This virus is crazy! I mean it has shut down Nairobi! I have to admit sitting in my house all of the time has been a real challenge. I want to go out and visit friends, but I cannot. I want to go to church and meet my small group, but I cannot. I just want to get even a cup of tea at a kiosk, but I cannot. Truthfully I have been struggling. What about you? Is Covid-19 boring you?
Through the trials and challenges that Covid-19 has brought us, I have come to realise that there are a lot of lessons that I need to learn. God has been teaching me a lot of things that I need to consider. Maybe he is showing you some of these lessons amid Covid-19.
Lesson 1- Equality in Judgment
We recently recorded our first video of the Kuza Digital Discipleship Podcast (KDDP), and during it, God brought something to my mind. He reminded me that Covid-19 is like a taste of the judgement seat of God. Covid-19 is not a respecter of persons. It does not care who you are, how rich you are, where you come from, what tribe you are, how powerful you are, or what position in government or office you hold. It will make you sick regardless of anything you have.
The judgment of God is very similar to this. When we will all stand before the judgement seat of God, it will not matter who you are or where you come from (2 Corinthians 5:10, Romans 14:10-12). The only thing that will matter is whether you believe in Jesus Christ as the only way to God or not (John 14:6, Acts 4:12). It will not matter how rich, well connected, famous, or influential you are. It comes down to whether or not you know Christ.
In Luke 16:19-20, Jesus gives us a story of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man was very wealthy and powerful, but Lazarus was the total opposite (Luke 16:19-20). Lazarus wanted to eat the crumbs from the rich man’s table, but the rich man fed his dogs the scraps instead of him (Luke 16:21). One day they both died, and Lazarus went to heaven (Luke 16:22), whereas the rich man went to hell and was in anguish (Luke 16:24). Now, in a real-world setting would such a poor man be given such grand treatment? The answer is no, but in God’s eyes, the poor man was found faithful (Luke 16:10-13), had the right kind of heart (Luke 16:14-15), and would have considered the kingdom of heaven as good above the things of the world (Luke 16:25). In other words, he was truly a believer, and the rich man was not.
Covid-19 is a reminder that God is entirely fair in his judgement, and we must be ready to meet him. Are you prepared to meet him? Are you trusting too much in who you know and what you have to get to heaven, instead of who Jesus is and what he has done? Remember, Jesus is the only way to heaven.
Lesson 2- Self Denial
As I mentioned earlier, it has been hard not to have my normal freedoms. I love having the freedom to go and do as I please. I love being able to walk wherever I want or jump in a matatu and go wherever I feel like going. However, that is now taken away from me, and I look back on it now, and I am grateful that it has because it reminds me of a core principle of being a Christian, self-denial. Denying ourself and living without certain comforts is supposed to be normal for Christians (Matthew 16:24-25). Self-denial is something that the Apostle Paul himself practised (Galatians 2:20). Jesus himself also practised what he preached by denying himself to the point of death on the cross (Philippians 2:1-8).
Since self-denial is such a core principle of what it means to be a Christian, then why are we struggling with some of our comforts being taken away? Why are some of us Christians resisting directive by the government to refrain from public gatherings, including going to church? Are we genuinely losing our lives so that we might gain it all in heaven (Matthew 16:25)? Are we too in love with this world? Praise God that Covid-19 has reminded me that I love my freedoms and worldly things too much than I ought to. I need to remember that this world is not my home, but heaven is (Hebrews 13:14, 1 John 2:15-17, John 15:19, 1 Peter 2:11-12). I needed a dose of remembrance that self-denial is essential. How are you doing with self-denial? Ask yourself if you love this world too much? If so, repent today and praise God for bringing this to mind through Covid-19.
Lesson 3- Heaven is Awesome
Seeing all of the people in this world that are struggling with the tragedy of Covid-19 through illness, death, anxiety, and fear has caused me to long for heaven more. That is because heaven is a place where there is no sickness. I think about the reality of heaven that it is a place where there won’t be any viruses, bacteria or any pathogen that causes us to suffer like Covid-19 (Revelation 21:4, Revelation 7:16-18).
Here are some realities about heaven:
Heaven is a place where God is and will forever be, and he is the most amazing person we could ever be with (Psalm 11:4, Isaiah 66:1, Revelation 22:4-5).
Heaven is a place where there is no more death (Revelation 21:4, Hosea 13:14, 1 Corinthians 15:54-55, Isaiah 25:8).
Heaven will have no more tears, only joy (Isaiah 25:28, Revelation 7:17, Psalm 56:8).
Heaven will have no more persecution for being a Christian (Matthew 5:11-12).
Heaven is a place where sin will completely cease (Hebrews 9:26, Revelation 21:27, Hebrews 10:10).
Heaven is a place where there will be no more hunger or even poverty (Revelation 7:16, Isaiah 49:10).
Heaven is a place where there will be no more pain or suffering (Romans 8:18, Revelation 21:4, Revelation 7:16).
Heaven is a place where there are mansions for us to live in (John 14:2-3).
Heaven will have people who worship the Lord from every tribe, tongue, and nation (Revelation 7:9-10).
Heaven will be a place that is covered in precious gemstones, streets of gold, and gates made of pearl (Revelation 21:9-11, Revelation 21:21).
These are only ten characteristics about heaven, and, amazingly, we can have such a reality as this to go to. It is through the mercy of God that we can go to such a place (Ephesians 2:1-5). If you’re feeling bored by Covid-19 right now, just know that heaven won’t be like that. Use your boredom from Covid-19 to help you seek the things that are above (Colossians 3:1-2). Get excited about heaven and focus on it. If you find yourself too fearful, anxious, and angry about Covid-19 to the point that it causes you to lose your joy in heaven, then take time to repent for loving this world too much. Remember that heaven is our home, and we’re to find great joy in the reality that we will go through because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12, John 4:13-14).
Consider these three lessons from Covid-19 and praise God for this trial that you’re currently going through, because they help purify you and cause you to remember what really matters (James 1:2-4, 1 Peter 1:6-7).