Christian Hope in the Coronavirus Pandemic

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer”. Romans 12:12
12 April 2020

The Coronavirus has been labelled an ‘equalizer’. Male, female, rich, poor, agnostics, and the religious are affected. It gallops across nations, and sweeps through counties. It is no respecter of persons. An invisible enemy is killing thousands world-wide.

Governments race to contain the fallout from over-whelmed health care institutions, loss of lives and jobs. The soaring number of infected persons and the dead are terrifying. We face a global crisis of suffering that many have described as worse than World War II. We are in the eye of a fierce storm.

All the unanswered questions thrown up by the enigmatic coronavirus amplify our fears. There is no certainty of the future, risk of infection, treatment success, financial losses etc. Clearly, we are not in control of our death or life.

Christians are concerned and anxious, knowing that they too can catch the virus and be sick. Scripture passages of comfort and peace flood social media platforms. Psalm 91 may be the most quoted Psalm during such a time as this. Pastors urged their flock to fast and pray. Anguished prayers of lament, pain, grief, bewilderment find their way to heaven. Conjectures regarding God’s purpose, Bible prophecies, and end-of-the world claims circulate freely in the internet. When will this crisis end? No one really knows.

The greatest fear is the fear of death. The question on everyone’s mind is “ Has anyone conquered death”? Is there any hope?

Hope is defined as an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect of events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large. Despite the uncertainties, many hope that there will be light at the end of the tunnel.

In contrast, a Christian’s hope is not superficial or uncertain. He believes in God who governs the course of the world and history. It is anchored in the belief that Jesus died and rose again. The apostle Peter writes “…according to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”( 1 Peter 1:13b)

God is the author and object of our hope. Paul in his letter to the Romans (15:3) declares “May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in your faith, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, your whole life and outlook may be radiant with hope”. The hope He generates in us, is rooted in the promises He makes in Scripture. “ Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope”. (Rom 15:4).

Good Friday and Easter commemorate the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ over sin and death (1 Cor 15:57). By His sacrifice, He brought resolution to the disharmonies of a broken and discordant world. What triumphant good news for the world! Scripture describes a person who refuses to believe as one separated from Christ. He is without hope and without God in the world. (Eph 2:12).

Listen to the voices of thousands weeping, sobbing and mourning. Paul reminds us, “ Do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope”. (1 Thess 4:13). Why so? For salvation is exclusively through grace alone, by faith alone in Jesus Christ. Joy and peace flow from our hope in Christ alone.

At the center of the universe is an unassailable throne and the One who sits on it is in full and complete control. Not man. In the midst of the chaos and turbulence, may we live in response to and from the center, our living God and may our lives radiate this living hope.

Beloved brethren, the past few months of 2020 has been extremely painful. This is a moment in life when all that can be shaken is being shaken. How then can we recover our poise and sense of purpose in Him? Put our hope in God. Hearts and flesh may fail, but God is the strength of our heart and portion forever (Ps73:26). The Lord Jesus Christ, our Intercessor and Great High Priest, will never forsake us. He is in this storm with us, praying for you and me (Rom 8:34). He knows the problems we are facing. He gives grace to meet all

possible eventualities, executes righteousness and brings salvation’s final consummation. We bow before Him. Let our souls break forth in praise and worship of our King.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. No evil virus can shake or demolish the hope we have in Him. Steady our hearts with the confidence that you are sovereign and in control of our universe. Amen.

 

Published on Wednesday, April 29th, 2020 under Sidebar - Featured Post 2


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