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?