March 2020 will be remembered as a historical month in the coming years. Many unprecedented events and unusual practices in human history have taken place—from cancelled meetings and postponed plans to remote working and social distancing—causing uncontrollable circumstances and future uncertainties. All these are caused by a tiny, invisible but destructive “creature” known as coronavirus (COVID-19).
Thanks to technology, despite the pandemic, people can still interact on-line. As a result, for the first time ever, mass activities (like church services, university exams, school classes) are globally conducted via internet. Imagine how harder life would be if this digitally interconnected network does not exist. [There is always something to be grateful for even amid the most painful situation.]
Without minimizing the tragic consequences of this pandemic, as many suffered and lost their lives, we need to move on and continue to live with hope. As believers, the best hope is found in God the Creator, who is bigger than the universe. Here are some Bible verses that resonate with me during this difficult time. [It is strongly evident that the Bible remains reliable and relevant today.]
1. The Brevity of Life
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.(James 4:14)
May we remember this earthly life does not last forever. There will be one day when we should leave everything we have and everyone we love. Future is uncertain and we all need assurance so we can live at peace. Insuring your life is much more important than insuring your car (or house). Should something unexpected happen, we would still be at peace. Thank God, in Christian faith, we have an assurance of hope for eternal life through Jesus Christ who has resurrected from death to the everlasting life (John 11:25-26).
2. The Sovereignty of God
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.(Proverbs 19:21)
It is proven again that human can never outperform the Creator. Lest we boast anything about tomorrow. Let us be thankful for our past achievements and be hopeful for our future plans, but never forget to acknowledge God! It is wise to make plans, but it is wiser to know the Lord’s purposes in our lives and surrender our plans to Him.
3. The Essence of Life
For we live by faith, not by sight.(2 Corinthians 5:7)
Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). In other words, the surest way to make God happy is by living in faith—it is a God-centered life that focuses on the unseen, eternal things rather than the seen, momentary things (2 Corinthians 4:18). Every relationship is built on trust (faith) and that is why having faith is essential before doing good works. We all want to make a positive impact in the life of others, don’t we? It must be done by faith, not fear—by trust, not doubt.
4. The Dignity of Man
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.(Galatians 6:2)
In the moment like this, our hearts are open and we become more aware of the needs of others. Pursuing own goals or selfish desires becomes irrelevant. Often a mountain of problem takes us to the higher “level” of love and care for others—it is expressed in the willingness to serve those in need. This genuine, selfless act of love is what makes us human. Service is the heart of every work and in this is the honor of humanity.
5. The Authority of Christ
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.(John 15:5)
Though we may not (or never) have the perfect answer to this global pandemic, we can still be thankful in everything. [Note that we are not supposed to be thankful for everything, but in everything.] This unpleasant situation again reminds us that this world is not our home—it is not meant to be our permanent dwelling place—that is why we are not to put our dreams and hopes in the worldly things. Thankfully, God has revealed the answer. Over 2,000 years ago, He walked on earth and said, “Remain in Me and I in you, so you can bear much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” Who is in the world this man that he has such authority to boldly proclaim such a strong [and offensive] statement? He is the vine (symbolizes the source of joy) and the light of the world: Jesus Christ. Let us fix our eyes on Him who has prepared eternal home for us who believe.
Vancouver, March 31, 2020