Why We Should Be Thankful for COVID-19


What kind of warped thinking would combine the word “thankful” with COVID-19? My last two blog posts have suggested the purpose and benefits of the pandemic. Now let’s look at this tragedy as something to actually be grateful for despite the pain.

If we can see through the dense fog of the sickness, death, economic blight, and paralyzing restrictions, there is resultant good in the crisis that is worthy of celebration. For those who are secure in the Lord and spiritually aware of His precepts, this pandemic can and should be perceived as an opportunity for both ministry and thanksgiving. Of course, we wouldn’t ask to be attacked like this, but, understanding it comes only by God’s permission, we should not only tolerate it but be joyful in it. God reminds us in His Word to be thankful in the worst of times.

Philippians 4:6. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

1 Peter 1:6. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials.

 1 Peter 4:12-13. Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

Psalm 30:4-5. Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Romans 5:3-5. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I will continue praying for relief from the pestilence of COVID-19 but will also continue thanking God for it. It is drawing me closer to Him and maturing me spiritually. How can we be thankful for a condition, yet want it to end? I think no further than how a woman must feel during pregnancy. What else can you think of as analogous to our present suffering?

Benefits of COVID-19


The catastrophic COVID-19 virus that has attacked you, me, and almost 8 billion others in one way or another may be one of the best things that has ever happened to us. Whether we are literally sick from it or sick of what it is doing to disrupt our lives, it may be shocking us back into reality–a place we desperately need to be. Here are some benefits of our plight worth considering.

Most importantly, this world crisis is resetting our minds to understanding we mere human beings are not in control of anything. Health, economies, governments, and military strength cannot guarantee our safety and welfare. We have just witnessed the mightiest powers of man crumble in a matter of weeks. Surely no one can continue to believe any nation or society is invulnerable. We have been forced to shift from fantasy to reality in our world view. That is ultimately beneficial.

Our situation is leveling the social disparity among all people. Coronavirus is no respecter of persons. All classes, races, nationalities, ages, genders, and religions are equally susceptible to this invisible microbe. We now have to look at all people as impartially linked and having the same needs. That is ultimately beneficial.

The dire need of social connection is heightened at a time when the ability to connect is drastically restricted. This forces us to be creative in finding ways to communicate, fellowship, and share our lives. We are now using technology to do more for us than entertain us and maximize our productivity. We are relying on it to bring us closer together. That is ultimately beneficial.

The crisis is slowing us down. The world has become so busy and chaotic that it is sucking the life out of  us. Our speeding pace has now met a huge speed bump. We can catch our breath. We can meditate on what is really important instead of the superficial. We have more time to engage the things that matter. That is ultimately beneficial.

It may have taken this pandemic to bring families to a closer, healthier relationship. Both immediate and extended families are finding time and need to tighten the bonds that hold them together. Communications are opening up and feelings are being shared perhaps like never before. Dependence on each other is strengthening the family. That is ultimately beneficial.

As this disease is limiting us in so many ways, we are learning we can live with less. We are finding many things we thought we needed are not really necessary. The entertainment we had to have can be substituted, and the work we needed to accomplish isn’t really that important. We’re learning that much of our external work can be accomplished from home. The material things we valued so protectively have shown to often be distractions. That is ultimately beneficial.

Finally, going back to the second paragraph, we are recognizing that absolutely nothing in life is really under our control. The entire universe including our world and we as individuals are part of the master plan of God. His Word teaches us that He desires the best for us, but that only comes through total commitment to Him and obedience to His perfect ways. He loves us so much that He corrects us when we disqualify ourselves from His blessings. Since the world has paid little lasting attention to previous warnings, this unprecedented wake up call has forced us into a posture of major adjustment. That is ultimately beneficial.

I believe this crisis is a modest preview of the final judgement, but it is also providing us an example of the values He wants us to assume. It is a huge interruption in our lifestyle that beckons us to pay attention. Our response must be an awakening to reality, a return to God and His church, and a re-commitment to His precepts. If we will view COVID-19 for what it seems to be, a message from God to the world, we will react accordingly and reclaim the abundant life He promises. That will be ultimately beneficial.

Do you think there is more to this pandemic than just a coincidental renegade virus?


Purpose in the Pandemic


At some point in everyone’s life, something will be the most phenomenal happening that he or she will ever experience. For most of us, perhaps all of us, this is it. The world’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic may be our generation’s great depression. Amid all the noise and confusion, is there sense to be made of it all? Is there purpose in it?

I believe there is purpose to everything. We are often surprised–shocked–by catastrophes. But nothing happens randomly. The same God who created the universe still orchestrates everything. The Bible says, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17) He is perfect in all His ways and desires the best for us. With that perfection, He grants us an abundant life of love, happiness, and joy in addition to our basic needs. But sometimes that perfection also brings on corrective consequences when we fall woefully outside of His requirements for our best.

The world in general and America in particular have turned away from God over the last several decades. We have digressed in biblical standards of morality, in attention to the Bible, in worship, in prayer, in church involvement, and in overall obedience to the Lord.  This is cyclical throughout history as nations and societies rise and fall. In these cycles, God gives progressive warnings when His people are distancing themselves from Him. These warnings come with ample opportunities to confess our wrongs and turn back to Him. The warnings are often in disastrous natural and man-made events. I believe 911 was such a warning to America. This pandemic is a warning to the world showing His sovereignty over our lives. For America, it includes a demonstration of how little power our “idols” have: economic wealth (stock market crash), entertainment (sports and theater shutdowns), leisure (travel and dining restrictions), and freedom (separations and quarantines).

With each providential correction, God has pleaded with His people through His Word, His prophets, His preachers, and His Spirit’s influence on individuals and populations. The Bible says, “…if I send pestilence (contagious disease) among my people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)

This crisis is reportedly already bringing a spiritual awakening in the world. Italy is experiencing revival. Iran’s Christians are breaking through the Islam barrier. Look for this to take root in many other nations. What about America?

We have to deal with the reality of this pandemic. We must listen to the CDC and DHS experts and discipline our lives as instructed to protect our health. But far more important than social distancing, washing hands, and buying toilet paper is concentration on the purpose of what we are experiencing and adjusting our lives accordingly. Get into the Word more, pray more, connect with church more, and love others more. Spiritual renewal happens one person at a time. Pray that America’s spiritual response to this pandemic will be one that pleases God.


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