God’s Providence on COVID-19

Amid the chaos in the world over the coronavirus, God is still in control. Friends, He still reigns. He is still seated on His throne. He is not surprised by all of this. If anything, God is behind all of it. Now some will accuse God of wrongdoing but God is not the author of evil. However, He works perfectly in His Divine Providence, even when it makes ZERO sense to us. With that introduction, I want to lay before you three points of God’s Providence in the COVID-19 pandemic.

First, it is a sign of judgment on the earth and rightly so.
We have sinned against a holy God and are deserving of wrath. However, the end has not come yet (2 Thess. 2:3-4) but stuff like this are mere snapshots of what’s to come. The day of the Lord will indeed be a terror to those who remain unrepentant. And as the Bible says, that Christ will come “like a thief in the night” (Rev. 16:15,Matt. 24:43,1 Thess. 5:2,1 Thess. 5:4,2 Peter 3:10)

Second, it is a call to repentance.
Can we honestly say that the world has been humbled? We are reminded that we are finite beings that can only do so much. We are reminded that as the death toll rises, we are reminded that we are finite, frail, and fading.

As James says,

“yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (‭‭James‬ ‭4:14‬)

Crisis like this makes us recognize that our lives are short and can be easily cut off at any moment. We don’t know when we will die. Moreover, we don’t know how.

What we must see is that our only hope is not in ourselves, our leaders, new legislations, and vaccines, but in God and God alone.

Therefore, repent. Today is the day of salvation. God has been merciful to all, not desiring anyone should perish but to repent! (2 Peter 3:9)

Third, is a call to faith.
Saints, this is where we must hold fast to the promises of God like never before. They are our treasures in troubled times. Rather than meditate on the panic of the media and of the people, meditate on God’s promises. Remind yourselves that God is with us and not against us (Romans 8:31), that Jesus Christ is interceding on our behalf (Hebrews 7:25) and that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses (Romans 8:26).

For the Christian, we have the surety that God works all things (even COVID-19) for our good in conformity to Christ (see Romans 8:28-29). And it is done so as our faith is strengthened in trials ( James 1:2-4), proving the genuineness of our faith (1 Peter 1:7), and that we realize that God’s grace is sufficient in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). Therefore, we can concur with the Psalmist,

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:25–26).

In closing, we must rest in God alone who’s providence hasn’t ceased nor fails. We don’t know what the future holds. We don’t know how things will play out within the next 6 months to a year, let alone 1 month. We don’t know if an effective vaccine will be ready in the coming year. Remember, there are several incurable diseases in the world, so what’s the guarantee? This is not to sound pessimistic by any means, but to point out that we won’t always have the answers. But as Christians, we see that God alone is the answer, and we lay all our fears and cares before Him. Not to rely on ourselves but on God who raises the dead (2 Cor. 1;9)

We don’t know what the future holds, but we know that God who holds the future! Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s (Romans 14:8), for nothing can separate us from his love, (Romans 8:31-39), not even COVID-19 nor death.

Be encouraged my friends, God is in control. Always has been. Always will be. May all come to recognize this truth!

Martin Luther’s words to us in the COVID-19 pandemic

In the time of the Black Plague, Martin Luther provides sound wisdom as to how he dealt with the pandemic. Rather than make false claims, prudence was practiced such as social distancing. Moreover, he stressed that one remains compassionate and ready to help when needed, even if it almost killed him! Yet he considered others above himself. How relevant is this for us today as we deal with our pandemic. In all this, remember your neighbor. May opportunities for the Gospel be embraced like never before.

A prayer for Wisdom and Peace Amid Coronavirus

In this time O Lord, we need you now more than ever.

The entire world has been driven into chaos over COVID-19.

Some people are getting sick, while others are dying.

Some leaders are locking down their countries, while others shrug it off. 

Nevertheless, we recognize it’s severity and how it’s become part of our lives for the time being.

And so, let us turn to You as we know you are our Great Physician. Moreover, You are our Sovereign King who works all things together for good for those called according to Your purpose, even COVID-19. 

O Lord, we inquire for wisdom today 

Your Divine wisdom

Your Supernatural wisdom

Your Godly wisdom

Your Heavenly wisdom

Your Transcendent wisdom!

Your Word says that You provide wisdom for those who ask. And so O Lord, please provide wisdom for us all

Guide the leaders and all those working with them

Guide the doctors and all the medical staff

Guide the scientists and the researchers 

Guide the church leaders and all in ministry 

Guide the families as they stick together 

Guide the individuals who feel all alone at this time

Guide us all. Grant us wisdom this season as we look unto You. May Your Word be our constant resource for wisdom.

Your Word also promises peace as we 

Lay our burdens down

Cast all our cares

Surrendering our

Worries

Anxieties

And fears

It’s so easy to get caught up in the media and all the bad news worldwide. We see that it is tragic in throughout the world today. However, Your Word says to be of good cheer, to rejoice always, and to take heart, for You have overcome the world. 

