“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Although this is counter-intuitive, difficult, and impossible apart from the Holy Spirit, this is the will of God for His people in this time. We are not glad at the suffering of others, we are not glad that people are sick, hurting, or afraid. We are thankful because the Sovereign God, who governs every molecule in the universe has our good in mind, even in the midst of a pandemic.
Make no mistake, good things are going to be produced in God’s people through all of this. I want to give you 4 good things God is doing in this time:
- Waking people up to the reality of death: We are all going to die, there is not a more basic truth, but in our culture, there is not a more avoided subject. We go to great lengths, and long pursuits, to build walls up in our minds to keep this truth out. Yet, God in His wisdom has awakened many to this truth, and shined a light on our vain pursuits. Thank God for COV-ID19.
- He is stripping us of that which does not satisfy: I want to preface by saying, I enjoy sports, yet God has stripped us of this for a time. He is showing us that these things do not bring us joy, often times they rob us of joy. Lebron James dunking a basketball does not compare to going deeper in our devotions to Christ. Sports do not compare to seeing our families come to the knowledge of the truth of Jesus Christ. Our eyes have been so fixed on the golden idol of sport, that we have taken our eyes off of what truly does satisfy, Jesus. Thank God for COV-ID19.
- He is helping us rediscover the joys, and design, of the home: We may think that the local, state, and national authorities are the reason why we are confined to our homes, but the primary reason is God’s providential hand. All of the sudden, we are surrounded by our loved ones, and God is calling all of us, to turn our eyes upon Him together, and turn our living rooms into sanctuaries. I believe this is happening as we speak all over our country. Thank God for COV-ID19.
- He is correcting bad theologies: I know there are some who believe that heaven will invade earth if you just legalistically follow Jesus. That if you just do right, then God will bring you great comfort, health, and wealth. I will just say this plainly, they are wrong. Christians go through seasons of sickness, not always because God is punishing them. Christians go through suffering no matter how obedient, or devoted they are. Look at the Apostle Paul, look at Job, or look at every Christian who has ever lived. God in His wisdom is showing us that the blood of Christ causes the punishment for sin to pass over the homes of believers, but sickness and suffering will come and knock on the door. The cross is sufficient to give us power to endure these things, not avoid these things. God is waking our world up to that truth. Thank God for COVID-19.
We do not rejoice that people are hurting, sick, and afraid. We should all weep together in this time, and simultaneously rejoice together in this time. Weep at the condition of this fallen world, long for Christ to return and make all things new, yet rejoice at the same time, that the One who holds our lives, is working all things together for our good.