The whole world is now aware of the dangers of the new strain of Coronavirus that has been invading borders and spreading all across the globe. If there’s one thing that Covid 2019 has taught us is that this world is indeed a messy and broken place.
News that can only dishearten so many fills our media. And as more and more bad news invades our social media feeds, televisions, radio waves and newspapers, we might often wish that the bad news just goes away. Or even make the decision to stop listening.
But there is a necessity for bad news. I’m reminded of the night Jesus’ disciples heard some terrible news. Their master himself told them that He was going away. In all they had heard, they didn’t know what was coming. But, for sure, things were going to get really bad.
But laying out the painful reality of what was to come, Jesus changed the tone. He then declares: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, ESV)
A few thoughts I’d like to share from this scripture…
You can have peace in the midst of bad news
Jesus was clear about His intent in sharing the bad news. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.” God makes it clear that in the midst of darkness, we can find the light. And that light is found in Christ alone. Where do you base your peace on? Is it dependent on the news reports? The economy? The current state of our nation and our world?
I’m not going to pretend I’m perfect. There are moments in the day that I base my peace on those things. And in those moments all I feel is uncertainty and fear. But then I recall our Lord’s directive to abide in Him. In those moments, I feel the peace come in. And little by little, I become more intentional to remain in His peace.
The world will still be broken
I wish it weren’t true, but, my friends, we have not seen the end of the suffering. Yes, the Coronavirus will pass away. But after that will come another challenge and another. Some will be local, some will be global. But trial will be ever-present.
God never promises us an easy life. If there’s one thing Jesus promised in this scripture, it’s that the world will still be broken. We will still face tribulation. That may sound depressing, but trust me, it doesn’t have to be. Because when we realise that there will always be a battle, we will remain ready to fight the good fight of faith.
Jesus has already overcome
What’s even better is that Jesus makes another promise to the disciples, and to us consequently today. A promise that He has already overcome the world. The fact of the matter remains, my friends: Jesus has already won.
He’s won against sin and death. He’s won against the principalities of this world. What we feel now- the pain, the virus, the brokenness in this world- is the devil’s last swing, the strike to the heel, before He’s defeated once and for all.
We fight from victory, not for victory. From an eternal standpoint, we come out triumphant. I’m sure today’s afflictions don’t make sense. But a day will come, maybe a few months from now, a decade from now, ten thousand years from now when we are in eternity, that it will all come together and we will say, “My God planned everything all along.”
It is enough
As I write this article, I’m in my room with my family. The kids and my wife are all asleep. Watching them rest peacefully inside the comfort of our home, my mind wanders off to the dangers that are outside. And I think to myself, “how do I keep shielding my family from those demons?”
I don’t have the answers to all the heartaches, pain, sicknesses, corruption and injustice. But I know my God does. And in my sorrows, pains, suffering and wonderings, He is beside us just as He was with Job. Sometimes He doesn’t give answers. He’s just there. But that is enough, my friend, it is more than enough.
Because at the end of the day, I realise that I am a sinner who deserves this virus and so much more. But I am given lavish grace that grants me a family to watch at night, a home to protect me from the fears outside, a fighting chance to stay healthy through all this, and the life I had yesterday, today and possibly tomorrow. And that’s more than what I deserve.
But He gives it still. He gives it still. He is good. Always.
Patrick Mabilog, patrickmabilog.com