete mindset shift, especially if you are so self reliant.
Pray to God. Prayer is our direct lifeline to God—have you been dialing it lately? (Phil. 4:6-7; 1 Thess. 5:17). I’m always encouraged when I read about Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. Three times He prayed to God that night. He was distraught the first time He bowed His knees, but, after the third time, He came out stronger and more confident to go to the cross and offer Himself up as a sacrifice for all of mankind (Matt. 26:36-44). What a great example for us! God may not give us what we want after our first request, but if we keep on knocking, He’s sure to respond (Luke 11:5-13). Praying to God during any situation, no matter how difficult, exemplifies great faith in our Creator.
Disconnect so that you can reconnect. Turn off the TV and unplug from social media. Instead, turn your attention to the word of God, which helps sustain our thirsty souls (Matt. 5:6). We can’t maintain a healthy relationship with God and expect to build on our most holy faith if we don’t take the time to study His word (Psalms 119:105; 2 Tim. 2:15). One thing this pandemic has done is caused some to take their eyes off the ball and lose their focus. Don’t get caught up in the hysteria. God is still on His throne and His word is still powerful and a huge benefit to us (Psalms 119:103-104).
Be a beacon of light to others. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). What Jesus was saying is: we’ve got to get to work. We can’t just sit idle and not do anything to bring light to our community. So, what do we do? Well, you could donate items to a homeless shelter, help out the elderly, donate to a local blood bank, set up a virtual Bible study with your neighbors so they may have a chance to hear the gospel and have their faith strengthened, call/text people to check in on them, pray for those on the frontlines, etc. Pouring into others is not only noble, but it’s the right thing to do and it can help sustain our faith.
There you have it. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but I hope it will help you in some shape or form. Don’t lose sight of the fact that nothing is impossible with God (Mark 10:27). He can help us get through any situation, including instances where we need help building our faith (Mark 9:23-24). This simple truth should calm us, even amid a pandemic.