There has been a lot of “fear and anxiety” everywhere due to the pandemic, but for the children of God the crisis presents a wonderful opportunity to pause and refocus firmly on our Lord Jesus. He is still fully in charge!
In John 6 we find the disciples were in the middle of the Sea of Galilee and about to drown when Jesus got into the boat. “A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.” (John 6:18-21).
The key here is to getting through any “storm in life” is to make sure Jesus is in “our boat with us!” Even with Him our lives at times are excruciatingly “difficult and painful,” but without Him, our lives are “futile and directionless,” followed by an eternity of misery. Let’s make sure we spend our time getting to know Him better.
Whatever the cause of the present pandemic, or the plans of governments in the future, it is the Lord Jesus Christ who is in control! The governments are upon his shoulders, and as Nebuchadnezzar concluded long ago: “All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: What have you done?” (Daniel 4:35).
All of our lives have been affected in one way or another since news emerged from the Chinese city of Wuhan in January that a new type of respiratory virus was afflicting people and spreading quickly. We are not speculating on the origins of the virus or how the subsequent lockdowns and expansion of government power affect life going forward.
Instead, here is a brief report from a dear house church friend in China:
“In recent months, house churches across the nation have seen a new openness to the gospel since the virus appeared. Even though gatherings have been banned and the Communist Party has shut down many Christian websites and social media platforms, many people have placed their trust in the Lord anyway. Because of the crisis and subsequent long isolation period, people in China have realized that money and possessions will not save them. Gatherings have started through telephone and website evangelism, which has been very effective!”
Even before the outbreak, people’s foundations had become very shaky, with the Chinese economy in terrible condition and tens of millions of unemployed people with nothing to do. Now, with real fear in society as the Chinese government begins to implement their “social credit system,” many people’s confidence in themselves and the nation’s leadership has waning.
The arrival of the pandemic brought all these feelings to the surface, and it is likely that millions of people will become Christians throughout the country because of it. For this we praise the Lord for His great wisdom and mercy!
Many people are asking “where is God” during the current crisis. According to the Bible, He is where He always is, ruling over the universe and working His perfect will and plan of salvation as time marches forward to the end of the present age.
For a moment or perhaps a longer while, we are dropped into the depths of despair, a tragedy of intense proportions. In the darkness we struggle with difficult and often confusing feelings. We often feel guilty about these feelings. All are true human emotions, and necessary in enabling us to cope.
God understands our pain and our suffering. He will wrap his loving arms around us, He will be there when no one else can. After a time we begin to feel his presence. You can see a faint light in the distance. This is the light of “Hope.”
Moving toward the light the Holy Spirit takes us by the hand and helps us to move even closer to the light. The light of the Lord that shines into each of our lives. Here in the Lords loving presence our souls and our wounds begin to heal. God has a plan for us and we can rest assured that we have been called here for a purpose. Our job is not yet finished. We must continue to move forward.
We might not understand the sequence of events in our lives. We might not understand the meaning of our suffering. But we have not lost everything, we are not alone. We will always have “Hope.”
As you go through the adjustments in your life currently, don’t lose the heavenly perspective. Jesus is still on His eternal throne, and God remains good! Although this is a trying time for all of us, looking back at this experience will be a mere blip on the radar of God’s wonderful plan when Jesus returns.
We encourage you to keep looking to Jesus, study His Word every day, and use this time to grow in Him as you share the Good News with those around you. “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8).
Let’s pray the Lord Jesus will be glorified through these difficult times, and that millions of lost people throughout China and around the world will find true inner peace and salvation through the Gospel of Christ Jesus.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith, of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire, may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:3-9