by John Piper
2020 / 112 pages
What Piper offers us in what he calls this “historic moment of bitter providence” is a lesson in how to be “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Cor. 6:10).
The secret of “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” is this: knowing that the same sovereignty that could stop the coronavirus, yet doesn’t, is the very sovereignty that sustains the soul in it.
Some Christians want to “rescue God from his sovereignty over suffering” – they want to say God is not responsible for the coronavirus. But, Piper notes, such a “rescue” can only be done if we also “sacrifice his sovereignty to turn all things for our good” – if God is not responsible for the coronavirus, then He is not really in control, and we can’t rely on Him to do as He has promised, turning all things to our good (Romans 8:28-30). However, God is in control. Therefore…
The very sovereignty that rules in sickness is the sovereignty that sustains in loss. The very sovereignty that takes life is the sovereignty that conquered death and brings believers home to heaven and Christ. It is not sweet to think that Satan, sickness, sabotage, fate, or chance has the last say in my life. That is not good news. That God reigns is good news. Why? Because God is holy and righteous and good. And he is infinitely wise.
We don’t know all the reasons God has brought the coronavirus. But we do know He values us, and loves us so much He gave His Son for us. We do know He is in control. So we do know He can and will do as He has promised, somehow, in some way, turning even this pandemic to the good of those who love Him.
It is a short read, but an encouraging and also challenging one. It is also free, both as an e-book, and as a 2-hour audiobook. Both can found at DesiringGod.org/ books/coronavirus-and-christ. You can also find the audiobook on YouTube here. The book trailer is available below.