First it was the face masks. Then it was the hand sanitizer. Next it was the washing of hands. Then social distancing. And now, sheltering in place and isolation at home. COVID-19 is being called one of the most contagious and infectious diseases of all time. We’ve heard all kinds of advice about how to stop the spread of the virus, and parents are getting creative about how they’re teaching their kids about contagious diseases and how germs are passed from one person to another. But what we aren’t hearing about is where we can find hope.
The focus on the intensity of contagion is spreading fear quickly and through a variety of mediums. Television and cable news channels are talking non-stop about the virus and its impact on society. Social media is filled with posts about the virus, some more accurate than others, most filled with fear, anxiety, and strong opinions. It’s almost as if the fear of the virus is more contagious than the virus itself. We must ask ourselves: What exactly are we spreading? What is it that we are infecting people with? A virus? Or fear of a virus?
We as church leaders and believers in the Almighty God can approach this global crisis in a completely different way. You see, fear is not the only thing that is contagious. HOPE is also contagious. Those with hope can infect other people with their hope. Those who are firmly grounded in the confidence of a God who is firmly in control of the world and all that happens within it can draw others to them and ban together for the good of humankind.
So how do we move forward with a contagious hope? Here are three critical components to holding on to hope when everything around us looks as if it’s falling apart.
Remember God has a track record.
God is not new at getting His people out of troubling situations. Since the beginning of time, God has been faithful. Yes, people have to go through trials and tribulations. Yes, there will be difficult times. But God can be trusted. He will come through for us, provide for our needs, and heal the sick. He will bring us through the crisis, and He will get the ultimate glory for all He will accomplish in and through us during this time. Let’s put our trust in Him and allow Him to give us a hope that is so contagious that others can’t help but receive that hope from us in every interaction we have with them. Saturate your social media feed with God’s hope. Fill every conversation with words of grace and peace. Be the light of God to everyone around you.
Realize that the trouble will end.
The current COVID-19 crisis will not go on forever. It will come to an end at some point in time. Wars, plagues, and natural disasters all eventually ended, people recovered, and life returned to normal. It may have been a new, more well-informed normal, but life continued. We must base our hope in the fact that ultimately our current trouble is finite. It will come to a conclusion. Our hope becomes contagious when we remind people of this very real fact. We can be a source of life to those who are muddled in the mire of depression when we hold on to the hope that there is an end to the trouble coming. Infect others with your hope while together we all wait together for the grand finale that certainly will come.
Reach out to build a strong community.
There is nothing that creates hope more effectively than people coming together in community to fight a common enemy together. Throughout history, nations have proven resilient when they have come together as one people, put aside their cultural differences, and stood as one unified body in the face of shared danger. Now is another one of those times. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if people around the world could stand in unity against the COVID-19 virus and took all the precautions needed to beat down the effects of it? By banning together in unity, we can create such a needed and contagious hope that empowers people of all ages and all walks of life. Standing together we will triumph in hope, and we will not fall.
Hope is contagious, but so is the lack of it. Let’s commit together to be infected with hope and to let that hope spread to everyone with whom we come into contact today and always.