You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God's righteousness. Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save lives.
But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act - they will be blessed in their doing. James 1:19-25 (NRSV)
Every day when Cecilia Kammire, from North Carolina, turns on the news, she sees horrific stories of destructive wars, persecution, and mass shootings occurring around the world. And now we have this coronavirus. Not only do these events anger her, but they also tempt her to lose faith in the goodness of humanity. She began to wonder, Why does God let evil harm the lives of so many?
After she began earnestly praying for peace, God showed her that it was her responsibility to make the world better in whatever ways she could. Instead of allowing the evil of others to form violent thoughts in her mind, she could focus on doing the small things that God asks of her. Instead of resenting those whose lives are spent spreading evil, Cecilia could remember that the Lord said, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay" (Rom. 12:19, KJV).
We are all affected in some way by atrocities that occur around the globe. Instead of focusing on the bad in the world and using violence to fight violence, we can focus on our ability to spread love and goodness. We can find comfort in knowing that God's righteousness will be the final word of justice. Now when Cecilia becomes enraged and discouraged by an attack on humanity, she think, "What can I do today to spread a little more of God's love?"
We can all do this; take time to spread a little love, encouragement, and helpfulness as indicated. Or maybe just stay home and pray for this virus to pass on and be gone. Remember to spend some time with God today and continue to pray for our homes, our church, our leaders, our country, and our world.
Prayer: God of all humanity, give us the strength to refrain from responding to violence with violence. Help us to obey the rules put in place during this difficult time. Help us to trust that, in time You will bring justice to all situations and heal our land, in Jesus' name, amen.