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  • Writer's pictureJared Stern

3 Reasons to Panic

On the day that our Governor first decreed that Schools would be closed for three (and maybe more) weeks, all of the sudden the world shifted its patterns. I was in Columbus that evening eating at one of my favorite restaurants, BD’s Mongolian Grill, and it was on the verge of being empty. The location is right next to Nationwide Arena so you can imagine that it would normally get a steady flow of traffic.

Sports events have been cancelled. Restaurant dining areas have been closed. Grocery stores have shelves that are empty. Chaos has ensued and everyone seems to be panicking.

Everywhere you look these past few weeks, you see headlines referring to this pandemic that is upon us. I am not a doctor. I don’t know a lot about this virus that is fast spreading among us. What I do know is that you should be panicking if any of these three reasons apply to you:

1. You have reason to panic if you don’t believe God is in control.

I fall in the over-controlling camp at times. There are times that I get frustrated when a task goes arry and I have to find a different solution. Or when one of my kids doesn't obey and it is a time sensitive task. These are the times when my anger is on the brink of exploding.

Over the years, God has taught me that there are only a few aspects of my life that I can control. I can’t control how others react, but I can control my own response.

The coronavirus and how the government reacts is out of my control. However, I find refuge in a God who can stop this virus tomorrow. Even if he doesn’t. I know that it is for a reason and that it furthers a perfect plan that goes beyond what I can understand.

One reason I am thankful is that I serve a God who has every minute detail figured out and that even if this virus affects my family or friends negatively it will not be for nothing.

People who do not believe in a sovereign God, run rampant with anxiety because they feel like they have to try and fix the problem no matter how colossal this problem is. Not only that but the problem is ultimately meaningless. That is a devastating blow to a person’s family affected by the virus.

Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”

Christians have a God who is purposeful in everything He does and allows. If God was not in control, we would have blown up the planet a long time ago. He sees the world from every angle. That should be of great comfort during this trying time in our country.

2. You have reason to panic if you aren’t sure of your eternal destiny.

Another reason to panic would be if you aren’t sure what’s going to happen when you die. Many people are hoping that they will get into heaven but they aren’t sure. We all face doubt, even if you are a strong follower of Jesus, but if you don’t come back to the point of understanding that you can’t make it into heaven on your own, you have a problem.

None of us are good. So if you are banking on your own goodness getting you past the pearly gates, you are going to be gravely disappointed come judgement time.

I was once asked, “How many sins does it take to keep you out of heaven?”

The answer? One. One sin is all it takes because God demands perfection. The problem is that not one of us falls into the "perfect category".

Romans 3:23 tells us all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. A few chapters later, we are told that sin deserves death (Rom. 6:23).

Although that means we are left hopeless, God still provided perfection in our place. Jesus lived the life that we were supposed to, a perfect sinless life. Then he took the punishment we were supposed to; death on the cross.

Our eternal destiny is not determined by what we do… but by what HE did on our behalf.

3. You have reason to panic if Jesus isn’t Lord of your life.

The reason people have the most reason to panic, is if you do not submit to the authority of Jesus. Those who die by the coronavirus not trusting in Jesus are in much worse shape than those that do.

It is humbling knowing that you can’t earn your way to salvation; that your own efforts don’t make you a better person. Many people have denied Christianity for this very reason.

The truth is though, that God wants a relationship with you; He doesn’t want the end result to be Hell. But you have to trust in Jesus to have that relationship.

You want peace? Put your faith in Jesus. Trust in his promises. Lean on His strength.

Don’t do those things and you have every reason to panic.

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