How should a Christian respond to a global health crisis? In the midst of trial and uncertainty, Dr. Michael Kruger reminds us of the peace and hope that is ours in Christ.
I know there’s a lot of concern right now about the coronavirus, this idea of a global outbreak. How in the world do Christians handle it? Just a few quick thoughts to put in our minds today.
Don’t Be Surprised
First, we should not be surprised. I know that’s a weird thing to say. We’re all very surprised and very discouraged by it. But God did promise through his son, Jesus, in John 16:33 that in this world we’ll have trouble. In fact, the ESV puts it, you’ll have tribulation. So there’s a sense in which this is part of a fallen world. When we look at the world historically and we look at the world through the course of biblical history, we can see that there’s trials and tribulations that come. There’s a sense in which this is part of the Christian life. Even though we’ve been shielded from it in our modern Western affluent world, it shouldn’t surprise us that it happens from time to time.
Jesus Brings Peace
Through Christ, we can really have peace and rest even while this trouble rages all around us.The second thing I would encourage us to do here is to realize that even in the midst of such trials and anxiety, that peace is possible through Christ. Now, it’s not peace that exists when the trials are over, but peace even in the midst of them. Jesus in that same passage said, “In this world you will have trouble, but I’ve come to bring you peace in me.” And through Christ, we can really have peace and rest even while this trouble rages all around us.
Coronavirus is an Opportunity
I mention a third thing about a trial like this. It’s an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for Christians to really demonstrate Christ’s love for the world. It’s interesting to look in early Christian history, particularly in the second century, there were very similar things that happened. Plagues would ravage the Roman world and rip through Rome. And while many of the sort of pagan writers and authors and folks left the city, it was the Christians who stayed behind to help those who were suffering. This is a great chance for Christians to shine and to show Christ’s love for the world.
Real Hope in a Health Crisis
Death and the face of death is a great opportunity to share about the one who brings life.Then lastly, when we think about this, it’s an opportunity to, of course, make declarations about where the real hope is in the face of death in this world. The biggest thing people are afraid of is dying. As we look at the death toll mount up on the internet, you can tell that people’s number one fear is death. And death and the face of death is a great opportunity to share about the one who brings life. And so let me remind all of us that in the midst of a trial like this, that we not forget that this is when people are most apt to hear the gospel and to hear about the good news of Christ. Let us make sure that we don’t just cure their physical sufferings, but also deal with their eternal state and to tell them about the good news of Jesus Christ. That is the way we conquer death.
For more information on how RTS is responding to COVID-19, please read our Coronavirus Update.