If God is good, then why does He allow bad things–like this present pandemic? The way we answer that question reveals what we believe about the nature of God. Is He all-powerful, or is He surprised by bad situations, like this worldwide scourge? The hope we need right now depends on God’s ability to be in complete control of everything. If He only controlled good things, we would have valid reasons to fear the bad things. The foundation of our confidence starts, though, when we understand that “… [God’s] purpose will be established, and [He] will accomplish all [His] good pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10).
We do know that God allows hurtful things to happen, but we also know that He is ultimately in control of absolutely everything, even bad things. “… If a calamity occurs in a city has not the LORD done it?” (Amos 3:6). The Bible says God “works all things after the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11). I’ll show you why that is encouraging in a minute.
In an effort (I presume) to protect God’s reputation, I have heard people say that Satan, not God, is totally to blame for all the hurtful things in this world. While it’s true that Satan is real and is actively involved in doing painful things, God is still in full control of all that happens. Job’s suffering in the Old Testament is an example. “Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head” (Job 2:7). Never forget that every time Satan wanted to hurt Job, he had to get God’s permission first.
Job also understood that God, not Satan, was ultimately in control. That’s why, when Job heard that all of his children were dead, he worshipped God and said, “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21).
Job lived a long time ago. How is that relevant to us? How can we find God’s goodness in the midst of our present, scary pestilence?
First, we’ll look at the unwanted changes we are experiencing, and then I’ll show you how God can bring something good out of those things.
Here are some of the brand-new, uncomfortable results of this tragedy for all of us, even if we never get sick with COVID-19.
In response to the Coronavirus, almost all sports have been shut down. That includes major league baseball, hockey, soccer, and basketball. College sports have been postponed as well. What are sports addicts going to do?
Not only that, but all live music concerts and shows have been canceled as well. Those who depend on those kinds of entertainment to make them happy must be struggling as well.
We are in the process of learning that the government cannot save us. Never forget that the federal government does not produce anything. It can’t put money into the economy or into our pockets unless it takes it out of the economy first. We will pay later for any financial help they give us now with runaway inflation and with bigger payments on our national debt. On the other hand, let’s be fair. We can’t blame the government for this virus either. We’re hurting, and there’s nothing they can really do about it.
Maybe the biggest blow is this helpless and vulnerable feeling we have. We like to think that if we just plan carefully and do our best, nothing really bad can happen to us. But here we are. This microscopic virus appears to be unstoppable, and it seems to be in the process of crippling the strongest economy in the world. An invisible virus is proving just how weak we really are as individuals and as a country.
How can the pain that the coronavirus scare is producing ultimately be good? Think about it this way. Let’s say you are having some physical pain, and it eventually motivates you to see a doctor. If he diagnoses your problem and you trust his judgment and follow his advice, your health can be restored.
God’s goodness is rooted in His ability to use bad things for our ultimate good. Here is God’s good news.
During these uncertain times, if we will seek God and follow His instructions, we will discover blessings that we have never seen before.
The result of God pushing us out of our comfort zones will wind up being good if we discover that a relationship with God can provide us with more satisfaction and joy than anything this world has to offer. God gives more joy than anyone has ever found in sports or in entertainment or in government security. We are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27) so our best life is always found in Him. You and I were made for God. That’s where we experience the fulfillment that God intends for us to have.
God created Adam and Eve so they could live in His joyful presence forever, but they rebelled against Him and lost God’s intended blessing. Sadly, we have all followed their example. Jesus came and died on the Cross, though, to make that joyful relationship available to us again.
Sports, entertainment, and even the government all have their place, but lasting comfort and happiness only comes from the One who made us. “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, for in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock” (Isaiah 26:3–4).
Are you seeking Jesus? Here is a promise from God you can hold on to: “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
If I can help point you to this God who loves you, please contact me.