The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-C0V-2). The disease was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province, and has since spread globally. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the 2019-20 coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on 30 January 2020 and a pandemic on 11 March 2020. At the time of writing, there are more than 2.2 million confirmed cases of the disease, over 150, 000 deaths and more than 570, 000 recoveries in about 210 countries and territories.
Since then, life and human systems as we know it have been altered. Some have described the current crisis as being like no other. To halt the spread of the disease, governments around the world have had to implement physical distancing measures. Whole countries with tens of millions of people have been on compulsory lockdowns; renowned health care systems have struggled to cope with the increased numbers of infections and fatalities; cities once said to be eternal or to never sleep have been deserted; mountain goats have noticed the silence of former bustling metropolises and have come out of hiding to occupy places they previously wouldn’t dare; commercial activities have been disrupted on a global scale. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says that while the provision of unprecedented support to households, firms, and financial markets by stakeholders is crucial for a strong recovery, there is considerable uncertainty about what the economic landscape will look like when we emerge from this lockdown. It projects that global growth in 2020 will fall to -3 percent while the cumulative loss to global GDP over 2020 and 2021 from the pandemic crisis could be around 9 trillion dollars. Even that is assuming that the pandemic fades in the second half of 2020. This makes the Great Lockdown the worst recession since the Great Depression, and far worse than the Global Financial Crisis, they claim.
We all live with the consequences of this spread of a virus that is too small for our naked eyes to see. In our attempt to fill the vacuum, many explanations have been offered by different entities. Blame has been placed on the launch of 5G networks in different places; some have said that it is a ploy by the kingdom of darkness and her agents to unleash the antichrist; even the clergy have made propositions that have only brought more ridicule to them and the church.
In this time when the fragile nature of the world is felt and hitherto solid foundations are shaking, what can keep you as a child of God firmly fixed in your faith? What truths can we hold on to? Do we have a solid, unmovable Rock beneath our feet that can steady us to ride this storm? That is the focus of this article.
No Plan of God Can be Thwarted
“I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.” – Job 42:2
You need to know like Job did, that none of God’s plans can be thwarted. That is a settled fact. No matter what rumblings are going on, God is still firmly in charge of the universe. Never think he has lost control. God’s timetable for this earth will be fulfilled to the letter. Jesus Himself said “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Mk. 13:31). All the global events happening now that point to the unleashing of the antichrist are mere dress rehearsals. The actual events cannot happen until the rapture of the Bride of Christ occurs. “The day of the Lord (itself) will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying “Peace and safety,” destruction will come suddenly” (1 Thess. 5:2-3). As to the antichrist, scripture says “even now many antichrists have come”; “whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ, such a person is the antichrist” and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is the spirit of the antichrist” (1 Jn. 2:18-22; 4:3; 2 Jn. 1:7). There are many other signs of the end of the age that Jesus spoke about in Matt. 24; they are already upon us. For example, when earthquakes occur, we simply use seismology to explain them away, but they are part of the signs. While the secret power of lawlessness is already at work, the man of lawlessness is being held back now but he will be revealed at the proper time as God has ordained (2 Thess. 2:2-12). The revelation of the antichrist is part of God’s calendar of events for this earth, it cannot be stopped when the time comes. Prayer and fasting will not annul it. We do not have a biblical instruction to pray against these events. But rest assured, Satan is on a leash and that leash is in God’s hands. He cannot act without God’s leave (Job 1:12; 2:6; Lk. 22:31; 2 Cor. 12:7).
The revelation of the antichrist is part of God’s calendar of events for this earth, it cannot be stopped when the time comes. Prayer and fasting will not annul it. We do not have a biblical instruction to pray against these events. But rest assured, Satan is on a leash and that leash is in God’s hands. He cannot act without God’s leaveTweet
Knowledge Shall Increase
“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” – Daniel 12:4 (NKJV).
This again is prophetic. The Living Bible renders the end of that verse as “travel and education shall be vastly increased.” When you see the advancements of jets, driverless cars and speed trains to enhance travel, they are just fulfilling scripture. It is also the increase in knowledge that has brought about the evolution of wireless communications to the current fifth generation (5G). Technology is not evil; it is in fulfilment of scripture that there are these advances. The scripture above says knowledge shall increase, without putting a cap on the extent to which that will happen. So long as Jesus tarries, knowledge will continue to increase because scripture cannot be broken. I dare say that if Jesus tarries, we will move from 5G to 6G and even more. Technology is not the antichrist; he can only use it to further his purposes like he does with any other thing we already have.
We Know in Part
“For we know in part and we prophesy in part.” – 1 Cor. 13:9
Nature abhors vacuum, it has been said. When there is a vacuum in knowledge, we attempt to fill it up with explanations and theories. That is one of the reasons why we have conspiracy theories even in this season; some are of course barefaced malice. It is for the same reason that people engage mediums and fortune-tellers. However, part of God’s way of acting is to keep certain things hidden: “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29). He may choose to reveal some things at certain times as part of his determinate counsel; at other times he may not. To avoid propagating errors, we must be content with what God has revealed and accept that some things will never be revealed. On this matter too, scripture cannot be broken. As a Christian leader, you do not have all the answers because scripture says emphatically that our knowledge is incomplete; the time for perfection has not come. Much of the added confusion in this season has come about because some have not accepted this truth. We do not know all that Satan is doing; we do not also know all that God is doing. Accepting this will free you from propagating error or unduly seeking to explain everything and falling for errors or outright falsehoods.
A Kingdom that Cannot Be Shaken
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.” – Heb. 12:28
The Bible says that a time will come when created things will be removed from their seemingly secure places; people will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world (Lk. 21). It is during these uncertainties that the we have this reassuring word: we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken. If you belong to God, you are part of a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Let that steady you in these times. Everything around you may crumble but not the kingdom of God. It is secure and immovable. Your response to this truth, that verse says, should be thanksgiving to, and worship of, God, with reverence and awe. Your local assembly of believers may not be able to meet for worship, but Jesus is still building his church and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it.
The Promise of His Presence
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isa. 41:10
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matt. 28:20
We do not have a saviour who has told us of the difficult times to come but will himself be absent when they do. Jesus says, “surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Our saviour is alive, making intercession for us before the father. He is with his children in this hour of confusion and will be to the end of the age. Jesus knows about this coronavirus pandemic, is aware of all the difficulties that it has brought, and He is with his children in this very moment. God has his purposes for permitting this. He is good and all his ways are. This is the time to deepen your trust in the promise of God’s abiding presence.
Founded on the Rock
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” – Matt. 7:24
We have not been promised a life free of storms. Jesus himself was sleeping in a boat one day when it was hit by a storm. During this pandemic, children of God are not spared. What will steady your faith in this stormy season and more that could come, and prevent a crash of your faith? Your life must be founded on the Rock of ages, Jesus Christ. This is not the time to run to social or other media to obtain (conspiracy) theories but a time to be grounded in the word of God. It is a time to hear the word and put it into practice. Jesus said it is they who hear his word and put into practice that are wise and founded on the rock. Believe the word and not your ears, eyes or whatever other senses you have. The Bible says “… stand firm. Let nothing move you” (1 Cor. 15:58). That can only happen when you are founded on the rock; all other ground is sinking sand. We are witnessing how money and other forms of securities are failing in this season. The rich and powerful have been unable to buy their way out of this crisis. That should shift your faith away from the things that are seen for they have proven, like scripture says, to be temporal.
I call this a season in hope and faith that it will pass. While we wait for that to happen, rest on this assurance: “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deut. 33:27).