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Disease and Calamity

            The Coronavirus is a reminder to our society that mankind is not invincible. Humanism, the philosophy of living without reference to God, offers no comfort to the fear and panic in times of trouble. But we as Christians can offer hope to a fearful society knowing that God is still on the throne. The only way to understand illness and trials is to recognize God has a purpose for every believer by which He can make us better. People without God have no such hope.

            It is a legitimate question to ask, “Is God judging America and the world through this virus?” Is it possible that God is not only warning the wicked through disease but also waking a sleeping self-sufficient church? The Bible reveals examples of cataclysmic judgment seen in Noah’s flood, Sodom and Gomorrah or the destruction of the Egyptians in the Red Sea. These severe types of judgments will occur again in the time of the tribulation but not necessarily in the church age. However the principle of sowing and reaping by the actions of men exists throughout all of biblical history, and in the Church Age as well.

God At Times Does Judge People And Nations

The Bible describes several times when God brought plagues on His people and sometimes on His enemies. God manifested His power through plagues (Exodus 9:14, 16). God brought plagues on Egypt to force Pharaoh to free the Israelites from bondageAfter giving the Mosaic Law, God commanded His people to obey it or suffer many evils, including something that sounds like Ebola: “The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.” — Deuteronomy 28:21-22. These are just a few examples of many plagues and diseases initiated by God.

God Uses Calamities To Humble Us

We know from the Scripture that God can raise up one nation and bring down another. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” – – Psalm 75:7. Babylon, though a wicked nation, was allowed to conquer Israel to reprove her from her sin. We do not always know why certain events occur in our lives or in the nations of the earth but we should learn how to respond when tragedy occurs. Sometimes God brings judgment upon His people or the nations of the earth to humble them. Regardless of whether or not the corona virus is a direct act of God or merely allowed by him we should respond properly to it. We must humble ourselves before God and seek His forgiveness and healing.

It’s sometimes hard to imagine our loving and merciful God displaying such wrath and anger toward His people. But God’s punishments always have the goal of repentance and restoration. In 2 Chronicles 7:13–14, God said to Solomon, “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”  Here we see God using disaster to draw His people to Himself, to bring about repentance and the desire to come to Him as children to their heavenly Father.

God Uses Problems To Show His Power

In the New Testament, Jesus healed “every disease and every sickness,” as well as plagues in the areas He visited (Matthew 9:35). Just as God chose to use plagues and disease to show His power to the Israelites, Jesus healed as a demonstration of the same power to prove that He was truly the Son of God. He gave the same healing power to the disciples to authenticate their ministry (Luke 9:1). God still allows sickness for His own purposes, but sometimes disease, even worldwide pandemics, are simply the result of living in a fallen world. There is no way to determine whether or not a pandemic has a specific spiritual cause, but we do know that God has sovereign control over all things (Romans 11:36) and will work all things together for the good of those who know and love Him (Romans 8:28).

One key in coping with a disease is to remember that God is good. No matter our circumstances, God’s character does not change. The God of the Bible is in control and His promises still hold true. Our circumstances do not change Him or His purposes for us. God is actively working “all things” together in His grand plan (Romans 8:28). For some people, one of those “all things” is a disease. God does not say that all things are good. But He does work for the good in all things .

Life Is Tenuous

The appearance of pandemic diseases may or may not be tied to God’s specific judgment of sin. For those who do not know Jesus Christ as Savior, disease should be a reminder that life on this earth is tenuous and can be lost at any moment. As bad as pandemics are, hell will be worse. The Christian, however, has the assurance of salvation and the hope of eternity because of the blood of Christ shed on the cross for us. “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” — Hebrews 9:28.  If you are without Christ you can be saved today by calling on the God of the Bible and asking Him to save you! God will save every soul that calls on Him through faith and repentance.

How should Christians respond to pandemic diseases? First, do not panic. God is in control. The Bible says “do not fear” over 300 times. Second, be wise. Take reasonable steps to avoid exposure to the disease and to protect and provide for your family. Third, look for opportunities for ministry. Often when people are fearful for their lives, they are more concerned about their eternal destiny. Be bold and compassionate in your sharing of the Gospel, always speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Finally, be faithful. The one thing every believer can do is to be faithful. “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” – 1 Corinthians 4:2. The corona virus will pass but the opportunity to turn to Him is now and we must not ignore it. Let us turn to God in humility, repentance and prayer!

One thought on “Disease and Calamity

  1. Thank you, Pastor for such a clear, compassionate, and comforting message. May God have mercy upon us individually and as nations I need of healing.

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