Coronavirus – any positive angles? From a spiritual point of view, there is a lot we don’t understand about the coronavirus pandemic. Bible-believing Christians maintain the sovereignty of God and trust they can depend on Him through any situation. However, the ‘Why is this happening?‘ question is never far from our minds and there can be a temptation to allow panic and fear to take root, especially when people near us are impacted and our 24/7 media outlets often immerse us with negativity. It is worthwhile to take a look at this situation from a heavenly dimension as this can help provide a different perspective – bear in mind, our time here on earth is minuscule compared to a timeless eternity that awaits us with amazing promises for those who follow Christ. Scripture should be our guidebook to factor in how God operates and how this situation may fit into the big picture.
Nothing happens without God’s knowledge and permissive will – otherwise, this would compromise God’s omnipresence and omnipotence. A good example of this is in Job 1-2 where we have an exchange between God and Satan – it seems that neither Satan (nor any other angels) can act without God’s consent, particularly against believers. The book of Revelation also details some insight into waves of terrible judgement that are released by Jesus Christ himself (see chapters 8 and 16) – God is in control throughout. Although this doesn’t necessarily help us understand the ‘why’ questions, this should prompt us to move closer to God and consider why certain events are being allowed to happen.
Also, it is difficult to predict how the world will look after this pandemic but we are fairly sure life will never be quite the same again. God works in many ways to accomplish his purposes: Maybe this is a judgment on a rebellious world that has turned its back on God? Maybe God is trying to shake nations to turn to Him in repentance? Maybe this is a significant step in the escalation of events that are predicted to pave the way for the end time climax?
Despite the suffering and uncertainty, we can be sure there will be blessings for those who trust in and hold close to God. This can be difficult to accept as an increasing number of deaths is reported and multitudes lose their jobs or are concerned about how they will be able to support their families. However, returning to the example of Job, he trusted in God throughout his horrific ordeal even while losing his health, many possessions and most of his family – but he received a double blessing when it was all over (see Job 42:10-16). So, could there be any positive angles on this crisis – we have listed some possibilities below…
- In modern-day life, the family unit is under unprecedented strain and our existence is normally a frenzy of continuous activity with little quality time with each other – this period of isolation could provide some welcome time for families to reconnect and grow together.
- The education system in the UK has largely become a huge social engineering project based on humanistic principles that deliberately excludes God and counters biblical morality on the most part. Now that the schools have closed, this influence has been temporarily suspended and Christian parents have the opportunity to nurture their children with God in the equation.
- With the collapse of the stock market (which will create crippling black holes in pension funds) the financial security that underpins our long-term security has been shaken to the core and destroyed for a long time. The reliance on economic certainty (that is often a form of idolatry) will be severely damaged which should cause us to recognise our dependence on the Lord for everything he graciously provides for us.
- The lockdown in place across many countries will undoubtedly be a welcome opportunity for a pause in the destruction and pollution of our environment. It will be interesting to see how wildlife and environmental eco-systems respond to this pause in the damaging footprint that modern life causes. Even in our experience, it is interesting how quickly our senses become attuned to the beauty of the created world around with less to distract us – while life as we know it grinds to a halt, we are sure that the world of wildlife and ecosystems will thrive!
- In times of great uncertainty, people are often shaken out of their complacency and spiritual lethargy. We have all been reminded that our lives and the systems we rely on are very fragile and that our comfortable and convenient lifestyles can be threatened at any time by events completely out of our control. In times of trouble, the most serious questions of life are more likely to be asked and followers of Jesus have a great opportunity to share during this time.
- One of the most significant developments we may see is more people hearing the gospel. Churches that traditionally operate within buildings and generally preach to the converted are being forced online – this opens up the message to an infinite number of people and takes the ‘church’ outside the boundaries of its buildings. Maybe the Lord is nudging the church to seek a new audience?!
Whatever does happen in the coming weeks and months, we can be assured that God is completely in control. We do not know whether Satan is using this pandemic to destroy, whether this is simply the result of a fallen dysfunctional world or whether this is down to the incompetence or evil of humanity – it is probably a combination of the three. However, whatever is intended for harm is always used for good where God is concerned and his sovereignty will never be overcome.
While this crisis undoubtedly affects us all, we should look for the ways that God could be using this for His purposes – if nothing else, we should also use this time to deepen our relationship with our loving heavenly Father.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 NIV)