2020 Pandemic, Civil Unrest, Presidential Election: Concerned, But Not Crushed

What a year 2020 had been.

A year that seemed to be far worse than any that came before it.

And with high hopes built on resolutions we made, we were sure we could command and control the ushering in of a new year full of butterflies and rainbows—founded in self-reliance, ambiguity and redefining of all things by what “feels most right” for each person…at the moment.

There is no longer any absolutes of right or wrong, truth or error. We no longer recognize the weaknesses of different races, or celebrate the strengths we each have to offer. We are all Stepford Wives who look the same, have all the same skill sets, and can all do the same things with the same results, as long as we ourselves have decided it to be so.

Yes, unfortunately, it seems our yearning for the disaster and heartaches of 2020 to end once 2021 began, have all been doused with new leaders and new laws and a new social norms hurling us further down the miry pit of mass confusion.

It’s the futility of man attempting to rebuild the tower of Babel, in order to be our own gods—the master of our own souls and destinies.

There is truly nothing new under the sun (Ecc 1:9-11).

It seems that what we’ve endured these past 13 month is something far graver than all the years that came before. But in reality, it is not much different from previous years that have passed. Some of these turbulent years are as recent as a few decades ago (The Great Depression, 1929-1939; World War II, 1939; Pearl Harbor, 1941). Others happened hundreds of years ago (Bubonic Plague/Black Death, early-mid 1300s); with the greatest of them occurred 2,000 years ago—the inexplicably humble condescension of the Second Person of the Triune God—entering His own creation as a helpless babe—Christ the Lord. The only one, who at birth, was already the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He alone is the Ancient of Days. He alone is Eternal Life.

With the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, our country’s civil unrest due to various people groups vying for supremacy, veiled as equality and unity (though it is the truest form of racial separatism and universal bigotry), and the results of the Presidential election; many have abandoned reason and rationale for obtuseness and oblivion of all that is good.

None of this sounds very promising does it? It all sounds rather daunting, doesn’t it? And it may well be for the majority, but not for the few of us who are in Christ Jesus. Why is it different for us? Because we are only passing by—this world is not our Home. It is our temporary mission field, where we are commanded by our Master and Lord, to carry on His work of proclaiming the Gospel of God’s grace to all men, in all places, and at all times as the Holy Spirit leads and works through us (Acts 20:24).

The purpose of every Christian is the same.

We are all commanded to expend and exhaust our God-given spiritual gifts, talents, resources, and position(s) of influence, to exalt the name of Jesus Christ and urge all people to repent and believe the Gospel (Rom 1:16-17).

This is why true Christians, true disciples of Christ, truly converted children of the Most High God are concerned about the going ons of the world around us, but we are not crushed by the daily news that surrounds us.

Understanding the present, through the past, for the future.

“Why then has this people turned away

   in perpetual backsliding?

They hold fast to deceit;

   they refuse to return.

I have paid attention and listened,

   but they have not spoken rightly;

no man relents of his evil,

   saying, ‘What have I done?’

Everyone turns to his own course,

   like a horse plunging headlong into battle.

Even the stork in the heavens

   knows her times,

and the turtledove, swallow, and crane

   keep the time of their coming,

but my people know not

   the rules of the LORD.

“Thus says the LORD:

“Learn not the way of nations,

   nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens

   because the nations are dismayed at them

for the customs of the peoples are vanity.

“There is none like you, O LORD;

   you are great, and your name is great in might.

Who would not fear you, O King of the nations?

   For this is your due;

for among all the wise ones of the nations

   and in all their kingdoms

   there is none like you.

They are both stupid and foolish;

“But the LORD is the true God;

   he is the living God and the everlasting King.

At his wrath the earth quakes,

   and the nations cannot endure his indignation.”

~Jeremiah 8:5-7; 10:2-3a, 6-8a, 10

Freedom in God’s sovereignty, mercy, and grace.

As God’s holy and beloved children, we prudently perceive our current president, his cabinet, and all other leaders who have proudly proclaimed their allegiance to the building up of sinful desires of the flesh (1 Jn 2:16-17), just as our Father has commanded His children in times past.

We know that nothing is done without God’s active working or passive allowance, for the ultimate good (Christ likeness) for those He loves and has called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28-30, Titus 2:11-14).

“It is I [the LORD] who by my great power and my outstretched arm have made the earth, with the men and animals that are on the earth, and I give it to whomever it seems right to me. Now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, my servant, and I have given him also the beasts of the field to serve him…if any nation of kingdom will not serve this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and put his neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, declares the LORD, until I have consumed it by his hand.

“[S]eek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”

~Jeremiah 27:5-6, 8; 29:7

How to bless God’s providence.

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.”

~Romans 13:1-5