Updated: Oct 14, 2021
Welcome to Episode 3 of The Cross & The Virus with me Jimmy Okello. The Cross & The Virus is a 5-part Facebook Live broadcast exploring a Christian perspective of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I hope that it helps you to navigate the challenges we’re facing today hope; seeing it through the lens of scripture. Today we’re looking at the question: What is God saying through COVID-19 pandemic?
The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything we’ve seen. We’ve seen natural disasters, epidemics and wars, tsunamis and hurricanes but COVID-19 is unique and we are grappling with it. The fact that it’s to a global scale speaks to us that God is saying something to the whole world.
We know that God in his sovereignty is able to do all things. Nothing is impossible for him. He knows all things past, present and future. He could have stopped this pandemic from happening. I believe that in his sovereignty he has allowed this for a purpose.
For he alone is able to bring good out of the most hopeless situation. What may appear hopeless for us as humans, God is able to turn it around for good. When it comes to dealing with evil, many of us are wrestling with the fact that God is good, powerful and all-knowing and yet he allows evil.
We ask, “why do bad things happen to good people?” The problem is that there are no good people. We’ve all inherited a sinful nature from Adam.
We may not know with absolute certainty what God is saying to the whole world. However, we know that God uses tough times to teach us some of life’s greatest lessons, oftentimes, producing good out of evil. In other words, the things we’ve learnt about life have come from some of our most painful experiences.
Purified by Trials
Noah was a righteous man saved with an ark (Genesis 6:9-8:22). We’re all familiar with the story from Sunday school. The world was desperately wicked. God was determined to destroy it, except for Noah who was a righteous man.
Noah built the ark according to God’s instruction and against all ridicules from people. In the end, his family was saved through the ark when God deluged the entire world in water.
The Bible says, “Go redeemed Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.” (Genesis 8: 1).
Consider Job. A righteous man who loved God genuinely. He was a fine man who offered sacrifice to God for “just in case” one of his children cursed God in their heart. Such men are rare today.
We know the story from Sunday school. Job suffered tremendously at the hand of the devil to try to prove that Job’s love for God wasn’t genuine. In the end, it proved otherwise, Job was faithful to God. We leant from Job’s story that even “good people” suffer.
How about Joseph? That righteous young man in Genesis 37-45. While he was young he had vision and ambitions. God revealed his wonderful plans to him in dreams and he shared it with his brothers. That landed him in problems with them. They sold him to slavery in Egypt.
You would think that’s the end of his life. But God, in Egypt, made Joseph the Prime Minister. When he finally met his brothers, he forgave they saying, “What you meant for evil God turned it for good.”
Suffering Produces Perseverance
God is the only one who can use even evil to produce something good. The Bible tells us that when we go through trials God teaches us to persevere. “Perseverance must finish it’s work so that we are mature and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1: 4).
Trials produce perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character makes us mature and complete. In fact, if we avoid suffering, we cannot grow to Christ-likeness.
Consider that even our Lord, Jesus Christ, suffered. How can we not also suffer? Voice of the Martyrs, a ministry dedicated to supporting persecuted believers bring us stories from around the world of horrific suffering. This is a testimony of us being called to suffer for Christ.
In conclusion, we’re all experiencing suffer from various sources. However, God is able to use our suffering to mature us. We may not know what message God is speaking to the whole world right now, however, we know that he’s working in us to make us become better.
Will we cooperate with him to accomplish what he wants to accomplish in our lives?