A Quick, Christian Response the Coronavirus

I’m sure you’ve seen the headlines about COVID-19 that have been permeating media all around the globe. You know, the ones that are saying this new kind of coronavirus is going to destroy the world. We’ve all seen the memes about people buying out Walmart’s supply of hand sanitizer and toilet paper. We know about the widespread panic this illness (and the media) is causing. And those things, along with many more, are problems.

But the biggest problem that I see in all this freaking out over the coronavirus wasn’t started by the coronavirus itself. Rather, this worldwide panic simply revealed the real problem on a larger scale than we usually get to see.

The real problem is…unbelief.

Yes. Unbelief. That’s the real issue here. All the others are simply a fruit of this root problem: that humanity is crippled by a lack of faith in God.

Think about it: If we don’t believe in the God of the Bible, God who is sovereign and holy and just and omnipresent, then we don’t have any hope, at all. We’re going to be scared—we can’t not be scared. If we think that no one is in control of the happenings in this world (including the spread of the coronavirus), then we have to be afraid, because everything could go wrong in an instant. But when we trust in the sovereign God that made and rules everything, we know nothing can go wrong, because His perfect plan cannot be thwarted or changed.

This is not to say that Christians don’t get scared of illnesses and things like that, or that we shouldn’t take precautions like washing our hands (just do a quick read through Leviticus). We still get scared because we are still human. But even in the midst of danger or trouble, we know that God is in control of all things, that He rules over this world, and that there’s nothing that escapes His notice. The Lord who declares the end from the beginning and is outside of time is surely not surprised by the coronavirus or any other outbreak. He’s omniscient (all-knowing), so He’s wasn’t caught off guard by COVID-19; He’s omnipotent, so no disease can overpower him; and He’s omnipresent, so He’s not unaware of the epidemic. He’s actively holding this world together, so nothing and no one can do anything without His knowledge (and indeed His permission). By the Word of His mouth He created the universe at the beginning of time (Genesis 1-3), and by the Word of His mouth He will “de-create” it at the end of time (Revelation 19-22). There is nothing that is outside of His sovereign rule, so nothing can be outside of His perfect plan or disrupt His purpose.

So why worry? Wash your hands and praise God for His glorious sovereignty.

But let me go ahead and answer the question that’s bound to come up: If God knows about the coronavirus, and He’s in control of all things, why is He allowing it?

I don’t know. Because it’s a disease, it is an example of judgment of Adam’s sin in Eden, just like the flu, the common cold, and cancer (because there were no diseases before the Fall). Maybe He’s allowing this so that people will realize how impotent they really are (spiritually as well as physically) and turn to Him for salvation. Or it could be serving some other purpose that we don’t yet (and maybe never will) comprehend.

Either way, whether we like it or not and whether we acknowledge it or not, God is sovereign, even over the coronavirus. And even when we feel like we’re staring death in the face, we should rest in that.

SDG <><

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