We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned . . . (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
As we continue to move through this inspired, encouraging passage from the apostle Paul, we go from being hard pressed to perplexed and now to persecuted during this pandemic. What I mean by the word “persecuted” in this context is rooted in the Greek word dioko that Paul used, which means “to be pursued or followed,” rather than the common understanding of “persecuted” that you and I have, which is that of being mistreated.
Here is the question that is continually thrown at the people of God when anything bad happens in the world: “Where is your God?!” For our purposes today, I must be brief in explaining what the world is really asking with this question, which is this:
If God truly is all powerful and all good, He would have the power to stop this global pandemic . . . and His goodness would demand that He do so!
The unbeliever reasons that we see this virus continuing to spread, so either God is powerless to actually stop it, or He is not all good, since He has the power to remove COVID-19, but not the desire to do so. This faulty logic was succinctly expressed in the otherwise entirely forgettable Batman v Superman movie by the “Lex Luthor” character, who looked on the evil in the world and concluded, “If God is all-powerful He cannot be good; if God is good He cannot be all-powerful!”
The key to understanding this statement is to recognize that it comes from a limited human perspective. God is infinite and we are finite. Just because we cannot discern a valid reason for the continued existence of pain and suffering in this world, that does not mean that such a reason does not exist from God’s perspective.
A little more than 2000 years ago, on Good Friday, the most atrocious, vile, evil act ever committed caused the only perfectly innocent Man who ever walked this earth to die in one of the cruelest ways ever invented. Sinful man nailed the sinless Son of God to the cross, yet this unspeakable evil became the most marvelously merciful moment in the history of humanity, because it was through the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ that the door of salvation would be graciously opened to all those who believe. The death of Christ was the fulfillment of God’s unfolding plan of redemption that culminated in His bodily resurrection on that first Easter morning. Our all-powerful, all-good God sent His Son to die on a cross to save us from our sins.
Regardless of how many times the world sneers “Where is this God of yours?” in an effort to malign the Christian faith and convince us that our glorious God is a figment of our imagination, we have His promise that we will never be abandoned. The Bible makes it clear that because Jesus was forsaken on the cross for us, we will never be forsaken, no matter what. The next time you hear the world ask, “Where is your God?!” remember that He is not only in the middle of this pandemic, He ordained it and sent it for our ultimate good and His greatest glory.
As Charles Spurgeon said so beautifully, “God is too good to be unkind, too wise to be mistaken; and when you cannot trace His hand, you can trust His heart.” Trust His hand and His heart, Christian; He is working all things for the good of those who love Him, even during those times that don’t appear to be “good” in our eyes. You have His Word on that!
You are in my prayers and in my heart.
Purpose and Passion,