Monday, March 23, 2020

Don’t Waste Your Coronavirus Season

"Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart." - 2 Timothy 2:22

The advent of the Coronavirus pandemic has had major effects on our world. It has created incredible uncertainty and anxiety, and has resulted in closed workplaces and a new era of social distancing. (For the latest information on Coronavirus (COVID-19), please see the CDC website.)

The purpose of The Relentless Fight blog from the beginning has been to encourage, empower, and equip Christians for the great fight of faith. There are so many good articles and responses about this season (for a sampling, visit The Gospel Coalition) but here at TRF we wanted to focus on the fight of faith and the fight against sin.

You may be experiencing a big increase in time spent at home, uncertain of how long this season will last. Faced with this sudden openness in your schedule... what might happen? There really are two directions you can go with spending your time: wasting or investing.
  • Wasting: It will be very easy to waste this season. Through boredom and social isolation, there's increased temptation to turn to entertainment, social media, video games, and various distractions. This Coronavirus season will reveal your heart. And one key place you'll see your heart displayed is in how you use your extra time. 
  • Investing: You have an incredible opportunity for spiritual investment during this season! Perhaps life has slowed down now more than ever before. How will you use that extra time? Heed this challenge: use this time at home for intense spiritual activity. 

Here are some practical suggestions for how to spiritually invest in this season:
  • Bible: There's only one book that God has written. That makes it worth reading! Read huge chunks of the Bible. Did you know it takes just 18 hours to read the whole New Testament? And the whole Bible takes about 74 hours (Crossway made a helpful infographic with time breakdowns). If you need some help getting started, check out this 6-min video by Ben Stuart on Practical Helps for Bible Reading
  • Books: What a fantastic time to read more solid books to invigorate your spiritual growth! You can read book reviews here on The Relentless Fight for these titles: When I Don't Desire God, Side by Side, The Mortification of Sin, Competing Spectacles, and Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices
  • Learn: If reading isn't your thing, there are so many ways to learn via audio and video teaching. Here's a few to start: TGC Courses, The Bible Project, and Look at the Book
  • Serve: You can reach out to someone who is lonely and ask how you can pray for them and serve their practical needs. Philippians 2:1-4 calls us to consider others needs, not just our own. 
  • Evangelize: This Coronavirus and its many effects are shaking our world, and there may be unique opportunities as people open up with spiritual interest. Here's a list of 10 ideas. Pray for gospel opportunities! And when God gives them.... be bold and speak the Word of life! Who knows, the Lord may just use this to bring revival to our broken world. 
  • Pray: You might be facing extra anxiety and fear. That's understandable, these are wild times of uncertainty. Turn those worries into prayer! Pray for God's mercy in this pandemic. Pray for others who are affected. Pray for God to give you peace and increased faith in Christ. Pray relentlessly
  • Make Disciples: Paul Worcester said it well in his open letter, Dear College Students: The Mission Isn't Canceled. Jesus commanded us in Matthew 28 to make disciples of all nations. That mission is NOT canceled! Whether you're a senior student or a senior citizen...if you are a Christian, you have a purpose: Jesus commissions you to make disciples. And this coronavirus does not stop that mission. 
You've probably heard the old adage, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!" Practically, it may help you to come up with a "Coronavirus Season Plan" to maximize your spiritual growth during this time. Get a piece of paper or open a new note on your phone and write down some answers to these three questions:

  1. What are your spiritual growth goals? 
  2. What are going to be some time-wasting distractions? 
  3. Who can you share this with for accountability and community help?

Here's the key question: 
....Who do you want to be at the end of this Coronavirus season? 

And above all, remember the gospel. The gospel is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16). As one pastor put it, we live "in the the grip of a pandemic outbreak called sin. What is your hope in the face of that virus?" The answer is the gospel. Fight to remember the gospel! 

PS: Author Andy Cimbala created a 3-min video "How to Fight Temptation During Coronavirus Season" with some recommended free resources from The Relentless Fight during this time, view it on YouTube here:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this article. I really love how you break things down into practical steps I can actually implemennt to grow closer to the lord. Thank you. God bless you.