Thank you for continually reading the articles we have posted during this pandemic. We genuinely hope that they have been helpful and encouraging as we all navigate a period of time that most of us have never experienced. I have not been to church in 7 weeks. How crazy is that?
In this article I would like us to consider one lesson from COVID-19—This world can never satisfy every longing of your heart. There are many joys available in this world: family, friendships, meaningful work, good food, exciting vacations, beautiful scenery, and countless other things. However, the Lord created us to find our greatest joy and satisfaction in our relationship with Him.
It is possible that some of you do not have a relationship with the Lord. Thankfully, the Lord loves you and invites you to have that relationship with Him today. Having a right relationship with the Lord is not just believing that He exists or that He is the creator of the world. Instead, that relationship is personal and made possible by the finished work of Jesus Christ.
Romans 10:9-10 says, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
Some may ask, why did Jesus need to die and rise again? Why do I need to believe He rose and is alive today? After all, isn’t it true that everyone has a right relationship with God just by being good? Galatians 2:21 says “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
Each person must decide whether to believe there is a God and if so, how one is in right relationship with Him? The Bible makes clear that yes, there is one God and a saving relationship with Him is only possible through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is no other way. It is not a matter of being good or that God accepts everyone into heaven. Instead, He sent Jesus Christ to die in our place because we need a savior from our sin, and we need a savior who can give us lasting joy and satisfaction.
We urge you to repent of your sin against God, confess with your mouth that Jesus will be the Lord of your life, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. This is the most important decision that you can make.
How is that decision connected to COVID-19? I think this pandemic has proven that this world cannot satisfy. Think of what COVID-19 has proven.
Your life is always at risk – you might not have tomorrow.
You do not have the ability to prevent something from happening to you. That was true before COVID-19, but this pandemic has made that even more clear. One of my friends lost his brother-in-law last week to the disease after one of his co-workers spread the virus. His widow was told that she could have a graveside service as long as no more than five people attended. Thankfully, my friend’s brother-in-law knew Christ as his savior and is now enjoying His presence. That may not be the case for every victim of the pandemic.
COVID-19 shows that you cannot protect yourself from every potential danger.
You are incapable of protecting those you love from every possible danger – they might not have tomorrow.
One of the horror stories of the pandemic occurred early in the discovery process. A family dinner resulted in several members of the family dying. What was supposed to be a wonderful family gathering turned out to be a very dangerous place to be. No one expected that and no one could have predicted the outcome in advance.
As we live, we interact with people. Then we return home. It is possible that one person becomes the agent through which another is killed. None of the situations I know about were malicious. It is a reminder that we cannot protect our loved ones from every danger.
Your planning cannot cover every contingency.
We believe it is wise to plan in advance. Proverbs 6 reminds us of the ant who stores some of the harvest for the winter. However, it is difficult for a person, a business, or even a government to plan for a global pandemic. According to recent statistics, 40,000 Americans have died from the disease. Thankfully, the doomsday predictions have not occurred. One could only imagine if that number were ten times larger. How can you plan for that number of deaths so quickly? How can you plan for large numbers of businesses closing at the same time? How can you plan to enroll 22 million people in unemployment in 4 weeks?
This pandemic not only shows weaknesses in planning that can be addressed, it also shows that disasters of this magnitude (or what if the doomsday predictions occurred!) cannot be planned for.
That is how it is with life. We can, and should, plan but no one person, agency, or country can plan for a global disaster.
Your joys can be postponed or lost.
Many of us had joyful plans interrupted. Vacations, ministry trips, family outings and other events are either postponed or lost. Disney World closed. I still cannot believe that. The “Happiest Place on Earth” is shut down. How can you shut down the “Happiest Place on Earth”? All joking aside, many people lost plans that they have looked forward to, planned for, and even paid for.
That is how secure our plans, our vacations, even our ministry trips really are.
Your future security can be a risk.
I think most, if not all, of us are happy that the federal government has offered some immediate relief funds for businesses and individuals. However, we know that these relief funds will not help everyone equally. Some will still lose a job, some will still incur enslaving debt, and some will go without. In addition, the relief package will have economic impacts for years to come. We have a national debt and we just added to it. Even sound financial plans do not protect a person from every possible calamity.
Friends, do not let the lessons of COVID-19 pass away. Learn from them and take action. Even if this pandemic has not hit you very hard – you could still work from home, you still earned your full salary, neither you nor those close to you have been ill, your plans were not altered—learn the lesson anyway. This world can never satisfy.
Let the Lord use this to bring you into a saving relationship with Jesus.
Believing friend, especially if you are part of Faith Church, use this as motivation for evangelism. This year we have encouraged everyone to ask the Lord to give you the opportunity to lead one person to Jesus. This may be the opportunity you have been looking for. Maybe the discouragement from COVID-19 will give you the chance to explain the true hope that is in you.
It is important to remember that this life can never satisfy all the longings of our hearts. Only Jesus can do that.