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Wednesday, March 25, 2020


We can respond differently to the coronavirus crisis. We can respond with hope.

The coronavirus is, in the first place, a product of sin. Paul wrote, "For the creation was subjected to futility." (Rom 8:20) That's because of sin. That's bad. But that's not the end of the story. In fact, that's not the end of his sentence.
The creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (Rom 8:20-21)
So, as a consequence of sin, we have a futile creation in which we live. That's bad. But it isn't a blind futility. God did it, and He did it with an eye to hope. What hope? Creation will be set free when the children of God are glorified. There is hope.

In the meantime, God is not "on hold." He uses this "futility" -- disasters, illnesses, death, etc. -- for His purposes. He disciplines (e.g., 1 Cor 11:30-32) and perfects (James 1:2-4) and uses those who come through it for better purposes (2 Cor 1:3-4). Satan, people, the world ... these intend it for and see it as evil, but God intends it for good (Gen 50:20). All of this is hope.

C.S. Lewis considered pain as God's megaphone. "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." (C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (New York: Harper Collins, 1940/1996), 91.) While the world around us runs around in varying levels of panic, we don't have to. God is still on His throne. He works all things together for good to those who love Him (Rom 8:28).

Our world has little reason for hope in the face of pandemics and the like. We do. We have a good God. We have a living Savior. We can share.


Anonymous said...

"The coronavirus is, in the first place, a product of sin."

Are you bold enough to claim that small creatures (insects, lizards, etc.) found embedded in amber and dated to before the time of Homo sapiens will never show signs of a virus infection?

Stan said...

I'm bold enough to say that creatures embedded in amber didn't exist much prior to homo sapiens.