Theologian John Piper has shared what he believes children should understand about God and the novel coronavirus and identified how parents can address difficult questions pertaining to the outbreak.
In a recent episode of his “Ask Pastor John” podcast, the 74-year-old pastor and grandfather-of-14 first stressed that “God is stronger than the coronavirus,” citing Matthew 4:24: “They brought [Jesus] all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains . . . and he healed them.”
“Jesus is more powerful than diseases — every one of them,” he said. “In fact, over and over again, the Bible tells us that God commands the wind, rain, snow, lightning, plants, grass, grasshoppers, flies, frogs, gnats, worms, whales, birds, and everything else. He commands them where to go, what to do, and they do what He says. They have to; He’s God.”
Piper then addressed the question, “Why is there a coronavirus, then? Why don’t you, God, Jesus, please take it away, since you could?”
While God could take away the coronavirus “by snapping His finger,” He doesn’t do so because “He has a wise purpose for it,” the pastor explained.
“God is perfectly wise. That means He knows exactly what needs to be done to bring about what’s best for all time,” he said. “That’s called wisdom. When you know what is best to do all the time, you’re a wise person. And God is perfect in wisdom. He knows what needs to be done: He knows how it needs to be done, and He knows when it needs to be done.”’
Tragedies like the coronavirus happen “so that people in the world who don’t believe in Jesus would wake up. So that people would stop trusting in themselves and trust God. [And] to show us that we might be loving things more than we love God,” Piper said.
“God is in charge of the coronavirus,” he said, adding that because Jesus came to the world and died for our sins, “we never have to be afraid of God’s punishment.”
“This is wonderful. That means we don’t ever have to be afraid to die — not from the coronavirus or anything else — because when Jesus died and rose from the dead, He changed death from punishment into a doorway to everlasting happiness with Him,” he said.
Stressing that “God is stronger than the coronavirus,” Piper encouraged children to “be brave … because you have a great Savior.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett