April 3, 2020
by Pastor Don Willeman
Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to a special-edition series of the Kingdom Perspective.
What should we do in the face of the coronavirus epidemic?
We should take comfort that God saves us through suffering not apart from suffering.
Peter tells us to not be surprised by the “fiery ordeal” that comes upon us for our “testing”. In the context the “fiery testing” speaks of precious metal in the furnace. The heat allows the dross to separate from the gold, and as the dross floats to the top it can be more easily discarded. So it is with our faith. God uses the sufferings of this present life (the heat of trouble), in order to purify our faith—in order that we may rejoice more fully in the “praise and glory and honor” we will share with Jesus Christ at his second coming (1 Peter 1:7). Something so glorious that even the glimpse of it in the here and now makes us “rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8). He saves us not apart from suffering, but rather through it.
Jesus presses the same truth on his disciples in the Upper Room discourse: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Remember, Jesus says this the night before his crucifixion. His crucifixion! A suffering so unimaginable that those closest to him could not see it coming. But it did come, and “Christ suffered for our sin once for all” (1 Peter 3:18). And so, God saved us, not apart from suffering, but rather through the suffering of his only begotten Son.
Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.