And let us trust in You for 

Your provision

Your healing

Your salvation

And in doing so, You grant us peace above all understanding. Surpassing all this world has to offer. Only You can provide true peace, not the government, not a new law, nor a vaccine. But You alone grant us peace for in Christ we have peace with You. And through the Spirit, that peace is a reality.

Even in suffering, grant peace

To those who are infected and to those who have lost friends and loved ones due to this virus.

May we remember that You have conquered sin and so conquered death and disease.

May we wait on You alone O Lord. 

May we be prudent despite panic. 

May we hold to Your promises like never before.

May we be at peace for we find peace in You. Amen.

I am Statements Part 1: “I am the Bread of Life”

“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” – John 6:35

This astounding statement was made by our Lord to a multitude of 5,000 with just “5 barley loaves and 2 fish” (v9).

Throughout Scripture, we see God’s provision for His people. In this case, Jesus refers to God’s provision of manna in the wilderness to Israel (Ex. 16:1-36; Numbers 11:1-9). But now, we have an even greater provision from Heaven: the Bread of Life in the flesh with all the fullness of deity in Him. The very words, “I am” hearken back to God’s Words to Moses, “I am that I am” (Exodus 3:14). Thus Jesus’ Words is a claim to deity. However, the crowd were concerned about their next meal rather than Who was standing right in front of them.

“Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.” (John 6:26)

They were concerned about the blessings, rather than the Messiah. They were concerned about what they want instead of Whom they need. Is that you today? Do you want Christ for Christ or for His blessings only? Sadly, that is the case of many professing Christians in today who are consumeristic, not Christocentric.

How trivial are our desires! We want the latest thing that draws our attention and then it’s gone until the next one. Rinse and repeat. But notice, Jesus brings them back to Himself.

“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; He who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” (v35).

Despite this claim, many didn’t believe. As only God can give them to Christ as He carries out the Father’s will, “that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”(v38-40)

Therefore, in partaking the Bread of Life that is Christ, He grants us eternal life. Just as He made His statement in verse 35, He further emphasizes it throughout the chapter.

“So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.” (v53-58)

“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” (v48-51)

In Christ, we have all we need for He is all we have! He is the One who blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matt. 5:6). He is the only source and means of salvation (John 14:6).

Therefore, we must realize that He is God’s ultimate provision from Heaven. That should never be overlooked, not even His blessings/benefits. Remember, we did not want God; yet He came to us. We did not love God; yet He loved us. For He sent His Son to die for us, in which He gave His own life. He shed His blood so that we would be cleansed by the spotless blood of the Lamb. He is the greater manna. He is the Bread of Life! May we hunger and thirst for Christ alone.

Love God. Love people.

“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these”. Mark 12:30-31

The essence of true Christianity is love. The Apostle Paul Paul addresses this topic famously in 1 Corinthians 13, saying that love lasts forever and without love, then all that one does means nothing. When it comes to loving God, it is not the means of ceremonies or ritual to gain His love. And ultimately, it is impossible to love God and people on our own. So how can we love ?

In order to love, we must see that we are loved.

By definition God is love (1 John 4:8). It is one of His many perfect attributes. Scripture also states that through Christ’s sacrifice, God’s love is demonstrated… “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. (Romans 5:8). Isn’t that powerful? Yes we are sinners, hellbound and all, but God in Christ died for us in order to demonstrate His love. Why? So what we may repent and believe on the gospel! Moreover, in seeing His love, now we can love! A heart that was once apathetic, indifferent towards God is now wanting to serve God out of love for Him, in indebted gratitude for what He has done through Calvary and in shaping their testimony today.

Additionally, in order to love, we must be filled with His love.

How? through the Holy Spirit. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, we cannot truly love. The command for loving God and people become an impossibility. We would just go through the motions. But being filled with the Holy Spirit ( which is needed for anyone who identifies themselves as Christians) produce affections that love God and people because it’s a supernatural love. It is the first spiritual fruit (Gal. 5:22). It is a taste of God’s love in one’s life, and one can love Him in return as well as love people with an undying love. Jesus loved all even His enemies. And for us, that can also be possible, but only when we have understood but experienced the love of God!

Loving God begets loving one another.

“We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him”. (1 John 3:14-15)

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:7)

The evidence that one has eternal life is through loving people because they love God. And based on the above points, if we are loved by God and filled with His love through the Holy Spirit. Then how can we hate? Now, we all have our differences but to hold to that in hate doesn’t glorify God nor does it reflect Christ. Thus why live in a manner that is ungodly? For it is not love. For that is evident that one may not know God at all.

In conclusion, in loving God we also love one another. Not the other way around, because again, only through God’s love can we truly love. And that my friends, is the greatest commandments in all of scripture. It is one that we are to live by for it is God’s will for His people. Plus we have Jesus, who fulfilled these two, so we can trust Him to help us grow in these areas. May He make that a reality in your life and mine’s as well.