Jesus, the Church, Coronavirus and Changing Times
Monday, March 16, 2020, 8:45 p.m.
Much changed today because of the Coronavirus. This morning, the number of people allowed to gather was fifty. By day's end, that number was ten. Shops and stores closed.
You may be wondering what to make of all of this. No doubt you are also wondering as we all are, how all of this will play out.
I don't know.
That is sufficient for me. I pray it is for you.
Let me encourage you with some incredible truths:
1) God is Absolutely Sovereign. Even if we don't understand the 'why' of things, He does. He is over all things and is working in all things for His ultimate glory. He is All-Wise. He knows exactly what He is doing. The more frightening proposition would be if God was NOT Sovereign. If all of this was 'bad luck' or 'chance' that would be a terrifying ! It is not. I do not know the purposes, but God is Sovereign over all of this. He is also Good.
2) God is Absolutely Good. It brings great comfort knowing He is absolutely Sovereign. But, if He is not absolutely good? Well, that would be disconcerting. Scripture affirms He is both Sovereign and Good. We can trust Him. Does this mean we will understand everything on this side of eternity? No. It does mean we can rest in Him. We can cast our anxieties on Him. It means we can find rest for our souls in Him.
3) God is also working for His glory, for our sancitification and for the advancement of the gospel. In times of trial and testing, God is always working in these three areas. He seeks to glorify Himself.
Think how desperately our world needs Jesus. Times of trial strip away those things we tend to think are 'important' and reveal them for how empty they really are. We are reminded of Ultimate Issues and our True Needs, and there is no greater need than for us to be reconciled to our Heavenly Father, and that only happens through the person and work of Jesus and all of it is a gift (John 14:6; John 3:16; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-10).
Think of the rough edges in your life (I know I have them!) that God needs to knock off so He can mold you (and me!) to be more like Christ. Times of trial are ways times in which He seeks to mold us just for that purpose. Read James chapter one.
This is an opportunity to return to our first love, to find our pleasure in Him, to be freed from some of our idols and fears and to grow in our walk with Him.
This is also a time to share Jesus. There is no hope apart from Him, but in Him there is life. Everlasting life and eternal life. So shine. Share.
In the days and weeks ahead, we will continue to post content on the website, to post sermons, devotions, testimonies, have times of teaching (for all ages) and we are working on all of these things right now. Ministry will continue, it will just look differently.
I pray this is our finest hour, that God is glorified in us, the people of Stonebridge Baptist Church. I pray He is glorified in our communities.
Pray. Stay in the Word daily. Stay tuned. We have a race to run. May we run it well in the grace He provides.
Grace to You,