In times like these, we are reminded of what is always true but often forgotten — we stand on the promises of God. One great promise is Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Let’s be clear, this verse does not say God directly causes all things, or that all things are good or that all things work. Nor does it say all things work together for good for all people.
Rather, for God’s called ones who then love Him, He will orchestrate every event for their ultimate good, including COVID-19.
God bends the universe to serve our highest good. He makes every molecule and moment of time serve one appointed end: conforming believers to the image of Christ! God’s sovereignty means COVID-19 must serve this purpose.
Here are a few ways this pandemic may work together for our good:
1. More time to pursue God.
This giant pause provides more time than ever to read, study, pray, memorize and listen to God’s Word. More time to take stock of our lives, to ask God, “What are You doing in my life thru this?” Or, “God, how does my family need to change?”
2. More awareness of common grace.
How much of life have we considered “deserved”? How many events and activities have we unwittingly thought was an inalienable right that can never be taken away? This reminds us that health, medical care, food, freedoms, work — they are all part of common grace that we don’t deserve and can be withheld by the sovereign hand of God.
3. Much needed wake-up call to financial stewardship.
It’s time to get our financial house in order. It’s time to live leaner, more frugal, waste less, make do with what we have. Financial guru Dave Ramsey has been vindicated! He has preached for years that people need to live on a budget, spend less than you make, build a six-month emergency fund, prioritize the Lord’s work in your giving and get out of debt. Money does take wings and fly away. Nothing of this world is ultimately secure or guaranteed. Here’s a much needed call to personal financial responsibility.
4. Don’t take gathered worship for granted.
None of us could have imagined we wouldn’t be able to gather for worship on Easter! When one husband relayed the news to his wife that church services were suspended back in March, she started crying. Would that every Christian felt this way. Now maybe the normal 25-30% of church members not in church on any given Sunday will be.
Now maybe gathered worship will take priority over sports, little league, camping and just being lazy.
Here’s only four of I’m sure 4,000 ways God can use this to our good.
Take heart, beloved, Romans 8:28 is still rock solid footing for the faithful.
Chris McKnight is pastor/teacher of Kerrville Bible Church since 2000. His column appears bi-weekly in The Kerrville Daily Times, and he loves to hear from his readers at email@example.com.