Let me first be very clear: I do not believe God traffics in evil or harm to test His people. I do not believe God sends disease to test His people. Yes, God can use all kinds of calamities as judgement against His people, but God never uses evil or adversity to test His people. Every good and perfect gift comes from God (Jas. 1:17).
Also, God will allow Satan equal opportunity to try and seduce man. Job is a classic illustration. God did not send all Job experienced, but by His permissive will He allowed Satan to test Job. Job did not fail the test. He was a righteous man. He was blameless.
Now, consider, I do not believe God sent COVID-19 to make people sick and cause some to die. He is not using COVID-19 to test us. However, could it be God is allowing this for a purpose? I do not know that for sure, but it dawned on me that while Satan is behind all sickness and disease, God is allowing him the opportunity to test us. Satan is not interested in testing the majority of the world. He already has them in his lap. He wants to test the righteous and the believers.
Could this be a test for believers, to allow us to demonstrate our faith in God? Is this a test to allow us to demonstrate that Satan can take away everything we have, and in some cases touch us personally, but we will not curse God? We will not bow before Satan! God, who gives us good gifts in the good times will be with us in the hard times and we will not turn our backs on Him!
Occasionally we may get too big for our own britches. We may begin to think we have life figured out. We may think we can tell God what to do. God made the way crooked and no man will make it straight. COVID-19 is showing us how much we do not know. It is showing us how little we control. Just think, our only viable solution is to shut down the nation, our lives and our churches. The only control we have is to close everything. That is not control. That is bondage. We are in bondage to COVID-19. COVID-19 is ruling the day and Satan laughs. But, wait, Satan and COVID-19 are not in control. This is not the new norm; it is temporary. I don’t believe God is using this to chasten us, but He is allowing it to teach us that we need Him.
Also, maybe we need a good lesson in humiliation and humility. Maybe we need to bring ourselves down a notch. Maybe we need to bow before God, thank Him and praise Him rather than complain against Him. Listen, if this were a judgement by God against His people, He could wipe us out and never break a sweat. He is not trying to destroy us, but He can use this to strengthen us if we will be humble before Him.
And, what if, in the meantime, the world wakes up and turns to Him as well. Wouldn’t it be a great day if the world were to awake and realize their deep need for God? Wouldn’t it be a great day if 3,000, even 5,000 came to the Lord because of this disease? Wouldn’t it be a great day if just one realized his deep need for God and sought out someone to teach him? I know this is more of a fantasy but what if the President, the Speaker of the House and the Majority leader all led our government to tell people the real cure we need is the cure for sin? I would love to hear that news conference!
Maybe more realistic, what if we, brethren, stopped destroying churches by fussing, fighting, selfish pride and let this disease teach us we need God and we really need one another badly! For too long, too many churches have been destroyed by a disease far greater and much worse than COVID-19. COVID-19 is playground stuff compared to the selfishness, pride, strife, and hatred that too many times infest the people of God. Hasn’t our social distancing from one another shown us how deeply we need each other?
And COVID-19 has not touched and destroyed marriages the way sin, infidelity, selfishness, and brutality have. I will take COVID-19 any day over those. With COVID-19 I know what I am fighting. I know who the enemy is. I may not have the cure, but I know who is vulnerable and who is not.
Wake up, look up, bow down and praise God. Do not let Satan win this one!