We didn’t know it would take this long to navigate Covid-19, and we are faced with many unanswered questions. Many people are working hard, yet hitting roadblocks. Maybe you’ve had limited time for family in the past, but now that the family is together, it is strained. Or perhaps you are struggling with the length of this trial, wondering when it will end. During this time of upheaval and uncertainty, the world has surfaced its underground complications, which begin in individual human hearts. Things in secret show up in the open! The good news is that we can be stable in our faith in God, and we can be certain He will care for us. God sees the human heart—and He fixes it. The collective environment does eventually follow! Hebrews 12:11 (AMPC) tells us:
For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness—in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God].
We are all looking for Peace and Rightness in the world.
So is God.
The world was created by God, and He can stop the world any time He chooses. When this happens, there is spiritual reprioritization on every conceivable level. We are partners with God, so now is definitely the time to pray especially for God’s will to be done on the earth, just as it is in Heaven (Matt 6:9-15)! The world is comprised of every person God deeply cares about, and the world needs preachers to reach each one. 1 Timothy 2:3-5 (AMPC) and Romans 10:14 (NIV) tell us,
For such [praying] is good and right, and [it is] pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior, Who wishes all men to be saved and [increasingly] to perceive and recognize and discern and know precisely and correctly the [divine] Truth. For there [is only] one God, and [only] one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
The modern church has been reaching only a fraction of the lost. But right now, people are looking down into the depths of their own soul and sorrows, and will ultimately look up into the heights of Heaven for their help and joy.
There is no other source of deliverance but God!
We all need God’s help. It is good to be humble before Him and simply receive. We all need God’s grace to continue—and we should each be asking what we are to contribute to God’s will being done on the earth. God alone makes our life worth living. His ways are always RIGHT. It makes sense that we should want exactly what He wants—to reach all nations in His Name (Matt 28). He goes before us, making a way:
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them (Isa 42:16).
No matter what you are facing, God will not leave you alone in the middle of your trial. He will lead you through it. And, your attitude in the belly of your trial matters. The Bible instructs:
That thy kindness may be in secret, and thy Father who is seeing in secret Himself shall reward thee manifestly (Matt 6:4, Young’s Literal Translation).
Your Father sees you!
In secret, or in the belly of the whale, we are to be kind, and we are to develop kind intentions for when we are miraculously freed (Jonah 2; Matt 12:39). You can be kind to yourself, God and other people. Trials prepare the way for this generosity. God always rewards a heart that stays loyal throughout the test. You may feel hidden right now. But isolation in the Bible is called “consecration” where we are “set aside for God’s holy use” and formed into something new. It is a private, sacred event, where you are surrounded by spiritual waters like a butterfly in a cocoon. God is proving your heart and painting your wings. He is getting every layer of your spirit, soul, heart, mind and body set just right—focused on Him before you fly.
Trials purify. There is no mixture of loyalty when they are over. God needs you functioning at your fullest, healthiest capacity, listening only to Him for detailed directions.
God has very specific things lined up for you to do.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-4 (NIV) says:
We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you.
The world is coming into a new season where every Christian saint will need to be strong—operating in genuine sincerity, welcoming holiness, being willing to reach the lost and hurting. During times of silence, God watches over you. He notes your efforts, He hears the pleas of your heart, He heals your injuries, and He empowers your vision and ability. He is granting you clean motivation that will last you for the remainder of your earthly existence. God is giving you a second chance.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light (Gen 1:3, NIV).
God is the real Reality; the natural world comes second. The most important things are God’s heart and your heart. They should align. Get right with God in every way, firmly relying upon Him to do the “righting” as you seek His face.
If we want to continue in a good life,
we need God to reboot the world.
This starts with our heart.
Within the biblical references, during times like these, God is plainly asking for repentance from all of us. When God's people yield to Him, He opens the gate of His heart. You see, grace is not a license to sin—it is the God-given ability not to. In other words, society cannot abort babies, support homosexual “marriage” when God does not, kidnap people into slavery, and entertain evil in a myriad of ways. This is Old Testament…dying. It is not New Testament LIVING. As evidenced by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, God wants to remove sin and death. Through the resurrection power of the risen Christ, God wants to heal every soul, and the land they reside in, because of LOVE.
