This post was written by a missionary friend of Pastor Nate from Quebec, Matthew Fraser serving with Crossworld. Please be praying for all our missionaries as they serve during this unique time.
1) The joy of God is totally sufficient forever. Asaph, after wondering if he has lived for God in vain, says "Who do I have in heaven but you? And I desire nothing on earth but you....God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever." (Ps 73:25-26, HCSB). With our ability to amuse and distract ourselves sharply curtailed, the Corona virus can remind us that the only thing we every really needed was Christ.
2) Christ has defeated death forever. Hebrews tells us, "Jesus also shared in these so that through his death he might destroy the one holding the power of death- that is, the devil- and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death" (Heb 2:14-15). Death no longer holds any fear for us because Christ died our death and so we must not act or live in fear of death. Early Christians who lived during the plague were marked, not by their self-protection, but by their sacrificial service at risk to themselves. Consequently, with compassion we also realize that many people live in the fear of death.
3) It is always better to give than to receive. To provide logical reason for his work among the poor, Paul quotes Jesus: "It is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20:36, HCSB). Jesus does not say it is more moral, good, or noble. He says it is more blessed- the implication being happiness. The more we give during this time or any time, the deeper our joy will be.
4) Obey your governing authorities. Paul, despite being more than familiar with the corruption of the Roman government, writes, "...it is God's servant for your good." (Rom 13:4, HCSB). We may not always agree with all the decisions happening around us, but, so long as they do not violate God's laws, obedience, careful wisdom and love for one's neighbour should be our priority.
5) The gospel is never bound. Paul writing of his detainment in a Roman prison, says "...what has happened to me has actually advanced the gospel, so that is has become known throughout the whole imperial guard..." (Phil 1:12-13, HCSB). God sovereignly positions us exactly where he wants us at the right time in order to bring the gospel to others lives in the most effective way possible. Expect opportunities!
6) We must love one another. This time of forced isolation may be exposing how shallow and transient some of our relationships are. However, after loving God, Jesus' second greatest commandment is "love your neighbour as yourself" (Matt 22:39). God may be using the Coronavirus in our lives to purify and focus our love. By God's grace, we can become more intentional lovers of all around us. It may mean picking up the phone and calling someone you don't know very well. Or it may mean writing a letter to an old friend. It may mean gently speaking a corrective word to a brother or sister in Christ. Whatever it means, it will mean action.