Ten Things You Need to Know
In Light of our Current Situation
With the Covid 19 Pandemic
1. That all sickness, pain and death comes to humanity because of the entrance of sin into the world.
We just completed a look at the Book of Genesis. One of the important lessons taught in Genesis is that all of the bad things that humanity must face, the sicknesses, heartaches and woes, all come from sin. Everything bad and difficult that humanity must endure, including death, comes from sin. When sin entered into the humanity, the “curse” for sin was handed down to all. The literal utopia enjoyed by Adam and Eve in the Garden prior to the fall would never be enjoyed by humanity again until the Lord Jesus makes all things new.
Covid 19 is part of the curse placed upon humanity. What I mean by that is that it is one of the maladies that we must face that falls under the category of the curse. It is a contagious disease that is ravaging the human family at the present around the world. Had sin never entered into the world, such diseases would not exist. When God warned Adam and Eve about the price of disobedience, He said, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eaters thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:17) According to the statistics to date, there have been 654 thousands deaths from this virus. Death is the result of sin.
All sickness and death comes to humanity because of sin. When Jesus died on Calvary, He died for the sins of the world. The only way to remedy the sin problem, which results in death and eternal separation from God, is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. What a needed message to a world groping in darkness and fear! Place faith in Christ!
August 23: Things To Know in Light of Covid 19
2. That those who contract this disease have not or are not doing so because their sin is more grievous to God than other’s.
In our last devotional thought, we noted that all sickness, pain and death comes to humanity as a result of sin. But, we must put a tragic misunderstanding to rest; those who contract this disease are not doing so because they are more sinful than others. Absolutely not! This has been a misunderstanding that has been with humanity for as long as there has been suffering. The story given in John 9 of the man born blind illustrates this truth. When the disciples saw him, they inquired of Christ, “Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? (John 9:2) Jesus straightened out their misconception by saying, “Neither....” This man’s blindness was not a judgement from God. After surviving the terrible storm at sea, and then the subsequent shipwreck, the Apostle Paul was bitten by an extremely poisonous serpent. When the native people around him saw this happen, they reasoned, “No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.” (Acts 28:4) This is common logic, and it is logic that has crossed your mind at some time or another. If someone does well, we conclude that they must be living right. If someone suffers, we conclude that there must be something wrong with their life. THIS IS NOT TRUE!
If people only suffered because they were sinners, you and I would be miserable all the time. There would never be a happy day! That is because we are all sinners! Beloved, don’t assume sufferers must be more sinful that those who do not suffer. Can God smite the sinful with hardship, difficulty, sickness, etc.? Yes! But every example of suffering DOES not come as a direct result of some disobedience. God is merciful to us all through the our Lord!
August 24: Things To Know in Light of Covid 19
3. That such contagious diseases as Covid 19 are no respecter of persons.
This is a follow up on yesterday’s devotional thought. Our thought yesterday was those who contract Covid 19 are not greater sinners than those who do not. Those who do not may just have better masks and more effective hand sanitizer. (That was a joke!) No! Sufferers are not necessarily greater sinners than those who do not suffer. The fact is that contagious diseases like Covid 19 are no respecter of persons. Some very old people have gotten it. Some very young people have gotten it. Some have gotten it who were the picture of health and vitality. Others have been smitten by this disease whose health was already compromised. Some have tested positive with no apparant outward signs or symptoms, while others succumbed to the ravages of this virus almost overnight. Young, old, healthy, unhealthy, those who have exhausted all means to avoid it and others who have not - Covid 19 is no respecter of persons.
Neither is God! God is not respecter of persons. Do black lives matter to God? Absolutely! So do white lives. So do the lives of the rich, the poor, the healthy, the unhealthy, the young and the old. When Jesus Christ died on Calvary, His sacrifice was for the red and yellow, black and white. They are all precious in His sight. God loves the world. That’s why Jesus came, for God so loved the world.
