Coronavirus and Christ (Day 8)

God Means It for Good

Even if Satan, on his divine leash, has a hand in our suffering and death, he is not ultimate. He cannot hurt us without God’s permission and limitation (Job 1:12; Luke 22:31; 2 Cor. 12:7). And in the end, it is right for us to say to Satan what Joseph said to his brothers who had sold him into slavery: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Gen. 50:20). 
Be careful not to water this down. It does not say, “God used it for good” or “God turned it for good.” It says, “God meant it for good.” They had an evil purpose. God had a good purpose. God didn’t start cleaning up halfway through this sinful affair. He had a purpose, a meaning, from the beginning. From the start, he meant it for good. 
This is the key to comfort when the evil of men and the evil of Satan compound our suffering. In Christ, we have every right to say to Satan (or to evil men), “You meant it for evil. But God meant it for good.” 
Neither Satan nor sickness nor sinful man is sovereign. Only God is. And he is good—and wise and sovereign. 
Every Hair Numbered
Jesus expresses the sweetness of God’s sovereignty for his disciples as beautifully as anyone: 
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Matt. 10:29–31) 
Not one sparrow falls but by God’s plan. Not one virus moves but by God’s plan. This is meticulous sovereignty. And what does Jesus say next? You are of more value than many sparrows. The hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not. 
Why not? Because God’s meticulous sovereignty—whether we live or die—serves his holiness and righteousness and goodness and wisdom. In Christ, we are not his dispensable pawns. We are his valued children. “You are of more value than many sparrows.” 
This is the secret: knowing that the same sovereignty that could stop the coronavirus, yet doesn’t, is the very sovereignty that sustains the soul in it. 
And not only sustains, but sees to it that everything, bitter and sweet, works together for our good—the good of those who love God and are called in Christ (Rom. 8:28–30).

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