We are living in remarkable times. However, these times are not unprecedented. The Coronavirus is not the first pandemic to touch the world. There have been others; there have been others far worse. If there is anything that might make this pandemic different from the previous ones, it is this: humans around the world, by and large, and particularly in the West, live far more comfortably than people who lived in times past.
The human race has grown far more accustomed to comfort. It may be the most prevalent form of idolatry in the world today. Comfort is an idol that affects and infects people outside and inside the Body of Christ. The idol of comfort affects me.
In addition to the Coronavirus Pandemic, there is a situation in Western and Central Africa that could lead to the starvation of millions of people–a true famine in the land. Africa is being decimated by a plague of locust. The infestation is truly one of biblical proportions.
While I’m certainly no expert, the financial impact the pandemic is having on world markets and mom-and-pop businesses, which trickles down to employees and consumers, may prove to be a greater tragedy than the pandemic itself. Some believe we are heading for a recession, if not a world-wide depression.
All of this is beyond our control.
But none of it is beyond God’s control.
“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all” (1 Chronicles 29:11).
“The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all” (Psalm 103:19).
The Christian needn’t worry like those who believe the world is spiraling out of control. It’s not. The Christian needn’t be anxious like those who are outside of Christ and without hope. We know that. We belong to the One who not only created the world but rules and reigns over it.
Add to that the reality that God is good. Everything He does, causes, and allows has at its very core His goodness as its foundation. For the Christian, not only are times of ease and comfort for our good but also times of trial. For the Christian, every hardship (including pandemics, famine, and/or financial ruin) God intends for our good.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Romans 8:28-29).
A few of us in my church family are reading Thomas Watson’s book, “All Things for Good.” This morning, Pastor Nick emailed the church family a word of encouragement, along with an excerpt from the book. I hope it encourages you, just as it encouraged me. Pastor Nick wrote:
The Lord is certainly making His sovereignty and immense power known throughout His creation at this time.
Remember, all His decrees are good for us! Even, especially, His afflictions and even His temporary desertions. From the book All Things For Good by Thomas Watson:
“Desertion cures inordinate affection to the world. “Love not the world” 1 John 2:15. We may hold the world as a Posey in our hand but it must not lie too near our heart. We may use it as an inn where we take a meal, but it must not be our home. Perhaps the secular things steal away the heart too much. Good men are sometimes sick with a surfeit, and drunk with the luscious delights of prosperity; and having spotted their silver wings of grace, and much defaced God’s image by rubbing it against the earth, the Lord, to recover them of this, hides his face in a cloud. This eclipse has good effects, it darkens all the glory of the world, and causes it to disappear.”
Let us use this time to delight in the Lord our God and repent of our love of the world and the things of this world.
Yes, my beloved brethren, let us (beginning with me) trust the divine providence of God and delight ourselves in Him (Psalm 37:3-6). Whether pandemic, pestilence, or poverty, the God we know–more importantly, the God who knows us–through faith in His Son Jesus Christ will never leave us or forsake us. God is good, and He is good to His people–always and forever, no matter the circumstances.
Used by permission.
Tony Miano is a retired veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (1987-2007). During his career, Tony served as a gang and juvenile crime investigator, field training officer, drug recognition expert, and a DUI enforcement specialist. Tony’s law enforcement experience includes three days of chaos, during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, as well as being on duty only a few miles away from the epicenter when the 1994 Northridge Earthquake devastated the greater Los Angeles area.
via The Coronavirus and The Providence of God — Christian Research Service