Just a moment ago, I got an email from Voice of the Martyrs. The headline reads: Coronavirus – An Opportunity To Advance The Gospel?
We live in tumultuous times. But we can take comfort, as do our brothers and sisters in hostile areas and restricted nations, in trusting that our loving heavenly Father holds each of us in the palm of His hand. He is never fearful or panicked; we belong to Him and are in His care. Therefore, we can remain at perfect peace in any circumstance (Isaiah 26:3–4).
Times of uncertainty often provide opportunities for advancing the gospel. As in Joseph’s day, God can use bad situations for the good of His people and kingdom (Genesis 50:20). In recent days, we’ve seen two specific examples of how God is working through our persecuted Christian brothers and sisters to do exactly that:
- In an Islamic country heavily affected by the coronavirus, Christians are handing out masks and offering help to those forced to stay in their homes under quarantine. When asked why they are helping, they have a great opportunity to share about Jesus’ love and how He helps us overcome fear.
- Christians in parts of China affected by the coronavirus have felt more freedom to boldly witness for Christ because China’s oppressive facial-recognition cameras are less likely to identify them when they are wearing masks.
As you assess the risks of the coronavirus and make decisions for your family, we ask you to pray specifically and fervently for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ. Some of the countries most affected by the pandemic so far are also countries where believers face persecution every day.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Yes, that includes coronavirus. As many churches throughout the world have been forced to either modify or shut down their services, the ministry of the church has modified, but it has NOT been shut down.
Maybe, in some ways, this has really been a blessing in disguise. We have been given a unique platform from which to declare peace from fear but sharing our HOPE that is in Jesus and the Gospel message. We have reached out to our church family MORE than in previous days because we feel the separation anxiety acutely! These are all very good things that have come of this.
Listen here, you dirty coronavirus bug! You will NOT win! In Jesus name, the church is going to use what you are doing to the world and turn it around for something good. Your days of creating chaos will come to an end as Jesus heals body and soul. Your fear will be vanquished in the life-giving blood of Jesus as He makes new creatures, converting the lost souls. Persecution has never diminished the affects of the church. Quite the opposite! Persecution has always caused the church to grow and flourish. And, even though we can’t see you, you are an enemy that WILL be defeated. You will NOT conquer. “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” In Jesus name — and all God’s people said — AMEN!