Our friend Bob Kauflin recently posted this article on his Worship Matters blog. He’s given us permission to share it here for the benefit of our church. Thanks Bob!
In his excellent article, “Anxiety, Waiting and the Coronavirus,” Alasdair Groves reminds us of the unique kind of trial the current worldwide pandemic presents to us. We’re tempted to experience a “particular strain of anxiety that comes when we are waiting for a threat that is gliding toward us, its fin visible above the surface.”
In other words, we know something bad is coming. We just don’t know what or when.
To be sure, many are already experiencing the effects of the virus. Financial disaster. Loss of income. Loss of a job. Sickness. Even death. For others, COVID-19 remains a looming threat, an underwater shark moving towards us in the ocean, unseen but real.
How does God encourage his people during times like these? He points us to who he is and what he has promised.
He reminds us that he is sovereign.
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Genesis 50:20, ESV)
He reminds us that he is good.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29–31, ESV)
He reminds us that he is all-wise.
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:33–36, ESV)
He reminds us of the gospel.
“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32, ESV)
He reminds us that the glory to come far exceeds our trials.
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17–18, ESV)
If we want to experience the security of God’s faithfulness in the midst of uncertainty and impending trials, we won’t find it by endlessly checking Facebook, CNN, the Internet, and blogs. We will fix our minds and hearts on what is true about God.
Singing is one of the ways God has given us to remember these realities. It enables the word of Christ to dwell in us richly (Col. 3:16).
So I want to recommend a number of songs that contain these truths. These are primarily songs we sing at my home church, Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville. My good friend Matt Merker put together another helpful list here.
As you listen to and sing these songs, may you be freshly reminded that “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38–39, ESV)