Covid 19 will attach itself to all who come in its path. God will save all who will come to Him through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. You must do all within your power to avoid Covid 19, but do not avoid the love of God through Christ. Run from the virus, but run to Christ believing in His death, burial and resurrection. He alone can and will save all who will come to Him in faith! He is “no respecter of persons.” (Acts 10:34)
August 25: Things To Know in Light of Covid 19
4. That times like this, which are trying to all, provide for Christians the opportunity to shine for Christ and to be witnesses in a world filled with fear.
Many in our world today are confused, scared, angry, frustrated and filled with questions. This is an opportune time for Christians to offer to those around them the hope that they are lacking; hope that is in Jesus Christ. Of course, we that are saved must reflect that hope that is our’s through confidently facing the challenges of the day through our faith.
When Peter was writing to suffering, first century Christians, he challenged them with the following words; “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9) Doesn’t darkness describe our world today? Yes! In this darkened world, this world that is filled with fear and chaos, the light of Christ shines brightly. Remember, the darker the night, the brighter the light that pierces that darkness. Christians simply need to shine for their Lord. They do so by living by faith. A favorite song we sing says, “I care not today what tomorrow may bring, if shadow or sunshine or rain. The Lord I know ruleth o’er everything, and all of my worry is vain. Living by faith, in Jesus above. Trusting, confiding in His great love. From all harm safe, in His sheltering arms. I’m living by faith, and feel no alarm.”
You don’t have to be a “super Christian.” Just live by faith. In so doing, your faith will shine as a light set on a hill, a light that cannot be hidden. Live that faith out before those around you, and you will be letting your light so shine before men that they will see your good works, and glorify your Lord in heaven. This crazy virus we’re living through now allows us the opportunity to shine for Christ. Just shine on!
August 26: Things To Know in Light of Covid 19
5. That God expects His own to be “as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves.”
“Just trust in God. Forget about the masks. Don’t worry about social distancing. Don’t let the government tell you what you should or should not do. Obey God rather than man!” These are all statements you have heard during this pandemic. I heard a very famous pastor make this last statement just recently. He had his church come back inside just in the last couple of weeks for regular services, and they did so without “social distancing,” or any of the other suggested safeguards for large crowd gatherings. I really hope that there are no negative results of this move and that they are able to continue to come together in their church. However, I personally don’t feel at this time that the government’s suggestions are designed to hurt churches or to keep them from obeying the Scripture that charges us with the following words; “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25) I know that there is a fear in some pastors that Christians will grow accustomed to not coming to church and will become negligent of this privilege and duty. That is not a concern I have, for I know that Christians attend church because they love Jesus and His Church, and they sense the need of that blessed provision Christ made for His own.
When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, one of the temptations challenged Jesus to trust the Bible where it says, “He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, least at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” (Matthew 4:6) Satan was saying, “Just trust God. If you jump off this pinnacle of the Temple, although it would certainly bring instant death, if you just trust God, He will keep you from harm.” Jesus said, “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” (Matthew 4:7) I really believe Jesus’ counsel to us would be, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:6) Seek God’s wisdom and His guidance through all your affairs in this life. He will not lead you astray!
August 27: Things To Know in Light of Covid 19
6. That “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”
“What possible good could ever come of this?” Has this thought ever crossed your mind? You may have been reluctant to put that thought into words, but somewhere in the recesses of your mind it was there. I must admit that it has been in my mind more than once. Something has happened and I find myself questioning that blessed promise, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Do “all things work together” for the good of God’s people? Even times like the one we find ourselves living in at present? All things!
I cannot begin to tell you that I understand fully what God is doing in our world today with this virus? Is it a judgment? Is it a setting of the stage for prophecies to be fulfilled? Is it a final sweeping of souls into the kingdom prior to the coming of Christ for His Church? I don’t know the answers to any of these questions. But this I do know; “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” All that He does is for our good and His glory!
Looking back over my life, I can see some of the “afters” that were impossible to see during the “befores.” When I finally got to the “afters,” I then could understand what God was doing in my life during those difficult “befores.” Then I could say that all things worked together for my good. It is possible that we will be in heaven before we understand some of the things we are called upon to endure, but know this; “All things work together for good....”
