Reflections from John Piper’s Coronavirus and Christ – Part 1

posted in: Coronavirus and Christ 0

Download the book from: https://www.desiringgod.org/books/coronavirus-and-christ

Come to God who is your Rock and solid foundation.

If the Coronavirus Pandemic is going to serve as a reminder of anything it is this – Life is fragile and we are not in control! The fact of the matter is that the current pandemic has shaken people to their very core, exposing the true nature and durability of their foundations. Those who have chosen to build their lives upon the destructible foundations of family and social relationships are left vulnerable as they can’t socialise with friends or even spend time with family members during this season. Those who have chosen to build their lives upon their careers and job security are worried and fearful, wondering whether they will have employment to return to when the lockdown restrictions are lifted. Many others who have placed their security and confidence in their financial wealth have been shaken as they are wondering how on earth they will survive on their furlough income, and for the many thousands of people who are self-employed they don’t even have that as a fall-back! Stock markets are crashing. People’s investments/savings are diminishing, and others are worrying about the possible threat of the economy sliding into recession.  All things considered the foundation of financial security is looking very unstable indeed. There are in fact innumerable other things that people have built and continue to build their lives, hopes and dreams upon that are beginning to collapse before their very eyes.  The question that we- as believers ought to be asking is this…. as seemingly indestructible foundations are shaken and collapse during this pandemic, are we confident in the sure and solid foundation of Christ, our rock who cannot be shaken – EVER?

Trusting in Christ, not playing percentages

In the first chapter of his book – ‘Coronavirus and Christ!’ John Piper mentions the    occasion when he was diagnosed with Prostate cancer.  All the talk was about odds. Odds with waiting to see! Odds with medications, odds with other procedures and odds with radical surgery. Even though John and his wife took the numbers/percentages seriously, non the less, they were able to look each other in the eye and say, ‘Our hope is not in the odds, our hope is in God’.  In this pandemic, I have heard many people (mostly non-Christians) talking about odds/percentages; ‘chances are that I’ll recover quickly; I’m young and healthy.’ ‘If I continue steadfastly with self-isolation and maintain social distancing I’ll be ok!’ Chances are many of us won’t contract the virus, but whether we do or don’t our confidence and hope is not in – the percentages! But in the God who will never leave us or forsake us.

 

Deuteronomy 31 v.6 (NIV)

‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.’

 

God Has Spoken

Our God is not on mute in this season and He has spoken. When He speaks from His word, we can trust and rely on it completely because there is no disconnect between who God is and what He says.This is what God actually said:

 

 

  ‘God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain

          Salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for   

          us so that that whether we are awake or asleep we

          might live with him.  (1 Thess. 5:9-10)         

         

What God says is that, even though we are sinners and have not lived one single day of our lives without falling short of God’s standards of love and holiness, He has spared us wrath and condemnation by taking all of our sin, guilt and shame. The punishment for all of it fell on our Saviour Jesus Christ. He ‘’died for us.’’  Therefore, we are free from guilt, free from punishment and secure in God’s merciful favour. ‘’Live or die’’ God said, you will be with me. That is very different from playing the odds! This is a firm rock under our feet. It’s not fragile. It’s not sand but rather a 100 percent guarantee for all those who put their trust in Christ.

Our Rock for Eternity and for now

One of the things I think God is wanting to remind us of during this season is the fact that, although our rock is eternal and our ultimate hope will be in our future resurrection living with Him for eternity in glory, God wants us to experience it now. Its tangible, it’s very real and very powerful!

 

A SOLID FOUNDATION

Quote: ‘’ the same sovereignty that could stop the

Coronavirus , yet doesn’t, is the very same sovereignty

that sustains the soul in it.’’ (John Piper)

It doesn’t really matter very much what I or anyone else thinks about the current pandemic and what the possible outcomes might be. However, it does matter what God thinks. He is not silent about what he thinks. (1 Peter 1:24-25) “The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.’’  Jesus said that God’s words in scripture ‘’cannot be broken.’’ ( John 10:35).   His words therefore are a firm foundation for our lives. When He (God) gives counsel about the coronavirus, it is firm, unshakable and lasting.

 (Ps 33 :11) Therefore, in the best and worst of times, we can know an unshakable peace and joy. God is not just wanting us to grit our teeth and endure this season but rather to experience his joy and delight in it. (Jer 15: 16).

 

Our faith is not a leap in the dark but a walk in the light

Many people think that the Christian faith is no more than a blind leap in the dark, but the bible tells us that the foundation of our hope is TRUST, not only in a set of beliefs, or a moral way of life, but primarily in the person and work of JESUS CHRIST. He alone is the only one who – in this season of uncertainty and painful waiting for ‘’better days to come ‘’ can still our hearts with peace and comfort, reminding us that whatever the outcome of this pandemic for us  we can stand firm on the solid rock and unshakable foundation of Christ.

 

Reflections

  1. What are your specific fears and worries at this time?
  2. Are you tempted to put you confidence in percentages/odds at this time?
  3. What bible truths or passages are you standing on at this time?

 

Prayer

Pray that you and those you connect with experience real hope in this time and know that the rock under your feet will get you though this season.

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