Psalm 66:8-20, Genesis 6:5-22, Acts:27:1-12 (NIV) 

There are times and circumstances, which test us.  And, to be sure, the scriptures tell us that God tests us.  Sometime the hard circumstances of life and God’s testing overlap, while sometimes they don’t.  But know that there are some bold folks who will presume to tell others that God is testing them or the nation or the world and they are sure of it.   I think a more humble approach is better as God is the judge, not people.  I believe that when we have a chance to look backwards to reflect on the meaning of times, events, and our own lives we can see more clearly and spiritually and come to understand those situations when God tested us to refine us.   Others can not really say as they look from the outside in.  Some circumstances are due to the fallen sinful world in which we live and we get tested by them, nonetheless.  While God allows them, it doesn’t mean God is punishing us or the world.

Certainly, this COVID-19 Pandemic is testing all of us and the world in so many ways.  We pray to God for healing, for vaccines, for medicines and for better days.  May the sound of God’s praises come from us as we seek to follow the Lord Jesus, love others, and love our God.

Noah lived in a an evil time and God preserved him and his family.  Paul went through challenging times in prison, on the seas, of persecution, and was executed for being a follower of Jesus.  Yet from prison, Paul wrote letters that expressed the joy of knowing Christ and how,  even in challenging situations, God’s love can live and flow from his people.  The church in every age has known times of testing, challenge, loss, hardship, and extraordinary joy. That’s the way it is in a fallen world.

In this time that tests us all, may we live well in faith.  Let us draw our strength from the grace of the Lord Jesus, the love of God, and the power of the Holy Spirit.  Live in Hope, Christ is Risen, Indeed!