Three Responses in Times of Crisis

In times of crisis, certain parts of the scriptures seem to really take on new life. One passage of scripture that has really taken on new life for me is Lamentations 3:37-41. The context of the book of Lamentations is that the Prophet Jeremiah wrote it after the fall of Jerusalem. The people of God had been taken away in captivity or killed. The book is a magnum opus for the prophet. Not only is the entire book poetry, but the book is an acrostic with each verse starting with a new letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Read Lamentations 3:37–41 and let’s see what we can learn from the Prophet Jeremiah in the midst of the great tragedy that befell Jerusalem.

“Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, Unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High That both good and ill go forth? Why should any living mortal, or any man, Offer complaint in view of his sins? Let us examine and probe our ways, And let us return to the LORD. We lift up our heart and hands Toward God in heaven” (NASB).

God Is the One Who Makes Everything Happen

The section of scripture that I have chosen for us to look at talks about how it is God alone who is the main actor in the world. He is the one that speaks and things come to pass. Nothing in this entire world comes to pass without His divine will allowing it and commanding it to happen.

Let that sink in for a moment and give you great awe and reverence for this God. Look around you at all that is happening (even in quarantine), and realize that this is happening because it is God who speaks and it comes to pass.

We Should Not Offer Complaints Because of Our Sin

It is natural for us to complain from our view about what is happening. We see the world changing right before our eyes and we think our opinion of what is happening is right. Perhaps you think the changes that COVID-19 is bringing about in our society are much needed, or perhaps you are terrified to see how the world is changing for the worse. Regardless, the prophet helps us see that we should be slow to offer any complaint because of the sinfulness of our hearts and the sinfulness of our actions.

Consider, then, when you talk with your family and friends, when you post on social media, or even the secret thoughts that cross your mind; should I really be doing this? In light of my sin, should I just keep my mouth shut?

Our Response Should Be Worship

Lastly, what we can see is that our response to everything in life (especially this COVID-19 emergency) should be to offer worship to God. We should lift up our hearts and hands to the God of Heaven for who He is and what He has done. Allow this time to be a time when you pause and see that God alone is in control and that, because of our sin, we should be slow to speak. What we should do right now is worship the God who holds all this world together.

Joshua M. Greiner
Josh has been on staff with Faith since 2010. He graduated from Purdue University with a BA in Political Science (2008) and from Faith Bible Seminary with a MDiv (2013), The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a ThM in Biblical Counseling (2017) and is pursuing a PhD in Counseling from SBTS as well. He serves as the Pastor of Faith West Ministries, the Chaplin of the West Lafayette Fire Department, an instructor with Faith Bible Seminary, and a Fellow with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). He is married to his wife Shana, and they have four children together.