It’s been over a year since COVID-19 hit the United States, and it surely has affected all of us and our ministry. Did you ever wonder why a loving God would allow adversities and suffering to happen to us, contrary to our wishes? I think the Bible offers us valuable perspectives for today.
First, there’s meaning and good purpose behind what we’re going through, though we may not like it or understand it at this moment:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2–4)
Second, God is abundant in grace. He promises to give us sufficient strength in the midst of our trials. We will not only survive; we will thrive:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9–10)
And, finally, adversity refines our faith, which is one of the hallmarks for bearing the name of a Christian. A healthy spiritual journey should reflect a growing faith in God. Adversity forces us to be on our knees and put more trust in God and less in our human abilities and even our giftedness.
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:6–7)
May you find God’s strength to be sufficient for your life and ministry.