Beloved of the Lord at Calvin Church,
The world is lost. Those who build their lives on anything but Jesus Christ have truly built on sinking sand. And we see that on display all around us today. The 91st Psalm describes “the pestilence that stalks in darkness” and “destruction that wastes at noonday.” A virus that the best scientists and doctors are racing to understand and the financial fallout that is unfolding as a result and that will impact many millions of people is surely an example of pestilence and destruction. May God use them to make people aware of their need for a savior and turn their hearts to Christ.
Yet for Christians life is different – better - and in that we can find hope, joy, and peace even when we are under duress. I have reflected on a few favorite passages in light of our recent challenges. Job replies to his friends that, come what may, he will always trust in God. He says in Job 13:15, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him.” That is the ultimate hope and the ultimate and in it is the ultimate joy. Yes, though he may slay us, we will trust in him because we can have confidence that what he does, he does for His glory and our good. We do not need to question that because we serve a faithful God who cannot lie, who loves His people. If he slays us, is he not within His rights as our Creator? Most assuredly. And as not just His creatures, but now, in Christ, as his sons and daughters, we look forward to eternal life with our Father in glory. So each of us can say with Job that though he slay me, I will hope in him.
This is why Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:8-10 that “We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.”
As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.
We grieve at the suffering we see in the world and indeed, in the suffering we experience in the world. But we also recognize that suffering is the result of sin which itself grieves the one living, true, and most holy God. Yet, in his mercy, he has saved us from the wrath – the eternal suffering we so richly deserve – by joining us to His Christ and it in in Christ that we are always rejoicing. And the joy, which is so far just a foretaste of the joy we will experience when we see him face to face, already far surpasses the suffering of this world.
Take Heart, Christian, for Jesus Christ has crushed the head of the serpent and very soon, in the twinkling of an eye, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev 21:4)
Come, Lord Jesus.
—Elder Chris Buskirk