A Few Good Things
The coronavirus crisis facing the world is an opportunity for Christians to refocus on what is good. Many of us are locked in at home, not going out except in absolute need. Some of us may have a lot more time on our hands these days, even as we are still working or studying while home. Others of us are busier than we’ve ever been, scrambling to put things online. Whether you have more time or less, let’s make sure that we use the time that we have well. I hope what follows, some thoughts on three verses that tell us of what is good, is useful for you. Please join me in meditating and praying through these as we use this opportunity before us wisely.
It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD (Lamentations 3:26)
The salvation of the Lord is coming. Yes, in the form of living again in a post-pandemic world. But, more importantly, in that the Lord Jesus will return to take His sons and daughters home. In that world there will be no coronavirus, but only perfect health. There will be no rationing, but an abundance of feasting. There will be no sin, but only righteousness. Let us use this time we all have at home to reflect on these truths and long for the salvation of the Lord.
“Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:28). Read this verse again. Are you eagerly waiting for Him?
I would like only to emphasize that the verse in Lamentations speaks of the goodness of waiting quietly. We don’t get much quietness in our world today. Even if we cannot ensure physical quietness around us, we can cultivate spiritual quietness within us. Let us strive to rid ourselves of anxiety and fears, and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. This is good.
It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes (Psalm 119:17)
The idea expressed in this verse is not popular today. No one wants to be afflicted. But the Puritans of old would pray for a slow death process, so that they would have time to reflect on their lives, repent of their sins, and prepare to meet the Lord. Today, all we can think about is avoiding suffering. But affliction, if used well, is very useful. John Piper famously said, “Don’t waste your cancer.” May I adapt that to our needs today? Don’t waste your coronavirus. Don’t waste your rationing. Let us all use these challenges we are facing today to refocus on the statutes of the Lord. When life is going well and we are distracted with various things, we are apt to forget the Lord. When affliction sets in, we have time to think about God’s Word. Do not miss what the psalmist says here. It is good that he was afflicted. Let us cultivate that same mentality, and use these trials to learn the statutes of God.
It is good to sing praises to our God (Psalm 147:1)
In the midst of this tribulation, it is all too easy to focus on the problems at hand. It is all too easy to grumble at what we think are errors of judgment among the authorities (as if we would do a better job of running the CDC or the government). But let us shift our gaze heavenward and sing praises to our God. This is good. Job was able to worship the Lord in the midst of much worse affliction. It is always right to sing praises to our God. So, if you are reading this and agreeing with the psalmist, close your laptop or put down your phone, open a hymn book or play some contemporary worship songs, and sing praises to God. “It is good to sing praises to our God.”