Can we say this is good?

Sooo… how do we deal with this Bible verse

Philippians 4:4  Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 

We should be getting it by now. Trust in God at this point in time is paramount. Really, who else can you trust? Social distancing isn’t exactly a trusting action and for now that should be ingrained in us, right? How can we trust that people don’t have it when they might not even know they have it? God, who is present with us and comforts us with his strength, that’s at least one thing we can trust now.

But to rejoice? Can we say, “I rejoice in Lord for the Coronavirus,” as if it were something good? I suppose there is good that has come out of it, like families forced to be with each other while in quarantine, and a time to slow down and reflect on what is important, but I imagine that can come off as extremely insensitive for people who are really suffering. The ones who risk exposure because they lost their job and have to go to a food bank for their groceries. The people who are sick with this virus or lost someone because of it. How do we rejoice now? And can we do it in a way where it doesn’t look like we lack empathy for others?

In our reaction, here are two things to consider 

1. Circumstance

Let’s talk about circumstance. These are the things that can change in life. You can be rich or poor, married or single, healthy or sick. All those things can change. You can get fired or lose a spouse or get diagnosed…Right now, each of us are in these common circumstances- we’re affected by COVID-19 in some way. Is this good? No! This is the opposite of what God wanted for his creation. God made everything to support human life, and this is taking it. It’s a result of sin in this world. It’s bad! We have to recognize that. Let’s not call a bad thing good. If we do we will come off as lacking empathy for the world around us. 

2. Status

Now let’s talk about status. These are the things that never change. What can never change? How God views you. Through Jesus’ death on the cross we are made innocent before God, made his child, and heir of eternal life. Being in Christ, nothing can change any of that. Heaven is guaranteed ours. 

This is where the rejoicing comes in. I don’t have to feel like God has abandoned me when I suffer, because nothing has changed between us and our God. And that even when the bad comes, it’s an occasion for the strengthening of my faith and reliance on those promises. And even if death were to come to us, we can receive it as a gift because of Jesus’ death

2 Corinthians 4:16–18  Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

The Coronavirus a good thing? No. Our unchanging status before God during this= a great thing. The uncertainty is only momentary because in the eternal scope we have certain hope from God. 

How should we react. Here’s the rest of Philippians 4:5-7

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
God’s Peace