Photo by Osep Villaruz
Written by Nina Aboganda
August 13, 2021
Why did God allow for this pandemic to happen?
The Bible says, God is sovereign. Nothing happens without His permission. Even when Satan wanted to afflict Job, he was limited by the boundaries God has set and he cannot go any further.
The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. – Job 1:12 NIV
God is also all-knowing. He knows the things that are yet to happen, and how events of today and the past will affect the future.
In Genesis 50:20, Joseph said that though his brothers betrayed him and sold him to be a slave to Egypt because they intended to harm him, God used it for good: to protect the small nation of Israel from destruction. And we go on to learn that protecting this small nation has a greater purpose: salvation of the world.
So not only does God turn something awful into something good, but God ALLOWS something awful to happen so that the ultimate good He plans will come to pass. And the “ultimate good” is for the salvation of man.
So why did God allow for this pandemic to happen? How can this worldwide disaster bring about the salvation of many lives?
How can being stuck at home enable “…this gospel of the kingdom to be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations…”? (Matthew 24:14 NIV)
How can this worldwide disaster bring about the salvation of many lives?
With advancements in the internet, the world is more connected than ever. The number of weekly views of Elevate services have quadrupled and we are reaching more people than ever with around 20k views every week! Now people can reach out to us freely and comfortably through our Chat Ministry to be prayed for, hear the Gospel and be plugged in a Dgroup.
I think it’s awesome that we faithfully try to share Jesus even online. We try to reach out to our friends by chatting and scheduling video calls. It’s amazing that we continue to meet our discipleship groups online and you even make it fun and exciting with virtual games and online gimmicks. We are in a day and age when we can stay connected to the world without leaving our bedrooms.
But are we disconnected at home? I believe God also wants us to reach our Jerusalem: our homes and families.
Let’s read this story from Mark 5: 1-20
They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. 2 And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. 3 He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, 4 for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. 6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. 7 And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by 8 For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. 11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. God, do not torment me.”
14 The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. 15 And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 16 And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs. 17 And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region. 18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.
There are obvious reasons why this man wanted to go with Jesus. He was tormented day and night for the longest time by a legion of demons, and Jesus was the only Man who was able to set him free with just a word! Of course he wanted to stick with Jesus like glue!
Instead, Jesus tells him to stay.
God also wants us to reach our Jerusalem: our homes and families.
When I read this, I felt disappointed for the man–for the obvious reason mentioned above. But another, probably not-so-obvious reason it would be disappointing for the man is because Jesus asked him to go back to his “friends.” The people who actually left him shackled and chained among the tombs.
He was in so much torment and alone that he would cut himself and cry out. No friends or family around to help him.
On top of that, people didn’t seem to be as open and welcoming to Jesus, the One who healed him! Instead of inviting Jesus to stay because of the miracle they just witnessed, they asked Him to leave!
This was the kind of people Jesus told the newly-healed man to reach out to. This was the kind of people he is asked to stay with and share his life-changing encounter with Jesus. I can tell, it is not an easy task.
For years you have been so used to being out of the house, for the whole day, 5 to 6 times a week. Maybe you find it easier to be around your friends where you can be yourself. Maybe your family is not the easiest people to be around. Maybe loving them the way Jesus tells you to is the hardest thing He could ever ask you to do.
But God allowed this pandemic to happen. And this pandemic caused us to be stuck at home with our family members 24/7.
We know God doesn’t want the work of spreading the Gospel to end because of the pandemic. He intends to use this situation for the ultimate good. Do you still have family members who have not surrendered their lives to Him and now you are stuck at home with them? I think God allowed it so you can use this opportunity to reach out to your family. Make this time count.
God allowed it so you can use this opportunity to reach out to your family. Make this time count.
How to Minister to the People at Home
- Pray for them privately, fervently, faithfully. And be on the lookout for opportunities God will open up as He answers your prayers.
- Invite them to pray with you for felt needs they may have, or ask them how you can pray for them in your private prayer time.
- Share short Bible passages during your prayer time, and let God’s Word speak to their hearts.
- Show them sacrificial love by serving them, putting them first, and going out of your way to do good things for them.
- Be sensitive to how God will lead you next. The first 4 steps may take a while and this may be the only thing you’re able to do. Eventually, He might lead you to have weekly Bible studies with your family, or share the Gospel. The key is, pray and be on the lookout on how God is working in your family–then join Him in His work.