Coronavirus: Unshakable Faith in a World That is Being Shaken

The following is a World Challenge podcast. It was originally published here.

We are living in shaky times. As a global pandemic of coronavirus makes its way around the globe, taking lives, crashing stock markets and threatening the livelihood of millions, people are afraid. How are you doing handling the fear. Or maybe put another way, how’s your faith holding up? In this special edition of the Gary Wilkerson podcast, Gary is joined by Keith Holloway, the Senior Director of Missions Development at World Challenge to talk about faith in a time of fear. We hope this podcast gives you hope and encouragement that even in desperate times like these, God is in control.

Notable Quotes from the Podcast

“…in the midst of all the shaking that’s going on in the world today, there is an unshakable foundation. There is an internal foundation of an unshakable faith, of an unshakable hope, of an unshakable resolve that I know my Redeemer lives and I know there’s joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

Gary Wilkerson

“I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me, and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.”

Martin Luther

“We are born again believers. We’re walking in the natural, but we’re also being led and guided and controlled by the Holy Spirit. So, it’s an awesome time for us to not feel diminished, but to actually feel prepared for this hour where we have an answer of the hope that lies within us…”

Keith Holloway

Bible Verses Mentioned in the Podcast

“When God spoke from Mount Sinai His voice shook the earth, but now He makes another promise: ‘Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.’ This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe.”

Hebrews 12:26-28, NLT

“The Lord reigns; Let the earth rejoice;”

Psalm 91:1a, NIV

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast 

About Keith Holloway

Keith Holloway is the Senior Director of Missions Development at World Challenge. Keith is a CHE trainer, facilitator, and a member of the Global CHE Network’s Representative Council. He and his wife Maureen live in Colorado Springs; they have six grown children and seven grandchildren. 

About Gary Wilkerson

Gary Wilkerson is the President of World Challenge, an international mission organization that was founded by his father, David Wilkerson. He is also the Founding Pastor of The Springs Church, which he launched in 2009 with a handful of people. He has traveled nationally and internationally at conferences and conducted mission ventures such as church planting, starting orphanages, clinics, feeding programs among the poorest of the poor and the most unreached people of the earth. Gary and his wife Kelly have four children and live in Colorado Springs, CO.

Let’s Repent

“[I]f my people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
— The Lord, 2 Chronicles 7:14, NIV

We need to repent. Specifically, we need to repent and be healed from the taking of innocent life and the distortion of marriage:

  • murder (infanticide, labeled abortion, was legalized the U.S. in 1973)
  • homosexuality (false marriage, between two men or two women, was legalized in the U.S. in 2015)

Take heart: God hears us when we pray!

Fear Not

“‘[N]o weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me’…” — The Lord, Isaiah 54:17, NIV

“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.”
— Jesus, John 14:27, NIV

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” — Paul, 2 Timothy 1:7, KJV

7 Ways Your Church Can Serve Your Community During the Coronavirus Crisis

The following is a statement from the Indiana Family Institute

Dear Friends,

We are praying for you, your families and your churches during this crisis!

Many churches are still navigating service cancellations due to government restrictions, discipleship efforts due to quarantine and ministry to vulnerable members in the midst of a pandemic. And, I agree that those efforts should be first priority (Matthew 28:16-20; Galatians 6:10).

However, if this crisis stretches into the next few weeks and even months (I pray that does not happen), the economic fallout could and probably will be severe. And, the church should be prepared to meet community as well as church needs (Matthew 5:16). Over the last few days, I have spoken to or heard from government officials, church leaders and other community organizations about community needs and how the church can meet them; and I have compiled a list from those interactions. Here are seven ways your church can serve your community during this time:

  1. Contact, Pray for and Assist Local Officials. Reach out to your mayor, local health officials and school officials to (1) tell them you are praying for them and (2) ask them how you can help. These officials may tell you that all needs are currently being met. But, if this crisis drags on, the need will intensify and your help will be needed.
  2. Call People and Deliver Care Kits. In a recent podcast episode, Jay Height from the Shepherd Community Center in Indianapolis shared with me that some elderly individuals go months without human interaction. This is a tragedy at any point, but it is especially problematic now. Why not put a team together to call shut-ins, other church members and even names in the phone book to offer prayer and help? When you identify a need (especially for an elderly individual), offer to deliver food or other essential items while observing CDC procedures.
  3. Assist Public Schools. Last week, a legislator shared with me that 30% of the students in one of the school districts in his area are on the free and reduced lunch program. In other words, these students rely on their school for daily nutrition. Public schools are scrambling to find ways to safely continue these food services, so ask if your church can assist in some way.
  4. Offer Space. Many churches lack other resources, but space is not one of them. I heard from one pastor that is assisting a local school by allowing the school to use the church parking lot to distribute food to students. And, this pastor also offered space for an emergency medical facility if the local hospital is overwhelmed.
  5. Provide Child Care. As I am sure you are well aware, schools are closed; and, that means that many parents are scrambling to figure out child care. This is, of course, especially important for workers in the health, safety, and essential service fields during this pandemic. Some churches with existing preschools are expanding their services to meet these needs and others are exploring the launch of such a ministry (you will, of course, need to work with local officials to comply with regulations). By the way, Indiana is already facing a child care shortage; so, perhaps this could be a long-term rather than a short-term strategy for meeting community needs.
  6. Donate Funds or Food to a Food Bank, The Salvation Army or a similar organization. Because kids are out of school and because many workers in the food service, travel and hospitality industries are either being laid off or having their hours cut, food and essentials such as toilet paper are in high demand. So, organize a fundraiser or food drive for a local food bank or similar organization. Make sure you communicate with the food bank or ministry beforehand to ensure compliance with CDC recommendations and to determine which items are most needed.
  7. Provide Resources to Those Experiencing Job Loss or Reduced Hours. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development has announced measures to assist individuals that have been laid off or have had their hours cut due to the pandemic. Point individuals to the designated website so they can sign up for these resources. Also, some churches are specifically raising funds for and distributing assistance to individuals in hard-hit industries.

