A Shaken World, A Soon-Coming King
A Heroic Response
The coronavirus has overtaken our lives in a matter of weeks and transformed our world, presenting an unprecedented medical, economic, human and spiritual challenge.
In spite of the challenges, I’m incredibly proud of our members who are making real ministry part of their everyday lives. We’ve talked about using technology in creative ways for years. Now, practically overnight, members have pivoted to new and innovative ways of serving and ministering, using technology.
More than 500 Northwest educators, including Walla Walla University professors and our academy and elementary teachers, faced the challenge by moving classes online in a matter of days. This agility is a real tribute to their professionalism and ingenuity, actively engaging students in new ways.
Pastors are preaching to empty sanctuaries as they stream Christ-centered messages of hope to their members. Home care visits are still taking place via phone calls and video chats. Many churches are lovingly reaching out to care for the most vulnerable members, our seniors. Young adults are creating online small groups to pray and study the Bible.
Adventist Health professionals, along with first responders, are providing heroic service every single day. I’m honored to serve alongside such faithful and dedicated people who are daily sharing the hope and wholeness found in Jesus Christ.
God Has a Plan
Our world has radically changed from how life operated at the beginning of the year. Instead of myopically focusing on the crisis, I invite you to consider the big picture:
God is with us and has a plan to care for us.
Jer. 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” That’s good news! The Bible is full of God’s promises underscoring the hope we have through Jesus.
Psalm 139 says, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways” (Psalm 139:1–3).
These verses and countless others describe a personal God who knows us, who understands the challenges we face. Even in the darkest times, God is still with us. We can rest confidently through life’s storms because God is with us.
Hope for Today
Looking at society’s reaction to the coronavirus, one thing is clear: The pandemic has shaken our world and raised the awareness everywhere that something is terribly wrong.
We are witnessing current events that reflect what Matthew 24 describes as the beginning of birth pains. The Bible tells us Earth’s closing events will be rapid. We will see wars, famine, pestilences and earthquakes all increasing in frequency and severity.
No one knows the day or the hour when Jesus will return, but we can recognize the signs of His approaching return. Today, the Seventh-day Adventist Christ-centered prophetic message of the blessed hope of Jesus’ soon return is more relevant than ever.
In every crisis, the issue is not the crisis, it’s how we respond to the crisis. Instead of fixating on what’s going wrong, I invite you to consider Jesus! He is the author and the finisher of our faith. The current pandemic is an opportunity to embrace the truth and relevance the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy.
While it may be hard to see right now, the current crisis could be one of the great blessings in our lives. I don’t know how God is going to do this exactly, but I choose to trust He will. In the end, I am confident we will receive a kingdom that cannot be shaken.
I invite you to join me in drawing close to the One who gave His life on the cross for the salvation of the world. Let’s draw strength from our Savior who has promised to be with us always, to the end of the age. With His strength, we can point our family, friends and neighbors to Him and the good news of His soon return.
At the end of the book of Revelation, Jesus says, “These words are faithful and true … . I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. ... Yes, I am coming quickly” (Rev. 22:6,13,20).