Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to a special-edition series of The Kingdom Perspective.
How should we respond to the coronavirus epidemic?
We should be all the more eager to weep over our worldliness and put our trust in God alone.
This feeling of brokenness—of knowing our neediness as sinners before a gracious but holy God—should characterize the whole of our lives; but all the more so when we see the kingdoms of our world—even our own health and wealth—crumbling all around. This crumbling should remind us that God never intended us to trust in ourselves. He never intended us to trust in our riches. All we have is a gift from God and it exists for the service of God and others. That’s why the New Testament writer James presses us:
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days.
~ James 5:1-3
What’s the remedy? James tells us: Repentance—turning our trust away from ourselves to God. Listen to what he says:
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
~ James 4:8-10
Note that well: “Humble yourself and God will exalt you”. You see, repentance never ends with sorrow but always moves through it. In the Kingdom of God, the way up is always down.
Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.
“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.”
~James 4 & 5 ESV