Uncertainty has long been part of the human condition. We simply don’t know what the future holds and many of us find ourselves living lives we never dreamed we would. On a global scale, wars, terror, fires, drought, and yes, a viral epidemic, can make life seem dark and overwhelming. Perhaps it seems like the only certainty in life is uncertainty.
By the time you listen to or read this devotional, perhaps the COVID-19, or Coronavirus, will have been defeated. But if it hasn’t, here is a critical truth to remember: there is no uncertainty in God.
Marshall Broomhall was a missionary in China in the dark days of 1927. Chaos reigned, foreign Christian workers were asked to evacuate, and all Christians were at great risk. And yet Broomhall wrote these encouraging words: “In the light, we are largely unconscious of our limitations, but when the night descends, our helplessness takes hold upon us and makes us cry out for God. Faith is a faculty that needs the dark in which to thrive. When we see our way, we have no need of faith, but when darkness falls then faith receives her opportunity.”
Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. Psalm 139:12
The mission organization that Broomhall was with is today’s OMF International, a global fellowship of Christians with a heart for East Asia. Greatly impacted by the outbreak of the Coronavirus, OMF shared four things about God to help us pray in light of the outbreak, but these apply to prayer in all times of uncertainty.
1. Pray to the Father, the creator, and sustainer of all.
When our lives are shaken and disrupted it is the time to remember that He is the creator of all; He is the one to whom the earth and all that is within it belong. We can pray for healing, an end to this virus, or for a conflict spreading terror and for those affected by loss and trauma.
2. Pray to the God of all comfort.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,” says 2 Corinthians 1:3, “who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” We can cry out to the Father of compassion to comfort those who are grieving and to help those struggling with the disruption to daily life. Let’s pray for Christians to be able to comfort those around them with the comfort they receive from God and that they would point out our hope in Christ.
3. Pray to the Spirit, who brings wisdom and strength.
Fighting COVID-19 or handling terrorist threats is a huge challenge for governments, which are made up of fallible humans. God the Spirit provides wisdom and strength. In his grace, He gives strength to the weary and sustains people. He grants wisdom, even to those who do not know him. Let’s ask God to sustain workers and those in authority and ask that they would know they can call on His strength.
4. Pray to Christ, the light of the world.
The darker the surroundings, the brighter the light shines. In times of darkness, difficulty, and uncertainty, Christ’s Church often grows, both spiritually and numerically. Let’s pray for Christians to faithfully point others to Jesus in these uncertain times. Let’s pray for churches to unite in prayer and find practical ways to demonstrate Christ’s love and comfort to those around them.
He is our Creator, our Comforter, our Wisdom, and our Light. “He is before all things,” Colossians 1:17 tells us, “and in him all things hold together.” Yes, this life may seem uncertain at times but let’s remind ourselves, there is no uncertainty in God.
Resource Reading: Psalm 139:1-24