There are also families, and I know a few of them, who have lost loved ones through natural causes, or sickness who were unable to mourn and grieve in the manner we have been used to in the past. Viewing the remains is limited, the wake before any funeral or memorial service is not allowed or severely limited. Services are done through live streaming if at all. Committal is done in a manner where the family is isolated from the deceased.
Even in the midst of all this suffering, uncertainty, and death we can still take heart, and be courageous because God is sovereign and in control, even now.
Isaiah 46:8-11 NLT “Do not forget this! Keep it in mind! Remember this, you guilty ones. Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish. I will call a swift bird of prey from the east— a leader from a distant land to come and do my bidding. I have said what I would do, and I will do it.
There is nothing too hard for God.
Jeremiah 32:27 NLT “I am the Lord , the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?
We know from scripture that God is not pleased with the death of His creation. He was grieved in the garden as sin and death entered the world,
Genesis 6:5-6 NLT The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.
And we know that He is still grieved today as people are suffering and dying.
Ezekiel 33:11 NLT As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord , I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?
God wants His creation to flourish and find abundant life in Him.
That’s why Jesus came to the earth in order for those who believe in Him to have abundant life.
John 3:16 NLT “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
John 10:10 NLT The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
God, in His infinite wisdom and power, planned the salvation of the world to come through suffering and death. The death of His Son, Jesus Christ. The cross of Christ was not a surprise. God was not confused. The God-Man, Jesus Christ, stood before a judge, completely innocent, and allowed the world to put Him to death for our sake.
Acts of the Apostles 4:27-28 NLT “In fact, this has happened here in this very city! For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, your holy servant, whom you anointed. But everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will.
God is not only sovereign over all suffering and death, but He uses it for good purpose. Christ’s sacrifice made the way for us to become children of God. All our sin is forgiven, and we are freed from the sting of death.
Hebrews 2:14-15 NLT Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 NLT O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? ” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the midst of the Coronavirus, we must look to the cross, knowing that our God did not suffer and die in vain, but that all should come to know Him.
We don’t know what specific purposes God is intending for the Coronavirus because our thoughts are not His thoughts, and our ways not His ways.
Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord . “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
God sacrificed His own son, for the sake of our eternal life. Jesus underwent immense anxiety as He sweat blood, awaiting death by suffocation on the cross.
Luke 22:41-42, 44 NLT He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.
He experienced earthly temptation, and the death of loved ones.
Matthew 4:1 NLT Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil.
John 11:33-35 NLT When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.” Then Jesus wept.
He is not a God who leaves us in our pain but empathizes with us. Jesus alone offers the hope we need during these uncertain times:
Matthew 11:28-30 NLT Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
The world may be sitting in fear, isolation, and anxiety, but we don’t have to. We can rest in the fact that God is sovereignly reigning over our lives. The believer and the church is called to do what Paul wrote to the church at Colosse.
Colossians 1:10 NLT Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
Don’t let this time go to waste. If you are suffering, suffer well by clinging to the promises of God. If you are working and well, pick up groceries for those who have lost a job. Call and pray with those who are completely isolated at home. Check on your neighbors, or give away your extra masks to healthcare workers who are in need.
1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
We don’t have to live as the world during this time We can rest in this;
2 Corinthians 9:8 NLT And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
Hebrews 4:16 NLT So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.Allow these times to humble you, to bring you to action, and to trust and rest in the treasure that God is. There is nothing on this earth—not money, relationship, freedom, food, entertainment, or exercise that can replace the pleasure that God provides for us in Himself. Let the pleasure of who He is, become your ultimate treasure during this uncertain and strange time.
Psalms 16:11 NLT You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.