All of these things seem bad
No, God doesn’t like bad things any more than He likes the sinfulness that causes them. He doesn’t delight in working His will through a pandemic that kills thousands of people. But He truly is working all things for our good and His coming kingdom. Even now.
What does that mean for us?
It means that God knows we’re lonely. He knows we’re missing our loved ones and that we’re bereft of communion in God’s house with His people. He knows we aren’t teaching Sunday School anymore or singing praises to Him at church right now. It’s all a part of His plan for His people right now.
And that means it’s a good thing. All of the discomfort is for our good right now, if we just let Him use it in our lives.
Here in the United States, we’re used to feeling secure. But with a worldwide pandemic washing up on our shores, attacking both strangers and loved ones, we are beginning to feel a whole new brand of anxiety and worry. Between the fear of the invisible virus getting to us or our loved ones and the unprecedented government restrictions, many of us feel like we’re stuck in a pandemic horror film set in Nazi Germany.
God is allowing that fear in our lives
We have to understand that and grasp His hand tighter because He’s still leading us. He is testing our trust. Cling to Him harder, don’t pull away.
In his booklet If If God Is Good Why Do We Hurt?, Randy Alcorn invites his readers to try rewriting the story of creation and the progression of history in a way that removes all of the evil and suffering we hate so much. He then asks the following question: “As you’ve rewritten the story, by not permitting human evil and suffering, how would God’s people celebrate forever the grace and kindness in Jesus that we would have never witnessed or experienced?”
Alcorn goes on to explain the beauty in the midst of the pain that fills this world we live in.
“Every novelist and screenwriter knows that without conflict, there is no story. Without the terrible problem, there can be no wondrous solution. Without the high stakes of humanity’s alienation from God, there can be no redemption.
In our current world context, I would add to Alcorn’s list that if there were no sickness, we would have less appreciation for the health He gives us daily. If there were no uncertainty for the future, we would place less value on the absolute certainty we have in our eternal future. This fallen world is not our home. In the midst of a global pandemic, we can rejoice in the certain hope of a future home where we will never again face the fears and sufferings of this one.
Here in the United States, we’re also used to being busy. During the week we work, clean, talk, shop, hang out, and repeat. On church days we serve, sing, listen, worship, and probably nap before starting our week again. But right now? Even those of us who are still driving to work have altered schedules that just aren’t as full of people, places, and opportunities as they once were.
That’s where God has us
Visit Sweet Blessings. Download & print your copy of the But God Scripture writing plan here.
I know this verse was meant for a specific battle Israel was fighting against her enemies. But the words “stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord,” really stayed with me. Because that’s really what God is having many of us do right now. We know how to serve Him in church; we know how to worship Him with other believers singing beside us; we know how to be an example of God’s love to the people around us. But do we know how to stand still and watch God be God?
I immediately thought of Psalm 46:10a. “Be still, and know that I am God.” I think that is a really good theme for this month. For any month, really. But especially right now.
Today, as God’s will in the world and in your life has you stuck at home rethinking every life choice you’ve ever made, stop. Be still. And know that He is God. Take time to glory in Who God is. Stand still and watch Him do His thing.
In this captivating new book, best-selling author Randy Alcorn challenges the logic of disbelief, and brings a fresh, realistic, and thoroughly biblical insight to the issues these important questions raise.
Alcorn offers insights from his conversations with men and women whose lives have been torn apart by suffering, and yet whose faith in God burns brighter than ever. He reveals the big picture of who God is and what God is doing in the world, now and forever. And he equips you to share your faith more clearly and genuinely in this world of pain and fear.
As he did in his best-selling book, Heaven, Randy Alcorn delves deep into a profound subject, and through compelling stories, provocative questions and answers, and keen biblical understanding, he brings assurance and hope to all.
Download and read chapter one for FREE here!
Included throughout are a variety of questions for reflection and discussion, plus book excerpts that capture the highlights and best insights from If God Is Good. In addition, a group leader’s guide offers guidance for steering a group through any of the three approaches.
Let this book be your guide as you face up to a seriously perplexing issue and the countless questions it keeps generating.
90 Days of God’s Goodness opens a wide door to healing and the reassurance of a God whose love we can count on and always turn to.
The issues are far from simple, the answers far from easy—but Alcorn shows how the way of suffering—a path that Jesus Himself followed more than anyone else—can ultimately become a journey into wholeness and even logic-defying joy.
There’s also generous, real encouragement that brings God nearer in our understanding when we need His comfort the most. And amid our heavy doubts and swirling confusion on this topic, Randy points us ultimately toward Jesus as “the only answer bigger than the questions.”
How does God have you standing still today?
4/17/2020 09:37:25 pm
Great post! I love the version that says "Let go, relax & know that I am God" Ps 46:10
4/19/2020 11:28:53 am
Thank you, Jennifer! Thanks for sharing how God has taught you to "Be still" through your health trials. I'm so glad your heart has been tender to allow God to use these times in your life to focus on him. I love your answer! Focusing on the hidden treasures he has for us in times that we see as dark is such a beautiful response to this pandemic.
4/19/2020 03:58:11 pm
Such a good word for our present circumstances!
4/19/2020 05:10:30 pm
Thank you, Lauren!
4/20/2020 07:35:39 am
I'm trying to remember to start or end (sometimes both!) each day with the Lord's prayer. Saying the words: "Your will be done" seems particularly life changing in these days of uncertainty.
4/20/2020 09:46:10 am
Michelle, that is such a wise way to begin and end the day. I have been trying to pray those words each day right now as well, because I'm just needing the extra reminder during this time.
4/20/2020 10:40:56 am
That "But God ..." reading challenge sounds so encouraging, Cami! And I love your thoughts about the Lord's prayer. God truly is working to bring about His good and perfect will even when it doesn't feel like it. Pinning and tweeting!
4/20/2020 11:39:36 am
Thank you, Beth! The reading challenge has been a huge encouragement to me and has been continually reminding me to set aside my worries and trust that there is a "but God" clause in this pandemic situation as well. God is always there, and He always knows what's best.
I love your question - "But do we know how to stand still and watch God be God?"
4/25/2020 12:13:00 am
I also struggle with standing still, Maree! That’s why I’m so glad God has been bringing that verse to my mind repeatedly this month.
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