Garland Of Grace – 03.22.20

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Prosperity or Pestilence; Fitting Coronavirus into a Biblical Worldview

“In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.” – Ecclesiastes 7:14

In recent weeks, it has been overwhelming to witness the pandemonium surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. To be sure, COVID 19 must be taken seriously, and people are understandably filled with fear and uncertainty. But in these tumultuous times, how should the coronavirus fit into the believer’s Biblical worldview?  Here are a few thoughts gleaned from Ecclesiastes 7:14.

First, every day is handcrafted by God. Solomon describes God as the Creator of each day, whether it is a day marked with joy or a day stained with adversity. We should find rest in knowing the sovereign hand of God weaves both bright threads (days of prosperity) and dark threads (days of adversity) into our life tapestry. God creatively crafts every day with purpose, no matter the events that make up each day. This means God is in control even when the world seems out of control. And the world seems out of control does it not? Life as we know it has been drastically altered. Restaurants and businesses have closed their doors. Sporting events have postponed their seasons or cancelled altogether. Schools and colleges have cancelled the current semester. Airports and bus stations are empty. City streets look like a Hollywood depiction of a zombie apocalypse. State governors have ordered citizens to stay home while countries across the globe have closed borders. Churches have dismissed services. The stock market continues to fall as the death toll from COVID 19 continues to rise. People are encouraged to practice social distancing in effort to curtail the spread of the virus. It all seems surreal. But none of these events have taken God by surprise. We rest in God’s sovereignty knowing He has the whole world in His hands even when everything around us seems to be out of hand. And so in desperate times such as these, God’s people must live out the gospel of God motivated by faith rather than fear.

Secondly, seasons of adversity should bring our thoughts to God all the more. Solomon says days of adversity should orient our thoughts toward God. This is not to suggest that during seasons of joy our thoughts on God can be dialed down. Solomon is simply reminding us that life’s obstacles can be used as opportunities to draw us into deeper contemplation on the things of God.

Thirdly, our eternal security should overshadow the insecurity of the moment. Solomon says “so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.” It is a perplexing statement, but it was his poetic way of saying we do not know what each day will bring. Tomorrow might be a day of joy or it might be a day of catastrophe. We just do not know. The insecurity of the moment has been the primary thrust behind the panic surrounding COVID 19 pandemic. Supermarket shelves have been stripped bare as hordes of people have crammed their cupboards with items seen as essential for survival. Why; because we do not know what tomorrow will bring. True, we cannot know what will happen in light of the current circumstances, but as God’s people, we can have assurance of our eternal destiny. As we live out the gospel and point others to Christ during these unprecedented times, pray that people would spiritually prepare for eternity and put stock in the promises of God with the same sense of urgency as they have in physically preparing for the moment by stocking up on toilet paper!

Dear Christian friend, don’t waste the chapter of your life infected by the coronavirus.  See the virus in light of Scripture. Treasure each day (whether good or bad) as a gift from God, and dwell upon Him all the more during this season of adversity. Finally, though the insecurity of the moment can be overwhelming, find rest in your eternal security.

 – Pastor Eric

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