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 Pet. 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” (Ps. 19:9). His word is, therefore, a firm foundation for life. “You have founded [your testimonies] forever” (Ps. 119:152). Listening to God, and believing him, is like building your house on a rock, not on sand (Matt. 7:24).
His word is the kind of counsel you want to heed. “He is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom” (Isa. 28:29). “His understanding is beyond measure” (Ps. 147:5). When he gives counsel about the coronavirus, it is firm, unshakable, lasting. “The counsel of the Lord stands forever” (Ps. 33:11). “His way is perfect” (2 Sam. 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” (Ps. 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 all who read these words would share the experience of the prophet Jeremiah: “Your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart” (Jer. 15:16).
And mark this: the sweetness of God’s word is not lost in this historic moment of bitter providence—not if we have learned the secret of “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Cor. 6:10). We will see more fully later what this secret is. But here it is now in a single sentence. The secret of “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” is this: knowing that the same sovereignty that could stop the coronavirus, yet doesn’t, is the very sovereignty that sustains the soul in it.
Indeed, more than sustains—sweetens. Sweetens with hope that God’s purposes are kind, even in death—for those who trust him.
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.
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