All humans are currently being affected by COVID-19 in some way or the other. Some are sick, some have lost their jobs, and all of us are facing many unknowns. But even though we are experiencing something many of us have never experienced, through it all God’s mission for his people remains the same – to glorify him.
As 1 Corinthians 10:31 states, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
According to the Bible, when we seek to glorify God in both the easy and the hard times, good things always happen. So here are 5 things God will do in your life if you choose to glorify him through this pandemic.
1. If You Choose to Glorify God Through This Pandemic By Placing Your Hope in Him, You Will Experience an Inner Joy that Is Better than Earthly Happiness
Psalm 4:4-8 states:
Tremble and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord. There are many who say, ‘Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!’ You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
Many of us are in social isolation. We therefore have the opportunity to do what David said, “ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.” The world is asking, “Who will show us some good?” May we Christians show them the answer, for we know that God alone will fill our hearts with more joy than all earthly comforts. While the world is in panic during this pandemic, we can show them the peace and safety God alone gives when we choose to praise him.
2. If You Choose to Glorify God Through This Pandemic By Doing Good Works, You Will Be a Light to the Lost
In Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus said:
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
As Christians, we know we are not saved by our good works – but when we are saved by God’s grace, his Spirit will cause us to produce good works. Who can you help during this pandemic? Perhaps you could get groceries for an elderly neighbor so they do not need to expose themselves to greater danger? Perhaps you could call a friend and pray with them? Perhaps you could send a financial gift to someone you know is struggling right now?
Remember the words of Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Every day God has prepared good works he wants us to do. This verse remains true during this pandemic. If you choose to obey God’s leading, he will use you to be a light to the world.
3. If You Choose to Glorify God Through Obeying Lawful Orders from Governing Authorities, You Will Escape Judgement and God’s Wrath
Romans 13:1-5 states:
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.”
If the government ever commanded us to do something sinful, as Christians we must disobey because God’s word has more authority in our lives than the government. However, as we can see from passages like Romans 13, God’s word commands us to follow lawful and moral orders from governing authorities.
I live in Ohio and the Governor has issued a “Stay at Home” order because of this pandemic. If I was to ignore this, I would not only be disobeying my State’s laws but God’s law because God has ordered me to obey lawful orders. When we obey these lawful orders, God will bless us with a lack of fearing judgement, a clear conscience, and we will get to avoid God’s wrath because we have respected the authorities he has placed in our lives.
4. If We Choose to Glorify God Through This Pandemic By Not Grumbling, We Will Make Each Other Proud as Christians
In Philippians 2:14-18 (NIV and ESV combined), Paul wrote:
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.”
Do you know why the stars shine so bright in the night sky? Because the majority of the sky is black darkness. The utter darkness that fills space causes the few light sources there to shine that much brighter.
The same is true for non-grumbling, non-argumentative Christians. The world is full of complainers, grumblers, and bickering people. Sometimes the way to shine the brightest is to say nothing. When everyone’s whining and complaining but you just stand there without joining in, you are actually “[shining] among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”
When this happens, not only are we pleasing God, but as Christians we can then be proud of each other as well. Notice the joy Paul had in their obedience to God, “so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.”
Therefore, if you glorify God through this pandemic by not complaining, you will make your pastors, your parents, your friends, and your fellow believers proud. As brothers and sisters in Christ, let’s make each other proud through this pandemic.
5. If We Choose to Glorify God During This Pandemic Through Each Other’s Prayers and the Help of the Holy Spirit, We Will Honor God in Our Bodies Either By Life or By Death
Philippians 1:18-21 states:
Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Notice the power of prayer Paul points out. We have to pray for one another during this pandemic. While prayer is crucial, Paul is careful to also highlight the power of the Holy Spirit. We must be filled with the Spirit, for apart from God’s Spirit we will not have the strength we need to glorify Jesus.
Lastly, Paul points out that God’s victory in our lives will not always look the way the world would expect God’s victory to work. We know as Christians that glorifying God will not mean a perfect earthly life. No, glorifying God will result in something much better – gaining Christ.
May we honor Christ in our bodies during this pandemic, whether by life or by death. For to us to live is Christ, and to die is gain.