My Faith and Praise II ...
Monday, April 6, 2020. Good morning. More people are getting nerveous in times of the Corona pandemic. This also affects daily work for those who are still fully busy or more busy than before due to increased workloads during Covid-19. Others are suddenly bound to heir home - which brings its own severe challenges. Others again have heard enough and want to get rid of the daily news about Corona.
So where is the Lord in all of this? Does Corona proof that there is no God, since you cannot see him answering the prayers of the people? Is it not that many Christians are also hit by the virus, both physically by being ill as well as economically and mentally by being under stress now?
His Majesty …
Let us review the overall situation for a moment. The world sees a virus pandemic, which basically hits all states and communities. It is a new virus where not many had been able to develop immunity, nor do we have medicine against it nor vaccination. The virus effects are severe for 5-10% of the people, with 2-3% of them terminal if there is no artificial respiration. With artificial respiration, still some people die.
Can illness be used as argument for or against God? The biblical books show that people have had this question for thousands of years. Illness has accompanied humanity ever since. There have been pandemics in the past. There have been accidents and death. All people die at some point, death is part of our life. But humans want to live. Their will to survice, and fear of death, is very human as well. That is how we are made, and it is good and necessary for us!
God has always been the majesty above as well as in the middle of our joy and our trouble. He is God, who is beyond time. He encompasses the whole universe - he is of unbelievable size and height and depth. But he has never been far away from people who search him. He has been there as company, as guide, as leader, as comforter.
We can question the majesty of God. We can question his power, his love, his truth, his existence. Yet, people have always done that - it does not lead anywhere. But we can also do differently. We can realize that life has a limit. We can realize that all our strength can be taken away any day. We can realize that we are given a fantastic planet. We can realize that we are made to love one another, to work for one another. We can realize the great majesty of the Lord, the eternal king.
The Horn for his People …
We have been reading Psalm 148, a psalm of praise. Let us continue to look into it. It calls all of us and the whole creation to praise the Lord allmighty. The psalm ends with the following words:
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven. 14 He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him. Praise the Lord! (Psalm 148, 13-14)
God is fighting for his people. Who are his people? These are first the people of Israel. These are also all who believe in him, who believe in Jesus today. Jesus is the horn, which God raised. He is the one who has torn down the wall between God and mankind. He has created an open door, the door of his death and resurrection. All separation, all sin, has been put to death in his death. There is new life in his resurrection.
In all our trouble, we are called to turn to the salvation which Jesus brings. This is a very biblical approach. Jesus has told people in trouble many times: believe in me. All other things are problems of rank two. Yet, Jesus shows that he cares for people and their very real physical and economic problems. He will also care for ours, today and tomorrow. Our role is to come to faith and to stay in faith despite of and in the middle of all our trouble. (Roland Potthast)