When the world is at peace, Christians look crazy. When the world looks crazy, the Christians are at peace.
My Wife was just at the store where they once sold hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and hand soap. The coronavirus has everyone in my town frantically staking their claim on all the things someone would need for a long stay underground. I have never experienced mass hysteria, but the more this virus spreads, the more confused the world seems to be. I was chatting with a Christian today, and she told me that the strange thing about all of this was that for some reason, she felt perfectly fine with all of it. I couldn’t have agreed more.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand that there will be shortages of products sold, the stock market is taking a dive and that this virus is killing people. This all means that life will be less convenient, I will probably not make as much money and some of my friends and relatives may die. So why aren’t we panicking? If you are panicking, why shouldn’t you be?
We trust in the sovereignty of God.
God threw Nebuchadnezzar’s life into chaos and he used it to humble him, and then restored him. After he was restored he had this to say about our God:
At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes to heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”… for all his works are right and all his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble” (Daniel 4:34-35, 37)
If there is one thing you should remember, it is that God is in perfect control. He ordains every disease (Exodus 15:26), every disaster (Amos 3:6), he gives life and he can take it away (Job 1:21). The cause of every laughing child and every weeping Father: God is the author of it all. With all that said, what’s going on inside your head when it comes to the Coronavirus disease?
If it’s anxiety, remember you follow Jesus and he told us not to be anxious (Matthew 6:34). If this chaos is causing you anxiety, Philippians 4:6-7 tells us to take it to the Lord in thanksgiving. The result is that God’s peace will guard our hearts. Anxiety comes when our security is shaken. But if our security is firmly fixed on Christ and we believe that in Christ all things hold together (Col. 1:17), something beautiful happens.
It’s times like this that our faith is easily distinguished.
Why did God lead his people to the red sea? Why was Daniel thrown into a den of lions? Why was Esther forced into a Pagan King’s harem? Why was Joseph sold into slavery? Why was Peter thrown into prison? Stories like these remind us that God ordains hardship so that God’s sovereignty can be put on display with his people.
Remember when God sent a storm to a boat-load of disciples and their teacher? They tried their best to get the boat under control, but when all seemed lost they finally called on Jesus in desperation! “Teacher, don’t you care that we are perishing?” With chaos all around, Jesus slept like a baby. First he rebuked the wind, and then he rebuked his disciples: “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” I love their response: “They were filled with fear and said to one another, ‘who then is this, that even the wind and sea obey him?’” (Mark 4:35-41).
Clearly they didn’t understand who Jesus was. If we react the same way in our chaos, it says the same of us.
Let’s trust the Lord. The world will notice and God will get the glory.