I don’t write too many articles about current events, and that was originally my plan in regards to the Coronavirus. However, over the last few weeks this issue has continued to build here in America. Thousands of people are getting sick and dying all over the world, the economy is taking a huge hit, and there is massive uncertainty all over the globe.
And I know those of you who read AGW articles or watch my videos are right in the middle of this, so I wanted to share with you some of things I’ve personally been learning lately as a way of walking through this together.
So here 4 things that the Lord has been teaching me through the coronavirus and could also be telling you as well.
1. God Could Be Reminding You of His Sovereignty and Our Fragility
The more I personally learn about the coronavirus and how it spreads, the more I am reminded of how dependent I am on God’s mercy. While this virus is particularly dangerous for the elderly and those with underlying healthy conditions, imagine if it was even more deadly than it is. None of us chose to make this virus as dangerous as it is to some people or as non-lethal as it is to some other people. None of us chose to make ourselves strong enough to defend against this virus or weak enough to not defend against it. None of us will decide how many people this virus will spread to and how it will spread.
My point is, all this has reminded me how fragile and powerless I am as a human. God has called us to live wisely and to do all that we can to stop the spread of this virus, but so much of this is clearly outside of our human control. While our wise and unwise choices certainly have consequences, ultimately much of this is completely beyond us. It seems the best solution we have is to simply run from the virus and hope we don’t get it and spread it, which is quite a powerless feeling. But God has also been reminding me that none of this is out of his control.
As fragile and helpless as we are as humans to something like a virus that we can’t see and that spreads so easily, God’s sovereignty remains. I really appreciate what John Piper said in his recent podcast about the Coronavirus:
Jesus has all knowledge and all authority over the natural and supernatural forces of this world. He knows exactly where the virus started, and where it’s going next. He has complete power to restrain it or not. And that’s what’s happening. Neither sin, nor Satan, nor sickness, nor sabotage is stronger than Jesus. He’s never backed into a corner; he is never forced to tolerate what he does not will. ‘The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations’ (Psalm 33:11).
I know that you can do all things,” Job says in his own repentance, “and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). So the question is not whether Jesus is overseeing, limiting, guiding, governing all the disasters and all the diseases of the world, including all their sinful and satanic dimensions. He is. The question is, with our Bibles open, how are we to understand this? Can we make sense out of it? Here are four biblical realities that we can use as building blocks in our effort to understand and make sense of it.
If you want to hear what John Piper said next, click here, How to We Make Sense of the Coronavirus?
2. God Could Be Teaching You to Trust Him in the Present While Not Worrying About the Future
As humans it makes complete logical sense to be in a state of panic right now. “How bad will it get? What will happen to the economy? What if I get it or someone I love gets it? What will happen next?” These are rational questions to ask.
But as Christians we have the biblical obligation to use more than our human reason. Because of our faith in Jesus Christ, God expects us to not worry about the future even as we plan in the present. One big mistake many people make when it comes to what the Bible says about not worrying is to assume God tells us not to plan. Planning is wise. Preparing for the worst is wise. And throughout the Bible we are told to be wise (Ephesians 5:15). So God wants us to plan wisely, but what he does not want his people doing is worrying because that is sign we are not trusting God.
When a trial happens like this, we don’t have the choice on if we will go through it or not. But we do have the choice about “how” we will go through it. Will we kick and scream and worry like the rest of the world? Or will we use this time of uncertainty to be a light to the world, not downplaying the threat of the coronavirus but also not downplaying the power of our God? From a human perspective, it’s understandable to be in panic; but God can give us a peace that surpasses human understanding. Philippians 4:4-7 states:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Wow, this passage is so convicting to me:
- It says “Rejoice in the Lord always,” not just when times are good.
- It doesn’t say that it is reasonable to rejoice when life is hard and uncertain. It says it is reasonable to rejoice because the Lord is at hand.
- It doesn’t say be anxious about things that truly are very bad. It says “do not be anxious about anything.”
- It doesn’t say that God will answer our prayers just the way we asked. Rather, it says that when we pray, even when God doesn’t do the very thing we ask, the thing that will happen is that “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
3. God Could Be Teaching You to Not Waste the Little Time You Do Have on Earth
“Life is short.” We’ve all heard that statement before but during times like this that idea can strike us in a fresh way. As Christians we know we have a purpose – a calling here on earth. Our lives are not just about having fun, but we know we are called to glorify God, to serve God, and to be a light to the world so that when we meet Jesus in heaven he can say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
But one lie that gets in the way of living a meaningful life is this idea that we have so much time to do it. When we think we have an abundance of time on earth we end up wasting our lives because we think we will start living passionately for God at some point . . . just not right now. But trials like the coronavirus are often seasons in life where God is saying, “Hey, time is short. Don’t waste your life.”
As Psalm 90:12 states, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
4. God Could Be Reminding You that the Gospel Is the Final Solution to All Our Problems
We should as a society make wise policies. We should help those who are in need. We should try to come up with cures to diseases humans get. We should try to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
But as Christians, we must also remember that the real issue underlying every issue is the brokenness caused by sin. This world is not as God originally made it. It was corrupted when Adam and Eve first sinned, thus the real solution to all issues is the gospel.
Only when Jesus returns and makes all things new will we experience God’s final solution in Christ. So during our time in the brokenness, our hope must always remain primarily in the gospel of Jesus Christ. As Romans 8:35-39 states:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”