Comfort in the Coronavirus Crisis - Part II: The Sovereign God Who is Here
In my previous post , we looked at how trusting in the sovereignty of God leads to great comfort. He holds all things together (Colossians 1:15-16; Hebrews 1:2-3) and works all things according to the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11). In these truths, we find great comfort in any circumstance.
But we don’t only have a God who is in control; we have a God who is here with us. In today’s post, we will consider four comforting truths of how the sovereign God is with us in our circumstances.
1. He Is With Us Always
The first truth is that God is with us always. In Jesus’s Great Commission to the disciples before He ascends to heaven, He encourages His followers saying, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Jesus, who is God in the flesh, has promised to never leave or forsake His disciples (Hebrews 13:5).
Psalm 23 is a perfect depiction of the comfort we find in the God who is with us in all our circumstances. The Lord is our shepherd who leads us to green pastures and still waters and prepares a table in the midst of our enemies (Psalm 23:2, 5). The Lord leads us in paths of righteousness and walks us through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:3-4).
Even in the darkest, most uncertain times in your life, you fear no evil. Why? Because God is with you. His rod and staff comfort you (Psalm 23:4).
Take heart, God is with you always.
2. He Is For Us, Not Against Us
The second truth that brings us comfort in any circumstance is that God is for us and not against us. Paul writes, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32).
If it were not for Jesus, God would be against us. Our sin is an utter abomination before the infinitely holy, just God. As unrighteous sinners, God’s just wrath would fall upon us in fury. But God gave up His own Son to bear our sin and take the wrath of God that we deserved (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:21-26). Now those that receive Christ as their Savior are no longer condemned by their sin (Romans 8:1). If you are a true follower of Christ, then God no longer is against you. He is for you instead.
Therefore, if God is sovereign (which He is) and for you (which He is if you are in Christ), then what could possibly be against you? There is nothing that ultimately will usurp God’s providential care for you. This does not mean that you won’t experience suffering. God does allow you to suffer for the glory of Christ and for your good. (See Pastor Ryan’s excellent post on this very topic). Yet “in any and every circumstance,” even suffering, we can trust that God is for us (Philippians 4:12). Though coronavirus or cancer may destroy your mortal body, they cannot change your standing before the Almighty God (see Matthew 10:28-33).
Fear not, God is for you, not against you.
3. He Works All Things For Our Good
Third, we take comfort in God’s sovereign goodness toward us: “for those who love God, all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28). God is taking all things in your life and orchestrating it for your good. Not some things. Not just the good things. All things. Including the circumstances of the coronavirus crisis.
Admittedly, this seems hard to believe. All things? How can He be using my chronic health problems for my good? How can my financial struggles be for my good? How can my broken past be used for my good?
This is where it is important to remember the sovereignty of God, that He “works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11). In His providence, God is able to work all things to accomplish His good purposes for His glory, and according to Romans 8:28, one of those purposes is to work things for the good of those who love God. He is mighty enough to do this and faithful to accomplish it for those whom He loves.
God turned the greatest evil that ever happened in the history of the world—the crucifixion of Jesus, the Son of God—into the greatest good—salvation for those who believe. He can turn whatever circumstance you are in for your good.
Take comfort, God works all things together for your good.
4. He Loves Us with an Inseparable Love
Lastly, we find great comfort that we will never be separated from this sovereign God’s love. Paul asks the question, “What shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” (Romans 8:25). We might add to that list: “or pandemics?” To which Paul responds, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord”(Romans 8:37-39).
There is nothing in all of creation that can separate you from the love of Christ. Not a sinful past. Not a cancerous tumor. Not a virus. No circumstance, no person, and no thing can separate us from the love of God. Your circumstances do not dictate the status of God’s love for you—as if persecution, panic, and poverty would be indicators of God’s diminished love towards you. No. God demonstrated His perfect love in sending His Son to die on the cross (Romans 5:6-11; 1 John 4:10). So, in all circumstances—including trials and suffering—we find comfort in God’s unfailing love.
Rest assured, nothing can separate you from the love God secured for you in Christ.
We Find Comfort in Trusting This Sovereign God
God is sovereign in that He sustains all things and works all things to accomplish His good purposes. He is also the God who is here with us in all of our circumstances. He is a God who (1) is with us always, (2) is for us and not against us, (3) works all things for our good, and (4) loves us with an inseparable love. It is in these two overarching truths—that God is sovereign and He is with us—that we can find unshakeable comfort in the midst of horrible circumstances.
David wrote, “My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:15-16). Before he breathed his first breath, God had written every one of David’s days. So it is with us. God wrote every day that would happen before it came to be. He knew that everyone of us reading this article would face the coronavirus and would have to deal with it. He knows every hill and valley you will traverse. He knows all the detours you will take. But take courage, brothers and sisters, God is sovereignly working it all to accomplish His purposes for His glory. And take heart, God is with you amid the flood of mortal perils that engulf you.
May we find tremendous comfort in trusting the sovereign God who is in control and who is here with us.
More in Pastors Blog
May 14, 2020You and I Are Part of the “Them”: Curbing Our Judging of the Culture
May 11, 2020Comfort in the Coronavirus Crisis - Part II: The Sovereign God Who is Here
May 7, 2020Your Prayers Are Too Small