The Pastor’s Piece – March 29, 2020
Fellowship of Christian Farmers
By Kevin Cernek
March 29, 2020
As our nation and the rest of the world is engrossed in this coronavirus epidemic, I’d like to offer perspective, encouragement and hope. We don’t know what the final outcome of this will be – this is something most of us have never experienced. And even though 99 point something percent of people who’ve contracted the virus will recover from it, there is still mounting fear. The implications of this are frightening to people because it’s taken life out of their control. But one thing I can tell you for sure – this is God’s way of getting our attention.
Most of us know that Christian are not supposed to worry. It was Jesus who said in Matthew 6: “Stop worrying about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” And then He says: “Have you forgotten who your Father is?” In other words – you belong to the Lord and He is Lord of your life.
When Christ is Lord of your life, you have confidence because you belong to Him – and He is sovereign. Jesus Christ was sovereign over your birth. He is sovereign over your life, and He will be sovereign over your death. We have nothing to fear.
Sovereign over your birth means that of all the millions of people who could potentially have come from the union of your father and your mother, God created you!
Sovereign over your life means all that has happened to you, the good you have enjoyed and the evil you have suffered, was known to God before the beginning of time. It means God works through all that has happened in your past and whatever will happen in the future to advance the great purpose for which He brought you into being.
Sovereign over your death means Jesus Christ is in complete control of the timing, the circumstances, and the outcome of your death, which for a Christian believer, whenever it comes, will be an immediate translation into glory. “In your book were written … the days that were formed for me. (Psalm 139:16; Job 14:5). This pandemic is not going to determine the number of your days – God is the One who has already determined that.
Jesus said in John 16:33, “In the world you will have trouble.” The Bible, however, tells us that God is not just looking at the trouble, He’s not just allowing the trouble, but He is in the trouble. In Amos 3:6, the prophet says: “If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble? If a calamity occurs in a city has not the Lord done it?” Isaiah 14:24, “The Lord of hosts has sworn saying, ‘Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand.” This is not to say that God creates evil. This is to say that God is not overwhelmed by evil, but that God controls evil to His own ends and purposes which are all righteous and glorious.
We don’t learn a lot when everything’s going well. We start listening when we’re at the end of our ability to control what is going on around us. What is God doing in this pandemic? 1) He is testing our faith. God uses trouble to test us. The test isn’t for God’s benefit, it’s for ours’. The test is so that we can do an honest evaluation of our faith. 2) God uses trouble to humble us. We’re helpless in this situation, sure we can wash our hands and stay six feet away from people, but honestly, that is not going to stop you from getting the virus. We are helpless and we are weak, yet we are strong because the power of Christ dwells in us, (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). 3) God has gotten our attention in this pandemic. He is warning us that judgment is coming and that we still have time to repent of our sins and turn to Him. “Now is the time of God’s favor. Now is the day of salvation,” (2 Cor. 6:2).
In closing, I’ve put together a “Hope List” …
- I hope that the president is correct and in a short time our nation can go back to work and we can get back to normal life again.
- But what I really hope is that we will never be the same.
- I hope our approach to God will be one of awestruck reverence.
- I hope every one of our lives will be dictated by trust in our Savior and faith and not by fear and anxiety.
- I hope that people will bow before the Lord of Lord and King of Kings and commit their heart and soul to Him to be their Lord and Savior.
- I hope our society takes on a whole new approach to God.
- I hope that because our nation is praying … and because our church family and other church families across this country have turned to God humbly in prayer and repentance, with cleansed and pure hearts … that God will bless us and His name will be held in a place of reverence and honor in this country.
- I hope our church and Sunday school and youth group and Bible study attendance will go through the roof.
- I hope God will say to us as He said to the people of Israel in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
- And finally, God says in 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
- I hope that is us.
- And I hope that is how God plans to use this pandemic!
In all God’s goodness as we anticipate great things ahead – Kevin