God has not given us a spirit of fear,

but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Tim. 1:7

Heavenly Father, every portion of your Word is true and beautiful. Today this one small verse is both of those things, as well as being timely. The fear we feel, in response to the growing impact of the coronavirus, is palpable and understandable.

To belong to Jesus doesn’t mean we are free from the “messier” emotions in the kaleidoscope of feelings. It means we handle them differently. In our anger, we choose not to sin. In our grief, we learn to weep with hope. In our fear(s), we learn to trust in you.

You haven’t given us a “spirit of fear.” Caution, alertness, appropriate response… indeed, you give us these things, but not fear. Thank you. Rather, the Spirit you have placed inside of us is the Spirit of “power, love, and self-discipline.”

We need the power of the Spirit today, Father. We need power to keep our minds and hearts set on things above. If we knew what you know about this crisis, we would worship more than we worry. We need power to resist the lies and the spirit of panic with which the devil would love to paralyze us.

We need the love of the Spirit. Your perfect love drives out fear. As real as our fears are, make your love for us in Jesus even more palpable and transforming. And increase our love for our neighbors. May we not waste this crisis on self-preservation, but use it for loving to your glory.

We need the self-discipline of the Spirit. Empower us for making wise, Gospel-choices—saying “Yes!” to right and helpful things, and “No!” to futile and self-serving things. Father, thank you that this is your crisis, and we are your beloved children. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.