Brother Felmar Serreno: Is there any reason to be positive when the current pandemic has caused a myriad of adversities and misfortune in peoples’ lives?
Welcome to the podcast version of God’s Message Magazine, where today’s topic is: To Be Cheerful In The Face Of Difficulties.
The COVID-19 pandemic has produced a lot of negative emotions in people. For others, the sheer idea of contracting such a terminal disease and the thought of suffering and dying alone, since they would have to be isolated from their loved ones, can be so scary that it causes them to have paranoid delusions—mistreating and being rude to the people around them, even those who have contracted the disease and our “frontliners.” While some feel so hopeless and depressed about the current situation that they think of taking their own lives.
With the pandemic causing many complex problems to peoples’ lives, should we dwell on negative emotions? Is there no sense cheering up?
On being cheerful
Brother Felmar Serreno: Being deeply worried and depressed in times of crisis is not good for one’s health. The Bible teaches:
“A cheerful heart makes you healthy. But a broken spirit dries you up.”
[Proverbs 17:22 New International Reader’s Version]
Brother Felmar Serreno: Indeed, taking a cheerful stance even in the most depressing times has great benefits to a person’s well-being. Research attests that being cheerful improves heart health, allows one to combat stress effectively, boosts the immune system, promotes an overall healthier lifestyle, reduces pain, and increases life longevity. We can find that on positivepsychology.com.
On the other hand, having a “broken spirit” or wallowing in misery dries up a person or shortens his life (Matthew 6:27). So let us heed the Lord’s timeless advice, “do not worry” (Matthew 6:31)
And although it is natural to feel down at times, we should not let sorrow prevail. To be cheerful in the face of difficulties is to remain friendly, approachable, and be a pleasant companion, for “a merry heart makes a cheerful countenance” (Proverbs 15:13 New King James Version).
In taking care of oneself
Brother Felmar Serreno: Out of too much worrying due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there are people who, as reported on the news, treat with discrimination and disgust those who have recovered from the disease and our frontliners.
That is wrong. While taking precautions is essential, especially now that there is a pandemic, we must also keep in mind the Bible’s teaching:
“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
[Ephesians 4:31-32 New King James Version]
Brother Felmar Serreno: Even when taking care of themselves, those whom God forgave through Christ—the members of the Church Of Christ—are taught to be kind and tenderhearted to others. They should be “hospitable to one another” (I Peter 4:9). And if others need their help, they must “do good” (Proverbs 3:27 Good News Bible) or help them. In doing so, they will not only be able to ease others’ troubles, they will also be able to fulfill God’s will.
To be truly safe
Brother Felmar Serreno: Human beings have limitations. Aside from taking all safety precautions, what we need the most in order to be truly safe and protected during these uncertain times is God’s help. Thus, it is well for us to learn from His early servants whom He helped:
“That is what Hezekiah did in all Judah. He did what was good and right. And he obeyed the Lord his God. He tried to obey God in everything that he did for God’s house. He tried to obey God’s Law and God’s rules. In everything that he did for his God he tried to give pleasure to God. So very good things happened to him.”
[II Chronicles 31:20-21 EasyEnglish Bible]
Brother Felmar Serreno: Hezekiah was a king during the time of ancient Israel, God’s nation back then. The Bible attests that he did what was good and right because he obeyed God and His commands. Because God was pleased with him, “So very good things happened to him.” The Lord God saved him from his enemies. And although he fell terminally ill, God cured him, adding fifteen years to his life (II Kings 20:5-6).
So, to be truly safe during these uncertain times, taking precautions should include obeying God’s commands and indeed it should be the top priority. More than anything or anyone else, we need God in our lives for He is the greatest healer that His faithful servants can rely on.
This is the reason members of the Church Of Christ never stop fulfilling the Lord God’s commands, even during this time of uncertainty. Primarily, they obeyed God’s will that all be gathered into Christ through becoming members of the Church Of Christ (Ephesians 1:9-10; I Corinthians 12:27, 12). They do not allow themselves to fall into sin and do the things that are against God’s will.
They make sure that they constantly renew their life, continue to worship God, give voluntary offerings, participate in the works of propagation, love the brotherhood, and submit to the authority of the Church Administration. They do not allow themselves to be overcome by worries. Instead, they place their hope and trust in the Lord God. They are consistent in their obedience to Him for they have the same conviction as that of God’s early servants:
“But the salvation of the [consistently] righteous is of the Lord; He is their Refuge and secure Stronghold in the time of trouble.”
[Psalm 37:39 Amplified Bible]
Brother Felmar Serreno: To be truly safe during this time of a pandemic, we need God’s help the most. So, as we strive to keep ourselves safe, may we all do our best, not only in feeling positive and cheerful, but also and most especially in consistently fulfilling God’s will for us to receive His help and protection and, most of all, the salvation of our souls.
For more articles like these, get your copy of God’s Message Magazine from a member of the Church Of Christ. You can listen and subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, and the INC Media mobile app. Thank you for listening. I’m Brother Felmar Serreno. God bless.