Judging by nearly every metric, COVID-19 has significantly exposed what we value most. Widespread toilet paper shortages, panicked monitoring of the Stock Market, and food hoarding all bear evidence of people’s security being shaken. The recent pandemic’s sobering reality is we find security through what we believe we control. When our sense of control is either taken or shaken, so too is our sense of security and well-being. The feeling of lost security often results in familiar responses – fear, panic, frustration, and anxiety.
Scripture speaks considerably on what these familiar responses expose concerning the treasures of our heart. Jesus famously taught against worry in the Sermon on the Mount, but his reasoning stretches deeper than knowing God cares. Before warning about worry, Jesus claims, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21). Jesus’ instruction teaches us that our greatest security comes from what we value or treasure most. When the sense of control over our heart treasures is threatened, we often respond in fear, anxiety, panic, or agitation. This is why Jesus implores us to “not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” Instead, Jesus’ solution is to “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal” (emphasis added, Matthew 6:19-20). Jesus is teaching us to treasure most the eternal rather than the temporal. When the desire of the Christian’s heart is focused on heaven rather than the Stock Market, the sense of security will never be lost.
For many of us, finding eternal security in the midst of an economic downturn with an uncertain future is easier said than done. For those of us struggling to apply Jesus’ teaching against worry, the answer is to focus more on the author of eternity’s promises than on earthly struggles. Scripture repeatedly proclaims that God’s hand is involved in every aspect of human life (Romans 8:28). Economic downturns, social distancing, and deadly pandemics are not evidence of God’s absence but rather of his presence. As Paul would affirm, if God did not spare his own Son for the sake of his people, “how will he [Father] not also with him [Jesus] freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
Therefore, the Christian’s security is not based on present situations but rather upon the certain promises of an unfailing, unchanging God. Earthly circumstances might worsen, but if your heart’s treasure is in the sure promises of God your security will not be shaken. If your trust is in God’s control instead of circumstances, your prayer to God will resemble Jesus’ prayer, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10). Christian, your security will be unshaken when you fully entrust yourself to the One who loves you most and controls all of life. When Christ is the treasure of your heart, nothing can shake your certain security. Regardless of the coming uncertain days, the Christian whose security is in Christ may confidently declare with the Psalmist, “The Lord is for me; I will not fear…It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man” (Psalm 118:6, 8).