From the early church to the Ebola outbreak, the church has responded to plague and disease with love, hope and help. Now, it’s our turn.

I hope these ideas help you and your church as you serve your community!

Also, we are in contact with government officials (including the governor’s office) and other ministries, and are working with them to coordinate response efforts. We would love to know what you and your church are doing so we can compare and contrast best practices and let government officials know about the church’s efforts to combat this pandemic and serve people in need.

Will you take a moment and fill out this brief survey so we know how you are serving your community and how we can best coordinate with government officials and equip the church in Indiana?  

I’ll close with this quote by George Whitefield, which has been on mind lately, “We are immortal until our work on earth is done.” Let’s go be the church

Sincerely,

Ryan McCann
Executive Director, IFI 


For more information about the Indiana Family Association, visit Facebook or their website

I Know What Faith Is

The following is a letter from Hazel Moyers, a believer born in Southern Missouri in 1909:

“I have studied and have had a great time this morning with my Lord here at Paradise Valley. I know wonderful peace because of Him. 

This spring I planted a small garden and have enjoyed many good meals from it. 

I know what the life in the tiny seed will bring forth. 

I know what faith is. 

I have received many uplifting calls, many beautiful letters from my precious earthly family Father God has blessed me with—I know what love is. 

I have stood & talked to the Martins and other birds as they would chatter back to me in their lovely singing.

Hazel Moyers, 1982

Weathering the Storms of Fear

Steve is still battling health issues as a result of fungal pneumonia last fall. Yesterday we found ourselves back in the doctor’s office, getting results from tests and bloodwork completed last week.

We were hoping for, “You are great! Let’s get you off this medicine and on to living your life as usual.” Instead, we got, “Let’s keep you on the medicine another six months before we do another CT. We’ll do more blood work in June to check all your levels. Right now, your lungs are stable.”

Stable. That’s good, right?

Our minds were spinning.  This season of prolonged illness has left us both tired on all fronts; mentally, physically, emotionally, even spiritually. We would love nothing better than to lift a prayer heavenward, and pouf… instant healing.  

I have seen and believe God to be Healer. I have also seen God use times of sickness to take an individual beyond physical healing. He goes deep into the heart of man for transformation. This was one of those times, and I knew it.

As we left the doctor’s office, we made light of the news we had been given. We stopped to grab some lunch, laughing at trivial things. On the outside, we looked normal. But I knew on the inside there was a storm of questions brewing that would surface as the day went on.

The storm of questions hit late that evening. How is the prolonged use of this medicine going to impact his overall health? What are the side effects? How do we strengthen his immune system? If his immune system is compromised, then what do we do to protect him against Coronavirus (yes, it just hit our town)? How do we keep ourselves encouraged in the faith and not driven by fear?

We sat holding each other tightly. Tears ran down our cheeks. At that moment, there was no trying to “fix each other.” We gave each other permission to process through the pain. So, we wept. And through our sobbing, we gave voice to our fears.

I am not sure how long we sat crumpled on the floor holding each other. What I do know is that mingled in with that voice of fear was a whisper of hope. Earlier that day I read Hebrews 10:23. The words latched on to my heart and followed me throughout the day. Now, they were competing for the attention of my heart.
 

So now we must cling tightly to the hope that lives within us,
 knowing that God always keeps His promises!

Hebrews 10:23, TPT

Regardless of the storms we face, when the clouds roll in it is easy to forget that just beyond those black clouds, the sun still shines. This whisper from Hebrews was a reminder that the Son was still shining. He had not left us. Though the clouds of uncertainty hung over us, His promise to complete the work He had started in us remained.

We fell into bed, worn but with a renewed sense that we were not alone.

Just like the wind moves the storm clouds along, God’s Spirit blew through the night as we slept, moving fear out of the way. This morning we woke with a renewed sense of hope. God gave us a verse that we are holding on to today.

But in the day that I’m afraid,
I lay all my fears before you and trust in you
With all my heart.

Psalm 56:3

My friends, whatever storm you may be facing regardless of how big or small it seems, grab hold of God’s promises. Open up His Word or turn to your Bible app and listen. Ask God to give you a promise to cling to today. Don’t be afraid to wait in the silence for His gentle whisper. He wants us to rely on His goodness and grace. Let His promises be the anchor that tethers you to the hope found in His faithfulness.

Until next time, let’s find hope in the journey.
Evelyn

P.S. If you have a promise that you are clinging to at this time in your life, I would love to share that with me. Just send me a quick reply via email. Let’s keep encouraging one another to stand strong in our faith.


Hi There! My name is Evelyn. I am a lover of all things family, faith and Fall. So grateful that you found your way here. The chaos of life can leave us feeling a bit worn around the edges. Sometimes a little ray of hope is all we need to provide courage for the next step in our journey. So come on in, take a deep breath. My prayer is that in this space, you will be able to grab hold of hope. For more of my blogs, visit my website Hope for the Journey.

Free Indeed 2020

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” — Jesus, John 8:36

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” — Paul, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” — Paul, Galatians 5:1
Come celebrate freedom in Christ!

In Afikomag’s first annual young adult conference, we’re looking forward to worship, teaching, sports, line dancing, film, food, fireworks, and fellowship!