Note: This devotional was excerpted from: John Piper. “Coronavirus and Christ,” Copyright © 2020 by Desiring God Foundation. A free copy of the book can be found at https://www.desiringgod.org/books/coronavirus-and-christ. All verses are from the ESV version.
John Piper states in his new book Christ and the Coronavirus that hope is power. Not only future but present power. Hope helps people get out of bed and go to work—now. It gives meaning to daily life, even locked-down, quarantined, stay-at-home life—now. It liberates from the selfishness of fear and greed—now. It empowers love and risk-taking and sacrifice—now.
It matters little what I think about the coronavirus—or about anything else, for that matter. But it matters forever what God thinks. He is not silent about what He thinks. Scarcely a page in the Bible is irrelevant for this crisis.
My voice is grass. God’s voice is granite. “The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” (1 Peter 1:24–25) Jesus said that God’s words in Scripture “cannot be broken.” (John 10:35) What God says is “true, and righteous altogether.” (Psalm 19:9) His word is The God Who Reigns over the Coronavirus therefore, a firm foundation for life. “You have founded [your testimonies] forever” (Psalm 119:152). Listening to God, and believing Him, is like building your house on a rock, not on sand. (Matthew 7:24)
His word is the kind of counsel you want to heed. “He is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom.” (Isaiah 28:29) “His understanding is beyond measure.” (Psalm 147:5) When He gives counsel about the coronavirus, it is firm, unshakable, lasting. “The counsel of the Lord stands forever.” (Psalm 33:11) “His way is perfect.” (2 Samuel 22:31)
Therefore, His words are sweet and precious. “More to be desired are they than gold: . . . sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.” (Psalm 19:10). Indeed, they are the sweetness of everlasting life: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68) Therefore, in the best and worst of times, God’s words bring unshakable peace and joy. Surely it must be so. My prayer is that we would share the experience of the prophet Jeremiah: “Your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart.” (Jeremiah 15:16)
God’s word is not lost in this historic moment of the coronavirus. During the pandemic, the whole truth of God washes over us, even in the face of the coronavirus. It comes with incomparable comfort: “When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul” (Psalm 94:19) “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. ” (Psalm. 34:18–19)
No man can comfort our souls in this pandemic the way God can. His comfort is unshakable. It is the comfort of a great, high rock in the stormy sea. It comes from His Word, the Bible.
- What Bible verses give you comfort during the pandemic?
- How can scripture give us hope and strength in these uncertain times?