How God Can Use Emergencies, Pain, and Suffering
Remember how we grew in patriotism and "religion" in the U.S. around the terrorist attacks of 9/11? The flag and military grew in esteem and honor among all ages and people called on God unlike we have ever seen in modern times. However, as time marched on, these admirations faded into oblivion. There is now continued controversy and critique about saluting the flag, singing the National Anthem, or simply standing when it is played. And, God... well, He is a forgotten novelty for many who simply took Him off the shelf, blew off the dust, and asked Him for a favor or two to get through a rough patch. Many say they "found religion" during those times and certainly some genuinely came to saving faith in Jesus Christ. But, that was the exception, not the rule.
Now we face another day and time of unexpected happenings with the COVID-19 pandemic, causing cities to virtually close down leaving many unemployed and businesses wondering if they can weather the terrible economic storm. It seems everyone is sitting on the edge of their seat just waiting to learn how the cliffhanger will play out.
I am praying God uses this time to propel believers out of their comfort zones (present company included!) to share the hope, peace, and truth of Christ with neighbors and strangers. We know many will call on God but they may not actually know who He is. This is such a great time for the Church to rise and do what only it can do!
Could this be one way God will use this National Emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic? Since the long-term impact of COVID-19 is still an unknown, how will you choose to redeem this time, this opportunity? All of life is an opportunity for good or evil, for purpose or peril, for fight or flight. So, how what is your reaction?
It's true some (if not many) will become ill with the Coronavirus with varying degrees of sickness. In such cases, first importance should obviously be to do what can be done to get better. Yet, how will Christ be put on display through these times in your life? How will He be lifted high when you have been brought low? This is true in any part of life, any upheaval, any devastation, any loss. Our worldview impacts our response to trials, most certainly.
While any trial and trouble can easily cause the firmest believer to feel worn and torn, Christ can still be exalted.
So, believer, while it may be tempting to say, "I will ride this storm out," God has more for you. In the emergency, pain, or suffering you are going through right now, what will be your response? There is no greater time than this to show Christ to the nations. Be bold, be strong, and be of good courage for the Lord your God goes before you, walks behind you, stands beside you, and most importantly, is in this with you.
“In itself pain will sanctify no man: it may even tend to wrap him up within himself, and make him morose, peevish, selfish; but when God blesses it, then it will have a most salutary effect—a stippling, softening influence.”