In the midst of the global outbreak of the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) anxiety is growing in the hearts of many. Rightfully so because fear is a healthy part of our being that ought to cause us to reason well and seek to preserve our life when in danger. Fear is designed to bring us to our Maker as well, the One we are to fear and worship. There are always some who don't worry, but these are the ones we would call careless or ignorant. As this outbreak spreads exponentially they still don't worry for themselves or those whom they love... The Bible might call them the "fool" because they fail to take necessary precautions or to work hard... Interestingly, we see also within the church, (often with our charismatic brothers whom we love), a similar type of what I would consider carelessness. It's based off of a belief and wrong assumption that God wants everyone happy, healthy and even wealthy; what is now called 'prosperity theology' or the 'prosperity gospel'.
This kind of carelessness stems usually from a low view of God. In most Christian circles there is belief in God's sovereignty, but the truth is that too many believers today have very little knowledge of what it means that God is sovereign. Sadly, in our day much of Christianity is based on feelings rather than on sound doctrine/teaching. Too few have a solid understanding of God's attributes and as a result they lack what we call a Biblical View of God. The usual result is a love for God that is greatly limited because of a limited knowledge of who He actually is. If you truly love your spouse, for example, then it is normal that the more you know him/her the more you are able to love him/her.
Often our view of God is far too low and too man-centered. It would do us all good to pick up and read and meditate on quality books like Arthur Pink's Attributes of God. Gifts to us from those the Spirit has gifted as teachers in His church.
In the midst of the current pandemic there are some who are "claiming" and "declaring" in Jesus name that this virus will not touch them or that it will miraculously disappear. They are trying to show God that they have faith in Him and they do it because they think they are supposed to. Recently many were doing the same for a baby girl who tragically died and they believed God wanted them to raise from the dead. This great SHORT ARTICLE, by brother Reagan Rose at Redeeming Productivity, about a tragic situation is worth your time to read as it relates very much to what I'm talking about now. Important to know, is that God is not looking for them to show them their faith in this way. He is looking at us to see us with a real and authentic faith that acknowledges His sovereignty, goodness, omniscience, omnipotence, immutability and so on. He wants us to live as if Jesus is our Lord, because He is. He wants us to be fully satisfied in Christ, knowing that it is enough for us that our sins have been forgiven and we have been redeemed. He wants us to live with our eyes on Him and the eternal life that awaits us in God's presence. He wants us to have faith like Martin Luther, for example, when he wrote in his famous song, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.
"Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; The body they may kill: God's truth abideth still, His kingdom is forever."
As we acknowledge God in His majesty for who He actually is we can show Him our faith by having hearts willing to accept whatever comes our way as from Him for our good and for His glory (Romans 8:28). What many are failing to realize in this moment of fear and anxiety as we face an ever-growing pandemic and all its uncertainties is that God is using this for many reasons. The purposes and plans of God are never fully knowable to us this side of eternity, but here are 3 certainties about what God is doing through this pandemic:
1.) He is moving to saving faith those who are not living worthy of the call or who have not surrendered their life to Christ and His Lordship.
Too often folks remain only half in with Jesus. They frequent church and like the Christian community, but they are not willing to surrender their life to God. God is not pleased with folks who see His goodness in Christ yet remain on the fence. This potentially life-threatening disease crossing the globe is intended by God to wake them up from their slumber and their low love for Him who gave His life for them. It is to move them to wholeheartedly live their remaining days as proper disciples of Christ.
2.) He is moving His people to be the witnesses that He called them to be.
Too often, at least in the US where being a Christian is still quite comfortable and not life-threatening, we sinfully forget that we are called to be ambassadors of Jesus Christ. Sadly, very few are actively and intentionally sharing their faith and bringing others to Christ. Evangelism and soul-winning are intended to be a regular and normal part of our Christian life.
3.) As God moves His people to be proper witnesses who do not fear losing their lives because they know they already have eternal life, He is also calling many lost people unto Himself.
They may still perish from illness, but their souls may still be redeemed. It is a known fact that death and disease have a way of softening the hard heart to the Gospel. Coming face to face with the reality of death changes everything. Let us pray to see a large harvest of souls as a result of this pandemic.
May we never cease to know and worship God rightly through a deeper understanding from His Word as to who He truly is. Let these truths touch your heart and may the Lord give you peace and make you an instrument of His grace in this fallen world while we continue to wait Jesus' return. May we together remember the reason we are still here on this Earth and may we bring God glory as we bring the Gospel to the lost who are perishing all around us. SDG
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