Jesus promised his followers that there would be a better world to come in the future, a time which would begin with his return to Earth from heaven.
But he also gave us a warning:
“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36)
Until recently, Christians living in the West found it all too easy to be “weighed down” by the things this life offers us.
In many ways we lived in comfort or even luxury, finding ourselves so easily distracted from our commitment to God by the nice things that we enjoy in this life.
However life has very quickly changed in recent days. We find ourselves having to do without many things we once took for granted:
* Going to the shops and buying whatever we liked.
* Freedom to travel and go anywhere we want.
* Easy access to medical care.
* Physical social contact with family and friends.
How many of those things did you just take for granted until now? Before the coronavirus outbreak, how many of those things did you remember to thank God for?
Now we don’t have them. Many shops have empty shelves, restaurants and entertainment venues are closed, medical facilities are soon going to be overwhelmed (if they aren’t already) by severely infected people, and it isn’t safe for us to be in physical contact with anyone outside of our immediate household.
How long will this last? We don’t know.
The real question is: how is it going to change the way we think?
Will we learn a new appreciation for the simple things in life which we have always taken for granted?
Will we realise the preciousness of regular fellowship with other Christians?
Will we grasp the fragility of our technologically advanced society and of our own lives, and put our faith in God instead of ourselves?
God loves us and will give us everything we need to remain true to him no matter what this life may throw at us.
“And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:29-32)
Paul, a church teacher chosen by Jesus, wrote:
And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
It’s easy to say we trust him. Now is our chance to do it.