Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)
Other than our Lord Jesus Himself, there is no better biblical example of perseverance than Job. Satan asked permission to harass Job, convinced that Job would curse God on the other side of his suffering. Now, Job did question God, for he knew full well that God was not entirely absent from the storm winds that had wreaked havoc in his life. Yet Job persevered, because he knew that both sunshine and rain, good and ill, are under the complete, sovereign control of God’s rule. “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away,” Job worshipped; “may the name of the Lord be praised. In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing” (Job 1:21-22). Job lost his health, his wealth, and all ten of his children; his wife harshly criticized him and his friends accused him of secret sin, yet Job trusted God even when he could not trace him.
The corona virus pandemic did not simply arise apart from the knowledge and will of the omniscient, omnipotent Almighty God. Jesus is not asleep on His throne. COVID-19 is part of God’s perfect plan for this imperfect world. This virus is not good, just as he suffering that Job and his family endured was not good. But behind all of it is our Sovereign Lord, who is working out every detail of our lives in accordance with His perfect purpose. Just because we might not be able to see anything good in this pandemic does not mean that God’s good is not there. And just because we cannot find any good reason for the spread of this virus doesn’t mean there isn’t one.
Listen, a persevering response to this pandemic, which is sending some to the grave and causing many more to get sick, does not in any way deny its painful severity. I fully understand that it is difficult to see how our God is working all this together for our good. But in our hearts we must echo Job, who said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart” (Job 1:21). And along the way, whether our God delivers to us the desires of our hearts or delivers us heartbreak, let us remember that if we knew all that our God knows, we would ask for whatever He has determined to send our way . . . because ultimately that will be for our highest good and for His greatest glory.
You are in my prayers and in my heart.
Purpose and Passion,