Amidst the current fight against the COVID-19 virus and continuous emergence of its various variants, an author encouraged the believers to shun fear and trust God that He will deliver His people as He did in the Bible.
Oscar Amaechina, president of Afri-Mission and Evangelism Network and author of the book, "Mystery of the Cross Revealed," stressed that the devil weaponizes fear against Christians. However, he reminded the latter about God's command to "fear not." Thus, the option to choose whom to believe lies with the believers.
"The omniscient God, who knows the end from the beginning, knew the schemes of the devil and gave us the command 'fear not.' This command appears 365 times in the Bible to counteract the daily fears produced by the manipulations of the devil on an annual basis," Amaechina wrote on The Christian Post.
"Every day, the devil produces fear and God has already given the daily command of 'fear not.' It is now left for us to make a choice between what the devil says and what God says," he added.
He argued that fear only torments people but dismissing this unpleasant emotion will help them overcome the current situation.
"The fear of COVID-19 and its Omicron variant can kill more people than the virus itself. Obedience to the command of 'fear not' will inevitably provide psycho-spiritual support needed in these uncertain times. Fear is a torment that comes from the devil and Christians should not opt for it. Rather, we should continue to be strong regardless of the circumstances and the level of infection," the author declared.
He then presented characters in the Bible who overcame struggles and obstacles simply out of shunning fear.
First is Joshua who led the Israelites in conquering the "promised land." In Joshua 1:9, the LORD commanded him not to be afraid in leading His people into Canaan. Joshua obeyed and was able to make a successful conquest of what is to be known today as Israel.
The other individuals who chose not to be defeated by fear are Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. These three friends of Daniel were not afraid to be thrown into the fiery furnace, refusing to worship the golden image in order to fight for their faith in God.
Amaechina noted that the root cause of fear is people's unreadiness for suffering, death and losing something important for God's cause. But he also observed that when a Christian has a strong faith in God for deliverance, the devil would question the LORD's willingness to help. The author said that this is where fear usually creeps in. However, the Hebrew men were able to counter this attack by standing strongly on their faith regardless of God's response to their plea - whether He will deliver them or not, as stated in Daniel 3:17-18.
But God did deliver them and even King Nebuchadnezzar himself, who ordered to worship the golden image, recognized the LORD as the One True God.
He pointed out that to dismiss fear, Christians must not depend on their emotions but on what God says. With the rising cases of COVID infection, believers must trust the LORD that He will protect them like what He did to the Israelites when He struck the Egyptian firstborns in the Book of Exodus.
The author also highlighted the significance of being filled with the Holy Spirit, who enables a person to act with boldness, recalling the disciples' infilling of the Spirit after the Pentecost and Paul's advice to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7.
"Our ability to understand the dangers associated with Christianity and our readiness to face these dangers will help us obey God," the author emphasized.
Further, he reminded the Christians about God's warning that they will be facing tribulations. He may not deliver them from all troubles but already prepared them for difficulties ahead and even death for His sake.
Citing Matthew 10:28, Amaechina concluded that rather than fearing the virus, the people must be afraid of what will happen after death. He went on to say that the place where they will spend eternity should be their "utmost concern," urging them to come to God for mercy.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Earlier reports indicate that the Omicron variant is not a cause for concern as it is mild and an infection is significantly less likely to result in death as compared to earlier variants, which already have high survivability rates. Christians should not fear it.