Pestilence Confronted: When Suffering Leads us to Hope

Because of Covid too many people live in fear. Indeed Covid has brought and continues to bring suffering, death and disruption of life and business.  Yet living in fear and despair is a form of suffering; a self-imposed one which serves no real purpose. Caution is not the same as fear. I take precautions every time I drive an auto, but I am not afraid to drive in one.  Unfortunately, politics and medicine have temporarily joined forces during Covid and we receive far too many messages designed to make us fearful.  Even though its clear that Covid is highly contagious but not as deadly (to the general population) as other diseases (cancer, heart, stroke etc).  

Of course no-one desires suffering, and we should do our best to avoid it. Nevertheless we cannot. Trials, troubles, suffering and pain are a part of life; even money, position and power cannot keep them away. This is not an enviable situation when you consider most people’s happiness stems from good things and good circumstances. All the more reason then to rejoice as a Christ-follower. Why? Because by faith we have a new relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. St. Paul writes:

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” 

And once we have this “peace’…

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5 (ESV)

In the New Testament, Christians are never promised lives without trials and tribulation. Jesus explicitly bids us: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (relief, help). (Matthew 11:28 ESV)

Instead, as a Christ-follower, I can endure suffering in a different way, a way that takes into account my faith (trust) in an all knowing and powerful God who promises eternal life with Him in His heavenly kingdom and gives me hope in better things to come. I need not generate a false optimism to help me overcome trouble or act pessimistically when confronted with it.  Instead I can be a realist, a person who confronts all trouble grounded in faith (trust) and a love relationship with God.


Global Prayer Points

As we seek to see our marketplace transformed by the Gospel, join us in prayer this week for the following requests from our Global Leadership. 

Africa: Pray for good preparations for the 2nd CBMC Africa Convention to be held as a hybrid in Lusaka, Zambia during the days of April 23-24. Also, pray for the South Africa Leadership Conference March 12-13, held virtually. 

Asia/Pacific: Pray for the translation of Operation Timothy into Khmer, the language of Cambodia and Mongolian, the language of Mongolia.

Europe: Specific prayer requests can be sent to [email protected]

Latin America: Pray for continued follow-up from the Transcende 2020 virtual conference hosted earlier by CBMC Mexico and Latin America.

North America: Pray for establishing an e-CBMC (next generation) in North America Korean CBMC. Pray that Christian leaders would take the challenge to lead other leaders who need Jesus. 

If you have a prayer request, please send an email to CBMC International.