August 28: Things to Know in Light of Covid 19
7. That God can use this season of distress around the world to advance His cause.
Know this, child of God; the cause of Christ will be prevail. God has a plan, and that plan will see fulfillment. When Paul charged the church to “Let all things be done decently and in order,” one of the reasons he did so is because everything that God does is “done decently and in order.” One look at creation testifies to that. God does nothing in a hap hazard way. He does not work out the details of his plans off the cuff, solving issues as they arise. That’s why our Bible tells us in clear detail the events of the future that are set in stone and will see ultimate fulfillment.
Having said that, know that this pandemic did not take God by surprise. Long before He created this world, He knew all of the details of every age and era that this world would face, including this pandemic. Therefore, I must conclude that even this is part of His master plan, and it is fully under His control. Will the pharmaceutical world come up with a vaccine to eliminate the threat of Covid 19? Will it become one of those dread diseases that modern medicine has successfully put to rest? Will it continue to ravage the masses for months or years to come? Only God knows. But I do believe this; He will work out His plans for humanity, and He can use this season of distress to advance His cause in the world.
For one thing, the Lord can use times like this to purify His Church. And, be sure of this, the Lord wants His Church to be pure. He knows just exactly how to sift His own to remove undesirable impurities. Jesus told Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fell not....” (Luke 22:31-32) Obviously Peter needed sifting, or Jesus would not have permitted it. The Lord can sift His Church through this season to produce the purity He demands. He can also use this season as a time to bring souls to Himself. Let’s pray that the hopelessness of those around us be replaced with the hope that is in our Lord Jesus Christ. Beloved, God can, and is using this season of distress to advance His cause. Thy will be done, O God!
August 29: Things to Know in Light of Covid 19
8. That end time prophecies speak of “pestilences” around the world.
Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Mat 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
Mat 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
The word “pestilences” means plagues or diseases. In answer to the question of His disciples concerning the “sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world,” (Matthew 24:3) Jesus said that one of those signs would be widespread pestilences. Now, I am not saying that Jesus is coming back for His Church this week, or even this year for that matter. He could! He could return for His Church before I finish typing this line. What He was saying was that there would be indicators that we were nearing that time, an one of those indicators would be diseases. And, I take it that the “diseases” of which He spake would be astounding, shocking global phenomena that would be designed to have a huge impact on the human family. Does Covid 19 match such an indicator as those “pestilences” mentioned in Matthew 24? It certainly would seem to. This we know, before Jesus returns for His Church, the world will see an increase in the “pestilences” that plague humanity.
August 30: Things to Know in Light of Covid 19
9. That prayer works.
Mar 11:20-24 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Do we really believe this? Do we really believe that mountains could be removed through prayer? Well, through the years we have actually witnessed several mountains being removed through faith and prayer; mountains of opposition, of distress, of difficulty. Prayer does work!
There is an incredibly powerful force in the world today, an army that is unstoppable and incapable of being defeated. It is the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, and one of her most powerful resources and weapons is that of prayer. In times like these, we need prayer warriors. The world needs prayer warriors. The lost around us need prayer warriors. On your knees Christians! In your prayer closet! Let us call upon the One Who knows, Who sees and Who can do all things! Let us pray!
August 31: Things to Know in Light of Covid 19
10. That there is coming a day when there will be no more sickness, pain or death.
The grandfather that was instrumental in bringing me to Christ died of cancer. It was a slow and painful death. My dad died from complications from a gall bladder surgery. Mom passed away three days after having surgery to remove a blockage caused by diverticulitis. Lynn’s dad died from bone cancer. All of you reading this have similar stories. Heart attack! Cancer! Stroke! The obituary pages are filled everyday with the reports of those whose battles with disease or age have ended. But, beloved, there is coming a day when all of this will be past, and there will be no more sickness, pain or death.
Rev 21:3-4 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Remember theses truths, Child of God. There is coming a day when all the sufferings and heartaches of life will be past. Covid 19, cancer, stoke, heart attack and all of the other maladies we face as sinful creatures will forever be past. Amen! Thank God for the Blessed Hope we have as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Pastor Steve W. Smith