Pastor Tony Evans Tells Christians to Stop ‘Anxiety, Worry, and Fear’ Over Coronavirus and Advises Using Handwashing Time as ‘Prayer Time’

Tony Evans, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas and founder of The Urban Alternative. | Courtesy of MM Public Relations

Influential pastor Tony Evans warned that “our anxiety, worry, and fear is outpacing the problem of the virus.”

“Worry and fear have a way of transferring very quickly from to other people,” Evans, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, said in a sermon on Sunday.

“I think that’s what’s happening with this virus. The virus is not the only thing that transfers quickly. Our anxiety, worry, and fear is outpacing the problem of the virus because it’s consumed the mind, the heart, the energy and the emotions of our selves, our families, the whole nation and even the world.”

Evans offered two words to those mired in fear and anxiety: Don’t worry.

“That comes from Jesus,” he said, citing Matthew 6:25-34, where Jesus says “don’t worry” three times.

“Stop it,” the bestselling speaker and author stressed. “You say, ‘How practical is that given all that we’re facing the unknowns, the crisis the expansion, the speed, the sickness? Is that a practical expectation of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ? Well, yes it is, because He commands us not to do it.”

Christians have a “legitimate right for legitimate concern,” Evans said, but added, “what we don’t have the right to do is worry.”

“What worry is concern gone haywire,” the Urban Alternative founder said. “God does not expect us not to deal with reality. If you’re sick, you’re sick. If you’re struggling, you’re struggling. But that’s different than worry. Concern you own; worry owns you.”

Evans argued that what began as concern is now causing us to “tremble” due to the onslaught of negative headlines and ever-changing statistics.

“It can draw you from legitimate concern from which you should act responsibly to illegitimate worry,” he said.

“Many people believe in God and still worry because they have little faith,” Evans said, citing Matthew 8:26, where Jesus rebukes those of “little faith.”

“The size of your faith is tied to the size of your God,” he explained. “When you shrink God, you automatically shrink faith. So if you and I have little faith, it’s because we’re operating with a small understanding and view of God.”

The way to get more faith and overcome worry is through “expanding your understanding, view of, and submission to God.”

“The best way I can help you to work through this crisis … is to grow God in your understanding, in your experience, and in your focus,” he stressed, “because when we grow Him, your faith will grow with it and your worry will shrink and become responsible concern.”

Far too many Christians believe in a God they “don’t understand as a father,” Evans noted, adding that it’s important to view “God as a father when it comes to not worrying.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett