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As I was perusing Facebook the other day, I stumbled upon a post that was shared by many people. I don’t know who is the original author. But, the person had an interesting view on the COVID-19 situation:
“Just like he did with the plagues of Egypt, God has taken away everything we worship.
“God said, “You want to worship athletes, I will shut down the stadiums. You want to worship musicians, I will shut down civic centers. You want to worship actors, I will shut down theaters. You want to worship money, I will shut down the economy and collapse the stock market. You don’t want to go to church, I will make it where you can’t go to church.”
COVID-19 is impacting many people. As of tonight, it has infected 663,000 people around the world and attributed to nearly 31,000 deaths. In the United States alone, almost 125,000 people are sick and more than 2,150 people have died.
A lot of people are asking how a loving God can bring suffering upon so many people? But, God didn’t do this. In John 10:10, Jesus said it is Satan who comes to cause havoc and panic. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Jesus wants us to live life to the full, but we remain empty because we do not focus on things that matter to God.
- We put our trust in government, not in God.
- We put our faith in money, not God.
- We act as though we’ll live forever without any thought about what awaits us after we give up our mortal bodies.
- We strive to accumulate more stuff or money to the point we think we don’t need to rely on God. In fact, many affluent celebrities claim God doesn’t exist at all.
Yet, in Luke 12:13-21, Jesus tells the parable of the rich man who had an abundant life and thought he should just take life easy; eat, drink and be merry. By world standards, most Americans are considered “rich.”
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
We have all been fools to some regard. A speaker at a Promise Keepers event I attended a decade ago put it in perspective when he said Americans worship their work, work at their play, and play at their worship.
Is God trying to get our attention?
Our priorities as a nation have been off center for generations, and we’re wandering as far away from God as we possibly can.
America is one of the richest nations in earth, yet Americans often scoff at the poor among us.
We avoid personal responsibility at all costs, and quickly blame others when life doesn’t work out the way we had hoped.
We worship ourselves and think our opinions, needs, wants and desires trump everything and everyone else.
We are filled with contempt for our neighbors and view anyone who disagrees with us as the enemy, and dismiss anything they say contrary to our own deeply-held beliefs as “hate speech.”
We pay more attention to our bodies and how they are clothed and manicured than we do our spiritual condition.
We kill unborn children and and stash senior citizens away in old folks homes all in the name of convenience.
We are under a curse
Above all, we rob God of what is rightfully his — praise, honor, glory, respect and even money. Some Christians don’t tithe because they don’t trust God enough to provide for them.
In Malachi 3:8-12, God levels a charge that we rob him of tithes and offerings and, consequently, we are under a curse:
“You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
“I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the LORD Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.”
Why am I not fearful even though many others are losing their minds by worrying night and day? There are three key reasons:
1. I am a believer in Christ and Jesus tells me not to worry.
In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus tells his followers:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
2. Because I am a Christian, I know Jesus has forgiven ALL of my sins and that when I die, I will enjoy eternal life.
The most widely-quoted verse of the Bible professes that to be true. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
The Bible makes 399 references to “heaven,” 190 to the “heavens” and 36 to “heavenly.” Heaven is very real.
I know I don’t belong in this greedy, corrupt, misguided world. Like the writer of Hebrews noted in verses 11:13-16, I am a foreigner and stranger on earth. A better life awaits at my real home.
The night before Jesus was executed, he comforted his disciples with these words in John 14:1-4:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Indeed I do, and I can’t wait to get there — to a place void of politics, fear, envy, greed, strife, worry, sickness, injury, death and disease.
3. God will protect me until I complete my assignment
God created me for a purpose. Psalms 139:13 explains that I was knitted together in my mother’s womb. Why would God go through all that trouble if he didn’t have a specific purpose for my life?
But, whenever I am tempt to just give up or when I think I have outlived my purpose, I remember the words Jesus spoke in Revelation 3:2: “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.”
I still have work to do.
God marked out a race for me (Hebrews 12:1), so I cast off everything that hinders, like coronavirus concerns, and run with perseverance toward the finish line. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).
Every day of my life was ordained before my birth — and that includes the day I die.
Therefore, until it is my time to leave this planet, I will not worry because nothing is going to kill me before then. When it is my time, I won’t worry because there is nothing I can do to stop it.
So, as we all contend with the uncertainty swirling around us, the best thing we can do is to look inward and take the advice God gave to his people through Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14:
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”