With over 4 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and about nearly half a million deaths, can we still trust in God?
If we should, why has he deliberately allowed the virus to infect and kill his people? Of course, we are aware that he knows all things as the scriptures say, “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.” (1 John 3:20)
Even worse than the viral pandemic itself, is the harsh economic reality that we now face. Most Nigerians are out of their Job. And even those of us who work in a private set up are already faced with harsh realities.
Just last week, we got new information from the medical director who heads the health facility where I work about a slash in our salaries. And despite cuts to our wages, it is obvious to everyone that the salary will still be delayed
It even gets worse for those of us without savings. Just last week, a friend and nurse who works in the same hospital, has pleaded for some little money to sustain himself. He is married with five kids, and so far, there is no hope in sight.
Christian are not the only ones affected. The Muslim world has been hit so badly by the coronavirus pandemic. Just recently, there has been a spike in the number of deaths in the northern states of Nigeria. With nearly ninety percent of the poor residing in the north, it is obvious that, in the next few weeks, we may have another problem – Hunger and starvation.
Surprisingly, the developed nation is not left out. So far, there has been a spike in coronavirus cases in the United States, one of the greatest countries in the world. Not just that, just yesterday, Jobless claims in the United States has now hit about 30 million people, according to the Financial Times.
So, in these trying times, can Christians put their faith in God?
The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
The story of these gentlemen in the scriptures, including Daniel, should teach us never to doubt our God. About 600 years before the birth of Christ, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were captured by King Nebuchadnezzar from Israel and taken to Babylon and were made advisers to the kingdom
King Nebuchadnezzar had built a huge golden image and requested that all citizens of Babylon worship it at the sound of his musical herald. And if anyone defaulted, he would be cast into a blazing furnace.
As faithful worshippers of God, they knew it was sinful to worship any other god. And so, they refused. King Nebuchadnezzar was subsequently informed about their disobedience, and he got furious. He requested their presence immediately. They were subsequently brought before the king but continued to be bold in the face of death.
They said, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[a] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18)
Livid, the king instructed that the burning furnace be heated about seven times more than average. The burning furnace was so hot that it killed the soldiers who escorted them in. In the end, despite his plan to kill them for not worshipping his gods, they were saved by God.
What can we learn?
As Christians, we must understand that there is no guarantee for God’s saving power. When you are faced with threats or death, we must trust in God completely and let him have his plan. God has a plan from the beginning, and that supersedes our desires.
That’s why, Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego said, “But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
They understood the truth — That we must obey God commands even in trying times. And even at that, there is no guarantee that our desires will be fulfilled
An example is the death and crucifixion of Christ. Toward his crucifixion, Christ had wished that he be saved. He said, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”(Luke 22:42)
In the face of this viral pandemic, As Christians, we must always trust in God. So, how can you keep faith in God’s word in this challenging time
How to trust God in a pandemic
Build up your faith
Of course, we need to learn more about God and his plans. If he truly loves us, as the bible says repeatedly, we are supposed to be free from trials. But that’s not the truth. Because there would be no reason for faith
Faith is your ability to trust in God, especially in hard times. In times like this, when thousands are dying every day, we must build our faith through hearing and studying the scriptures. The scriptures say, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
There are over thirty bible verses about trusting God. These scriptures are there to reinvigorate us in times like these.
In times of trials and tribulations, as Christian, we must talk to God. The only communication tool is prayer. God has always been faithful, and he listens to the prayers of the righteous.
We shouldn’t lose sight of God’s unfailing love towards us. He has always been there for us. For instance, he has provided and protected us all these years from temptations. We must be thankful in all things. The scripture says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”(Philippians 4:6)
I pray that God will send his angels and protect us from the wicked arm of the devil. Amen
Dr. Dunn is a devoted Christian and practising medical doctor in Ebonyi state