Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Coronavirus--When Good Comes From Evil

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Most biblical Christians know Romans 8:28 and quote it often as a personal affirmation that God is in control.

But the media---Bloomberg, New York Times---and others, are now suggesting something good will emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.

One such thing is there's now a concentrated effort to bring drug manufacturing back to the United States---away from China's "chokehold."

Be informed.

Most of us biblical Christians have quoted Romans 8:28:
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

Sometimes we even try to apply it to "our own purposes," but for the most part, we understand that it's about "God's purposes."

I found it interesting that even the secular, most often bias press is anticipating some good will come from the coronavirus pandemic.

Bloomberg: "Coronavirus will change how we shop, travel and work for years."

Bloomberg says, "Every economic shock leaves a legacy. The deadly coronavirus will be no different."

They note:
"The Great Depression spurred a 'waste not want not' attitude that defined consumer patterns for decades".... "The Asia financial crises left the region hoarding the world's biggest collection of foreign exchange"..."This time," they say, "it's a public health emergency that's driving the changes."

Some changes they predict are:

  • Universities will diversify their foreign student base.
  • Schools will become better prepared to keep educating on-line.
  • Tourism, which is taking a major hit, will take a long time to recover.
  • "The virus has turned the economic policy outlook on a dime and created new priorities."

Bloomberg, of course, talks extensively about how to accommodate and exploit the changes that are coming.

But my point is that even the secular press recognizes that some good can come from evil.

This pandemic will reset our culture in a number of ways.

The New York Times says, "Coronavirus Spurs US Efforts to End China's Chokehold on Drugs."

The Times reported, "The Trump administration says the US is too dependent on China for vital drugs. But it's unclear how much Washington can do to alter global supply chains."

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro says he has drafted and will present President Trump with an executive order aimed at reducing the United States' dependency on overseas medical supply chains, as a result of the current coronavirus pandemic.

Navarro told CNBC, "I want to ensure to Wall Street and the American people that we are tackling this. We are working 24/7. It's all hands on deck."

Here is a part of the Navarro interview with the New York Times:

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: The New York Times is reporting this morning that the administration is attempted to persuade a Germany firm developing a possible vaccine, the company, CureVac, to move its research development to the United States, this is according to German officials, raising fear, apparently, in Berlin that President Trump was trying to ensure that any enucleation would be available first in the United States and, perhaps, exclusively. Can you speak to that?
PETER NAVARRO: What I can speak to is this broader, interesting issue of how dependent the United States of America is on the global supply chain, not just for its medicines, but for its medical supplies and medical equipment. As we speak, I’m bringing an executive order to the president, he personally asked me to move quickly on this issue. The essence of the executive order, which we hope to get to the finish line by the end of the week, is to bring all of that home, so we don’t have to worry about foreign dependency. 70 percent of our advanced pharmaceutical ingredients comes from abroad.

Although President Trump began questioning our dependence on China for our drugs days after taking office in 2017, from this coronavirus tragedy, he will likely have the support he would not have had before to bring drug manufacturing home.

How will this coronavirus tragedy impact your personal life? As a Christian?

Perhaps we will reevaluate our priorities---what's important, what's not so much. A personal reset of our own.

It is true that God can and does work through our difficulties to accomplish His purposes in our lives. He allows the good and the bad things in life---and we can trust Him because His plan for your life---and mine--- is for "good" not for "evil."

Most people, whether they are religious or not, know the story of Job. It was bad. So bad that his wife even suggested he "curse God and die."

Job's response? "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord."

The story of Job ends at a new beginning, (Job 42: 10,12):
"The Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before...so the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning..."

Maybe we can revisit Joseph's story---mocked and betrayed by his own brothers---sold into slavery; all a path to God's "purpose" for his life that would ultimately bring him to the moment where he would proclaim---not from personal vindication, but from gratitude to God, and forgiveness toward his brothers--- "You thought evil against me; but God meant it for good..."

There are so many biblical accounts of how God has brought good out of evil circumstances.

The most consequential was Jesus' story.

The Jewish religious leaders envied Jesus' wisdom and popularity but didn't believe He was the promised Messiah, so they devised an evil plot to falsely accuse Him and bring Him to trial. After a mockery of justice, cruel beatings, and appalling indignities, Jesus was crucified.

The wicked actions of His enemies enabled Him to fulfill God's purpose of redemption.

We will celebrate the end of that matter in a few weeks when once again we celebrate His Resurrection.

If nothing else, biblical Christians will learn through this great trial to trust the Lord in new ways and more intimate ways.

I'm reminded of a song written and popularized by Andre Crouch; "Through It All." I knew Andre well. He told me his songs just came to him from the Lord.

Take a moment and receive this, as from the Lord. Andrae Crouch, "Through It All."

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Assured. Be At Peace. Be Prayerful.