In Coronavirus and Christ, John Piper invites readers around the world to stand on the solid Rock, who is Jesus Christ, in whom our souls can be sustained by the sovereign God who ordains, governs, and reigns over all things to accomplish his wise and good purposes for those who trust in him. Piper offers six biblical answers to the question, What is God doing through the coronavirus?—reminding us that God is at work in this moment in history. (This work is very timely and is presented in a short work that can be read in just a few minutes). You can download it for free or purchase it at:
|Coronavirus and Christ | Desiring GodWhat is God doing through the coronavirus pandemic? He is not silent about what he is doing in the world. He has given us the Scriptures. John Piper listens carefully to God’s word and leads us to six answers.www.desiringgod.org|
From chapter 1….
Coronavirus and Christ
A Short Book by John Piper
The God Who Reigns Over Coronavirus
COME TO THE ROCK
I am moved to write because playing the odds is a fragile place to put your hope. Odds like 3 percent versus 10 percent, youth versus old age, compromised health versus no history of disease, rural versus urban, self-isolated versus home meeting with friends. Playing the odds provides little hope. It is not a firm place to stand. There is a better way. There is a better place to stand: a Rock of certainty rather than the sand of probabilities.
WHEN CANCER CAME
I recall being told on December 21, 2005, that I had prostate cancer. For the next several weeks, all the talk was about The God Who Reigns over the Coronavirus odds. Odds with waiting to see. Odds with medications. Odds with homeopathic procedures. Odds with radical surgery. My wife, Noël, and I took these numbers seriously. But in the evening, we would smile at each other and think, Our hope is not in the odds. Our hope is in God.
We did not mean, “It is 100 percent certain God will heal me, while doctors can only give me odds.” The Rock we are talking about is better than that. Yes, better than healing.
Even before the phone call from the doctor telling me I had cancer, God had already reminded me in a remarkable way about the Rock under my feet. After my usual annual exam, the urologist had looked at me and said, “I’d like to do a biopsy.
” Really? I thought. “When?” “Right now, if you have the time.” “I’ll make time.”
While he was going to get the machine, and while I was changing into the typical unflattering blue gown, there was time for me to ponder what was happening. So he thinks I may have cancer. As my future in this world began to change before my eyes, God brought to my mind something I had read recently in the Bible.
Come to the Rock
GOD SPOKE . Now, let’s be clear. I don’t hear voices. At least I never have. My confidence that God speaks is rooted in the fact that the Bible is his word. (More on that in the next chapter.) He has spoken, once for all, and he still speaks in his word. The Bible, rightly understood, is the voice of God.
Here is what he said to me in that urologist’s office as I waited for the biopsy that would confirm that I had cancer. “John Piper, this is not wrath. Live or die, you will be with me.”
That’s my paraphrase. Here’s what he actually said:
God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. (1 Thess. 5:9–10)
Awake or asleep—that is, live or die—I will be alive with God. How can that be? I am a sinner. I have never lived a day of my life—not one—without falling short of God’s standards of love and holiness. So how can this be? How can God say, “You, John Piper, will be with me—live or die”?
God didn’t even wait for the question before he answered. It’s because of Jesus. Jesus alone. Because of his death, there The God Who Reigns over the Coronavirus 14 will be no wrath toward me. Not because of my perfection. My sins, my guilt, and my punishment fell on my Savior, Jesus Christ. He “died for us.” That’s what his word says. Therefore, I am free from guilt. Free from punishment. Secure in God’s merciful favor. “Live or die,” God said, “you will be with me.”
That is very different from playing the odds with cancer—or with the coronavirus. This is a firm Rock under my feet. It is not fragile. It is not sand. I would like it to be a Rock under your feet.