Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to a special-edition series of The Kingdom Perspective.
How should we respond to the coronavirus threat?
We should respond with a fighting faith, because our faith grows stronger in the face of trouble.
The New Testament writer James commands us at the opening of his letter:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete [i.e. mature], lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4 ESV)
You see, what James is saying? The path to a mature faith is through trials. Our faith actually grows stronger and steadfast, as we navigate difficulties, trusting in the promises of God.
Lebanese-American writer Nassim Taleb is famous for coining the term “antifragile.” “Antifragile” is different than “resilient.” Something that is “resilient” does not easily break under stress (think of a plastic cup; you can bang it around with very little damage). And, of course, something that is “fragile” easily breaks under stress (think of a fine wine glass). However, something that is “antifragile” does not merely withstand stress; it grows stronger under stress. Think of a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes, and the less you use it, the weaker it becomes. Your muscles are “antifragile”; and so is your faith. The more you use your faith the stronger it becomes.
Though this may be a hard pill to swallow, true faith is never hurt by trials, but always helped by them.
Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.
“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
~ 1 Peter 1 (ESV)
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