This is an edited transcription from a recorded video encouragement. Watch the video on YouTube.
COVID-19 does not discriminate. We believe that God is sovereign, and he has ordained all things. But for some reason that God only knows, there’s no vaccine yet. And what we see from Scripture is that whenever there’s calamity, whenever there’s persecution, whenever there’s harm, whenever there’s natural disaster, God has never spared the righteous. So both the righteous and the unrighteous, both believers and non-believers, are impacted by the Fall. Therefore, you see COVID-19 having a devastating impact on both believers and non-believers.
The Hope of Easter Sunday
The difference for the believer is the hope of Easter Sunday. We all have the natural fear of disease and death. In the New Testament, believers are being persecuted, believers are going through calamity, but they have something different. They fear something more than death — they fear God. And because of that, in the moment of challenge, they don’t fear death as much because they have Christ as their hope in life and death.
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. (ESV)
When we talk about the infectious disease that is COVID-19, we are not talking about the context of being persecuted for your faith. But I would say that in the context of disease and pandemic, the same applies: God does not spare the righteous from death.
Our Hope is not in this Life
Instead, He tells them not to fear, not because of bravado, not because of pride. But He tells them not to fear because He gives us this promise: that all the hairs of our head are numbered, and God will keep us alive until His purpose for using us on this earth is complete. And then when it’s time, He will take all of us home. We must believe that our hope is not in this life, but it is in the resurrection.
Hanley serves as the English Lead Pastor, where his primary responsibilities include preaching, leading, shepherding, counseling, and other aspects related to the English congregation. He is happily married to his bride Meryl and the two have a daughter and son. View more articles from Hanley or visit the blog homepage.