The entire world is in such a terrible and pitiful situation. This pandemic has caused so much chaos and panic for all of us. Every day, we hear about people`s suffering and deaths. However, as God`s children, we can be confident that God can use even this pandemic, for our good. That is what the Bible says in Romans 8:28. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to his purpose.
Every situation in our lives is used by God to mature us, stretch us, and fulfill his purpose in us. What others saw as a disaster in our life, God promises to use for our good. Tragedies, illnesses, breakdowns, losses, failures, and pain are all used for our ultimate good. Let’s take a look at some of the good things that God can bring out of this pandemic situation. But before that, it is important to understand two fundamental biblical truths.
- We must understand that we live in a sin-infected world. As a result of sin, this world is also physically sick. Although it was not God’s intention for his creation to be so afflicted, we must live with the consequences of our choice to sin, which separated us from a holy God. Throughout history, God has used pain, suffering, disasters, plagues, war, and a variety of other trials to remind us that we are sinful creatures in need of salvation. He provided us with this salvation through his own suffering on the cross for our sins. God has allowed this pandemic to occur in order to fulfill his special purpose of illuminating his glory and reminding and restoring those who rely on him.
- We must believe that God can turn any “curse” into a blessing. How can this pandemic be considered a blessing when it kills and causes suffering for thousands? If you ask cancer survivors, they will tell you how their cancer has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. They will testify this way: “it brought me to my knees and humbled me.” “It helped to strengthen and mature my faith.” “It convinced me that my own efforts to combat the disease were futile and that I was completely reliant on God’s mercy.” Our God is a mighty God. He has the power to change everything into a great blessing for you. Nothing is too hard for Him.
With these two scriptural foundations in place, let us consider some of the ways God can use this pandemic situation to our advantage.
1. This pandemic encourages us to seek comfort from God rather than from governments and statistics.
We were all under the impression that this virus would primarily affect the elderly, based on medical statistics. They claimed that once we got the vaccine, we’d be immune to the viral infection. The truth is quite different from what medical science tells us. Our comfort and courage should be from God, not from governments or statistics. You may be familiar with cancer patients who outlived medical science’s predictions and lived longer lives. Our God is the Lord of statistics.
You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. (Psalms 139:16)
2. This pandemic reminds us of the brevity of life and the impending death of each of us.
Someone once said that every human being is born with a death sentence. God uses the pandemic to remind us of our death. This pandemic reminds us to think more frequently about the promise of eternal life because this mortal life is merely a vapor. It reminds us that this life is fleeting and that there is life after death.
Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is. (Psalms 39:4)
3. This pandemic helps us to cherish Christ more than beating this disease and staying alive.
We will, with God’s help, overcome this pandemic just as we did the Spanish flu and smallpox. During this pandemic, our mission cannot be simply survival. Should we be happy if we are able to overcome this infection? Yes, of course. But let us not pound our chests and proclaim triumphantly that we have defeated the pandemic. We will eventually face another deadly disease, natural disaster, or mortal threat that will devastate us. We should use this time to cherish Christ and to persevere in our mission to “make disciples of all nations.”
4. The pandemic encourages us to spend more time reading God’s Word rather than learning about Covid-19.
If you google the term coronavirus, you will find a plethora of articles and videos about this disease. TV and social media will provide Covid-19 coverage 24/7. Do we really need to devote so much time to researching this pandemic? Not if it means skipping out on reading God’s Word. We can find hundreds of verses in the Bible that apply to our current situation if we search for them. Let us use this opportunity to rekindle our love for God’s written word.
“The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
5. This pandemic allows us to deepen our relationships rather than forcing us into isolation.
To keep this virus away, we all practice social distancing. The term “social distancing” is misleading. We should be observing physical distancing. God created us as social beings. Technology enables us to communicate with everyone on our contact lists or in our spheres of influence even while observing physical distancing. Let us reconnect with an old friend, forgive an old enemy, mend a broken relationship, or simply strengthen the bonds of our immediate family.
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. (Colossians 3:13)
6. This pandemic enables us NOT to grieve as others who do not have hope.
Covid-19 is a killer. During this pandemic, many people have lost a loved one, a friend, or a coworker. Many have lost their career, health, savings, and security. Over the next months and years, there will be many reasons to be sad. Grief is an emotion that is a result of The Fall, which God bestowed upon humans. It is a healthy emotion. Christians grieve over their losses but ours is hopeful grief that bears witness to a world full of hopelessness. Our hope is placed in Christ.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14)
7. This pandemic warns us to take sin more seriously than we previously did.
Many believe that God is using this virus to punish the world for unrepentant sin. But I believe that COVID-19 is a natural evil rather than a result of moral evil. Since The Fall, mankind has been cursed, and this pandemic is just one of the many consequences of living in a sin-sick world. God may use this current suffering to bring about repentance from a specific sin that is keeping us from full communion with him. Let us use this time of crisis to reflect on our lives and confess and renounce those sins that are keeping us enslaved.
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (1 John 1:8-9)
8. This pandemic allows us to bear testimony to the truth and glory of Christ.
This pandemic provides an unprecedented opportunity for the body of Christ to be salt and light. This is the time to demonstrate Christ’s love through heroic acts of service and self-sacrifice. When an unbeliever sees a Believer putting the needs of others ahead of his/her own, that person sees Jesus’ hands and feet in action and will come to the saving faith in Christ Jesus.
You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (Matthew 5:14-16)
Let us not waste this pandemic situation. Our Lord never wastes anything. He uses our bitter life experiences. He can use all our failures, pain, suffering, and loss for our good.
Jesus asked the disciples to collect all the broken bread pieces after feeding five thousand. The world throws away broken things, but our God uses them. He uses our brokenness. God is going to use this pandemic situation for our ultimate good. He wastes nothing!