The current coronavirus crisis is extraordinary in its impact. It has brought death and fear, put up barriers in everyday relationships, brought severe restrictions on travel, caused unemployment and the closing of many businesses, even the closure of community organizations such as churches and sports clubs which in Australia remained open and active during two world wars.
It feels like the “reset” button of life has been pushed on the world and everything has changed and has to be rebuilt. In such a situation it is easy to slip into a sense of hopelessness.
Yet Christians are called to be people of hope. Real and certain hope, trusting in God, rather than a desperate glimmer of hope.
The events of Joseph’s life in the Old Testament show us how God is in control of all things and brings salvation and real hope in what seems a hopeless situation (read Genesis 39-41). Joseph had been sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, taken to Egypt where he was wrongly accused of attempted rape and imprisoned. He helped other prisoners and even in prison, the Lord was with Joseph and he gained the warden’s favour (Gen. 39:21). Joseph always acknowledged God as the source of any help he could offer (40:8). Yet he languished in gaol for two years, with no hope in sight. Then God intervened swiftly, Joseph was asked to interpret the Pharoah’s dream, which he did, giving all credit to God (41:16). Then in Gen. 41:33-40 we see how Joseph was raised up by Pharoah to be his Prime Minister, effectively in control of the whole nation. He married a wife and raised a family, an impossible dream while he was in prison. God used him mightily during a famine to save the lives of many people including the people of Egypt and his own family in Israel.
Phil Allcock comments:
“There is no such thing as hopelessness when God is involved. He can transform even the darkest mess in the briefest instant. He does it here with Joseph. He did it supremely with Jesus: taking him from cursed death and cold tomb to resurrection glory in an instant. We can and must, trust this God as we face our chronic struggles that so easily breed hopelessness. Even if he does not change our circumstances now, one day we too will go from dead and buried to eternally alive in paradise!”
Let us remember God’s resurrection power shown in Jesus:
“By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also”. 1 Cor 6:14.
Let us pray that God will sustain our faith in his resurrection power as we pray about this situation where hope seems far away.
Geoff Milton 4/4/2020