Overcoming Fear in Time of COVID-19 Pandemic

What can we learn from Peter, Paul, and Confucius about overcoming fears in this challenging time?
From Peter, we learned the shortest and most effective prayer, "Lord, save me!" Mat 14:30. Jesus did everything for Peter and Peter just rested on Jesus.

For Paul, Jesus did not give him too many miracles. Paul had to go through the challenges of shipwrecks, beatings, imprisonments, escaping, etc, and coming out of them victoriously. He had the calmness and the wisdom to plan and act rightly. His advice for the young and timid Timothy was to remind him of what they had received from the Lord. Under fears, we easily forget what we have. The key verse is 2 Tim 1:7.

 (NKJV) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

(ESV)  for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

(GW)  God didn't give us a cowardly spirit but a spirit of power, love, and good judgment.

(ISV)  For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but one of power, love, and self-discipline.

The 3 keys are:
  1. Power
  2. Love
  3. G4995 sōphronismos which got translated as:
    discipline, self-control, sound mind, and good judgment.
Power is pushy or hard-power and Love is pulling or soft-drawing-power. How hard or how soft should one be depends on the situation and the people involved. Hence, we need the 3rd key of a right-balance, the sound-mind to make the right judgment of discipline use of power and love. 

How this works is best explained by Confucius teaching captured in the Book of Great Learning Chapter 1:


Knowing the end-point objectives/targets enables focus.
Focus enables rest. Rest enables peace/calmness.
Peace enables thinking. Thinking enables achievements.
All things have an origin and an appearance.
All projects have a beginning and an ending.
Knowing the before and after, the order or sequence is close to knowing the Way of the Universe.

So we see Jesus always give his disciples peace first.

 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (Jn. 14:27).

John 20:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

The peace that we need to overcome fear comes from Jesus and from His Spirit (2Tim 1:7). He gives us the peace to think and even the wisdom to find the solution. James 1:5 (NIV) 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Peter figured it out in 1Peter 1:3-7 of the unchanging and undisruptable power that Jesus had given us to enable us to endure and go through the trials victoriously.

So, when fearful, please come to Jesus, to receive the Spirit of Power, Love and Sound mind, to boldly face the situation and work out the solution, asking Him for guidance throughout.

May you be greatly blessed and may come out of this pandemic much better than and stronger than before,

Lim Liat (c) 14 Jun 2020


How to fix our embittered heart?

Learning from Ps 73 NLV version.

1. It all begins with "Envy"
  • Psa 73:3 For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.

2. Then we start to "Self-Pity"
  • Psa 73:14 I get nothing but trouble all day long; every morning brings me pain.

    We only look at the bad side and ignoring all the good that we have.
3. Then we become "Angry" & "Bitter"
  • Psa 73:21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside.

    Even at times, we get angry with God seeing that we have been obeying Him and yet...
4. Then we become "Foolish" even like a "Beast"
  • Psa 73:22 I was so foolish and ignorant—I must have seemed like a senseless animal to You.

5. Seek God
  • Psa 73:17 Then I went into Your sanctuary, O God,
  • and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.

    Take His perspective. Take the long-term view.

6. Trust God - Hope in God
  • Psa 73:26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
    but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever.
  • Psa 73:28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
    I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter,
7. Proclaim His Goodness - It reinforces our trust in God.
  • 28b and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things You do.
Lim Liat (c) 7 Apr 2020


The Testimony of Older Generation - Psalm 71

What is the story or the legacy that we want to live behind? Can you sum it up in one sentence? How will others believe your story? How will future generations be affected by you? In Psalm 71, the author summarized it as God is Great and let me tell you why...
For those of us who are more than 40 or even 50 years in Christ, how will your testimony look like?

Do you want a template to share?

Here is one from Psalm 71. I kept the key verses in the following mind-map.

May we live our lives as examples even for the next generation. 

Our motto is simple it is "trust and praise Him even through the difficult times". And God assures us that the best is yet to be.

The Mind-map:
The Text:
  • Come to God 1stThe Lesson of A Long Life
    • O Lord, You alone are my hope. I've trusted You, O LORD, from childhood. (Psa 71:5)
      • O God, You have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things You do. (Psa 71:17)
  • Recall Past SuccessesMay Our Life be Like this...
    • My life is an example to many because You have been my strength and protection. (Psa 71:7)
    • Have we lived like that? Can we list now the specifics where people gave thanks to us for the help, advice, and even praise for?
  • Ask of Help Now & For FutureNow Old and Weak...
    • But I will keep on hoping for Your help; I will praise You more and more. (Psa 71:14)
    • Keep our focus on God... He has the final say.
      • v24)... for everyone who tried to hurt me has been shamed and humiliated.
  • Stick to Praising & Proclaiming God
    • to the next generations
    • Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim Your power to this new generation, Your mighty miracles to all who come after me. (Psa 71:18)
      • by proclaiming & exemplify living as in v7
  • Proven
    • You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but You will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth.  (Psa 71:20)
    • He has brought us through disappointments, betrayals, challenges...We thought we are gone but He will restore and honor us again.
    • You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again.  (Psa 71:21)
      • The best is yet to come!
Lim Liat (c) 2 Apr 2020


What is the Gospel of Grace?

Tim Keller's Book on Psalms, "My Rock My Refuge", Ps 69:7-12, says:

"The world does not understand this gospel of grace in which holy living is the result of humble, grateful joy, not a way to earn heaven... by living lives of humility, forgiveness, and sacrificial service to others."

There is no need for us to earn our way to heaven because we are already registered there.
  • (Philippians 3:20-21 (NLT) 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.)
But we are to live out this new life of humility, grateful joy, forgiveness, and services to others because:
  • 2 Cor 5:20 NLV So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!
  • 2 Corinthians 3:3 NLV You show that you are a (living) letter from Christ,... written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts


A Psalm of Protection Against the Coronavirus - Not Ps 91

Psalm 91 is the key Psalm of protection for this time of Coronavirus Pandemic. Please read and meditate on it to keep our peace and enjoyed this protection from our loving God. But there is another Psalm, 68:19-21, that is even more specific to this crown-shaped virus.

Psalm 68:19-21 New International Version (NIV)

19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
    who daily bears our burdens.
20 Our God is a God who saves;
    from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.
21 Surely God will crush the heads of his enemies,
    the hairy crowns of those who go on in their sins.
Firstly, the Lord bears our daily burden. It is never once off. It is continuous. It is renewed every morning.

Lamentations 3:22-23 English Standard Version (ESV)

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;[a]
    his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
Secondly, God saves us from death. The Lord will crush this deadly crown-like coronavirus for us. He is our loving and faithful God.

Here is a good message from Joseph Prince about what we should during this time:

7 Things God Wants You To Know During This Virus Attack | Joseph Prince

1. Don't be Afraid - Fear Not Gen 15:1
2. Refresh yourself with His Love John 17:23
3. Trust in His Faithfulness 2Thes 3:3
It is not you holding on to God but God holding you.
It is not your faithfulness but His faithfulness
4. Be at Rest (in God) Ps 91:1
5. Be led by the spirit, not motivated by fear.
Joseph & Mary led by Angel to go to Egypt Mat 2:13
6. Keep your focus on Jesus. "The Great I am..." & "Let's talk about Jesus"
7. Death has no hold on you. Rom 5:17 Righteousness as a gift to us

May the Lord bless you and keep you and give you peace. (Num 6:24-26).
May you be His light and testimony in this challenging period.

Lim Liat(c) 18 Mar 2020