Love is holy, or it is not love.
If my people will humble themselves and pray, and search for me, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear them from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land (2 Chr 7:14, TLB).
God is waiting on us. We all need to turn to God Who alone is good. We all need to continue to show compassion for others and to kindly ask God to remedy our hearts and minds, and therefore our future. There is a chance both were going off course, and He has intervened.
The world needs to stop arguing with God.
The world will not win the argument.
Natural issues are first and foremost spiritual issues. Some believers have quipped, “God should have stopped this virus before it began.” But let's look at the world from a top-down view. From God’s vantage point there are up to 30 percent of His babies entering Heaven before they are born on earth. Thou shall not kill. There is an estimated 50 percent divorce rate and an even higher domestic abuse rate, and an increase of non-married cohabitation of 30 percent since 2007. Thou shall not commit adultery. There are an estimated 40 million people in the modern slave trade, with one out of four being children. Thou shall not steal. This world needs a wake up call. In the Bible, God only allows evil to befall the people when they have chosen evil first—because He wants them to change before they die. Hell is a real place…
Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live (Deut 30:19, NLT)!
…So is Heaven. As Christians it is our responsibility to study the whole Bible so we can clearly tell others what Christ has done to secure our eternal life in Heaven, provide for our full redemption, and bless us on the earth. You may feel that your voice doesn’t matter, that no one is listening. But God is. Kindness or “alms” done in secret (eleemosune) is “compassion paid in advance” like Jesus did on the cross for whoever would believe. God sees how hard you are working toward a good future, but God also wills there to be such a compassion in your heart for others that you will no longer be silent. He is using quietness and isolation to develop your will to speak.
What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear (Matt 10:27, NLT)!
If our motivation until now has been self-centered—focused on money, fame, excessive achievement, people pleasing, competition, or factional motives—these things are checked back at the moment. It is just you, and God. Ill motives cause undue weariness, strife and division. Face the Lord in quiet, and allow Him to restructure and repurpose your life. Gain His compassion and become a servant of His pure, divine calling. There is joy unspeakable in it—which remedies exhaustion, frees other people, and gives everyone hope for the future.
Why, or for whom, are you working?
If it is for God, He will reward you in the open.
Keep your head up, Saint, and be encouraged during this season. Be willing to change details as God asks you—He has good reasons! As you seriously commit to the Lord’s specific plan for your life, He will take your weariness from you and grant you stores of energy. This trial will not last forever—your relationship with God will! Jesus says...
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt 11:28-30, NIV).
A yoke is an invitation to a working partnership. If you are yoked with the fallen world, it will pull you down and work you into the ground. But, if you are yoked with Christ, He Himself will lift you up and empower you in supernatural ways. The furrow is plowed by Him. You watch. The grain is tread by Him. You get elevated.
God carries you every day of your life.
If you have been wandering in your soul—approach the throne of Grace now. Ask the Lord to reprioritize you—what you do, who you are doing it for. Focus. Reevaluate how you want to live for the rest of your days. God only knows their number! Though this earthen existence goes by in the blink of an eye, God has a good plan for your life with results that will last forever. How do you want to impact the Kingdom? Do not be heavy burdened anymore. Be light! Put off the world’s yoke of drudgery and despair, and put on the easy yoke with Christ. Let Him navigate. Let Him work. God created your life, and He is running it. Be calm and trust Him. God will reward you in the wide open for the seeds of compassion you have sown in your heart in secret.
This is a time of global preparation, a time for hope in a brand new day. But first, prepare your heart.
Brothers and sisters, I myself don’t think I’ve reached it, but I do this one thing: I forget about the things behind me and reach out for the things ahead of me (Phil 3:13, CEB).
Get ready, Butterfly!
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC) Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Common English Bible (CEB) Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible.
The Living Bible (TLB) copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica. NIV Reverse Interlinear Bible: English to Hebrew and English to Greek. Copyright © 2019 by Zondervan.
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.