Finding Strength in God Through the Gospel
It's been a couple of weeks since COVID-19 wildly disrupted our lives. For some of us, the virus means we can no longer compete in x or fulfill y. Others have been forced to relocate, and probably, most of us have struggled to find a daily rhythm of work/school/devotion (as I have). Additionally, many of us have had a difficult time adjusting to the loss of in-person social interaction.
It’s in times like these that it becomes easy to feel lost, frustrated, anxious, and lonely. Along with Jacob, we, too, may find ourselves crying out, “Everything is against me” (Genesis 42:36).
But it's also in times like these that finding strength in God is really important. And to find this strength, we must look at the hope the Gospel offers us in this season.
The Gospel on Sickness
In light of the health concerns brought forward by COVID-19, it is crucial to remember that Jesus offers complete healing and eternal life. When Jesus comes to restore all of creation from its fallen state, He will also wipe away every tear from our eyes. Every wrong will be turned right, and Jesus Himself will do away with all of the world’s sorrow and pain. Christ’s restoration of creation will find its climax in that death itself will die, and we will live with Him forever.
Without downplaying the seriousness of COVID-19, we can rest in God’s promises, knowing that God Himself will comfort us through our pains and that, one day, sickness and death will be but a distant memory (Revelation 21:1-6).
The Gospel on Provision and Anxiety
Another concern COVID-19 has brought forward is that of provision. Will I still have a job? What will I eat? How long can my savings carry me? Will I have enough toilet paper? The list goes on.
Jesus actually speaks to this! He tells us not to worry or be anxious about these things and to trust Him. As an example, Jesus points us to the birds who do not sow, reap, or gather food in barns. Rather, God provides for them. This is not an excuse for us to be lazy or to be foolish with what God has already given us. Instead, Jesus is reminding us that we are so much more valuable to God than the birds and that, if He provides for them, He will also provide for us.
So, when fear and anxiety creep in, remember God loves and cares for you and He will provide, even when we're faced with an impossible situation. Take courage, God sees where we are and knows what we need and is able to meet each of our needs according to His goodness (Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:19).
The Gospel on Purpose
Having been removed from our careers, universities, sports, friends, and hobbies, many of us are left asking, “Who am I and what am I to do?” Where we only recently drew a sense of identity from the things we did, we are now searching for meaning and purpose apart from our habitual activities and rhythms.
Humanity was created primarily to love and worship God. This is both our identity and our calling. This calling has never been revoked, and it continues as our purpose even today. The beauty of this calling is that COVID-19 cannot take it from us.
It can take our jobs, it can take percentages off of our portfolio, and it can even take our hobbies from us. But it cannot take our ability to love and worship God. We can still trust God, adore Him in song, give to His church, and practice spiritual disciplines.
Equal in purpose is our call to love our neighbors (everyone) as ourselves. While COVID-19 may make this more difficult, it is not impossible; we may just have to be more creative in our efforts. This will look different for everyone. Some practical ways to love our neighbors, include grocery shopping for the elderly, texting/calling healthcare professionals to thank them for all they do, and offering our services to the church and other nonprofit organizations that need assistance. Simple acts of self-discipline, like staying home and washing our hands, go far and are excellent ways of loving our neighbors well (Matthew 22:34-40).
At Chase Oaks, we are praying for you in these difficult times. We recognize the seriousness of COVID-19, but we also rest in the power, strength, and the goodness of our God.
“The Lord is gracious and righteous;
Our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary;
When I was brought low, he saved me.
Return to your rest, my soul,
For the Lord has been good to you.
For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
My eyes from tears,
My feet from stumbling,
That I may walk before the Lord
In the land of the living.”
Join us this week online for a special message from Ryan Leak as part of our series, How to Hit a Curveball. Ryan will talk about how finding strength in God can help us move forward today.