By Rev. Jeremiah Cheung
Peace to you, brothers and sisters. Today, we face a grave trial. This present trial not only tests us in the area of our physical health, but also our souls – our mind, our feelings, and our will. It is also a test of our spirit – our relationship with God and our faith. In peaceful times, our faith is superficial, but during times of adversity, our faith is reformed.
The Coronavirus is like a wake-up call that rouses us from a deep sleep.
We have heard a lot of sermons and messages telling us to trust God. But if we do not truly trust Him in our hearts, we will not dare to move forward and experience the reality of God’s word. if we do not experience God’s word, our faith remains stuck in superficiality. The coronavirus is like a wake-up call that rouses us from a deep sleep. We’ve read in the past in the book of Revelation that a quarter or a third of the people on earth will die. We used to read that passage and wonder, “How could that be possible?” Now, we no longer ask how. With this pandemic, we see how we can lose everything we have in one week – including our health and our wealth.
No wonder the Lord Jesus told us long ago: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” The coronavirus rouses us; it thrusts itself into our midst and awakens us so we can ask ourselves, “How much have we stored up in heaven?”
How much have we stored up in heaven?”
Because of the enhanced community quarantine, we cannot leave our houses – the whole family has to stay home. The coronavirus has not only forced us to assess our priorities, but it has also compelled us to consider our relationships. We live in an age where busyness is the norm: you are busy; I am busy! In fact, gathering the whole family to have dinner together was not an easy feat. But now, we sit together at breakfast, at lunch, and at dinner. Let us cherish this hard-won opportunity of being with family and loved ones.
Because of the enhanced community quarantine, resources are also gradually dwindling and we now face a test of our human nature. The coronavirus is a reminder for us to learn how to allocate resources well. No matter who we are or what race we are, we are all created in the image of God. We are called to care not only for ourselves but also care for others who are in need.
“Lord, forgive us. The Philippines is so small, how can it stand?”
In the face of this global epidemic, let us humble ourselves in prayer before God. The prophet Amos’ prayer for Israel can be our example. Because the Israelites sinned repeatedly, the Lord was about to release His wrath upon them. The Lord allowed the prophet to see five different visions (Amos 7-9). The first was the vision of the locusts. When the prophet saw it, he said to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!” The Bible says, “The Lord relented, saying, ‘This will not happen.’” When the Lord showed the prophet the second plague, the plague of fire, the prophet cried out, “Sovereign Lord, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!” The Bible says, “The Lord relented. He said, ‘This will not happen either.’”
Church, let us humble ourselves before the Lord and say, “Lord, forgive us. The Philippines is so small, how can it stand?” May the Lord relent and say, “This calamity will no longer happen.”
親愛的弟兄姊妹平安:我們正在面對非常嚴厲的考驗，這不單是身體健康的考驗, 也是我們的魂(思想、感情、意志)的考驗,更是我們靈(我們與神關係, 我們信仰)的考驗。在平順的日子裡，我們的信仰都是很表面的，只有在逆境中才是我們信仰重整的時候。
我們在不同的信息中聽見很多要信靠神的話，但如果我們不是從心裡相信，我們就不敢去經歷神的話。如果沒有經歷神的話，我們的信仰還在停留在表現上。Coronavirus 好像一個警鐘，使我們從沉睡中醒過來，以前讀啟示錄時，看見地上忽然會死了四分之一的人，三分之一的人，不是不相信但總覺得怎可能呢? 但現在還會說不可能嗎? 現在我們所擁有的，可能在一個星期完全失去了，包擁我們的健康，我們的財富；難怪主耶穌早就告訴我們:不要積財在地上，因為有虫子咬，能銹壞，也有賊來偷；要積財在天上，天上沒有虫子咬，不能銹壞，也沒有賊來偷。Coronavirus 叩醒了我們的心，我們在天上積存了多少呢？
面對這次全球的疫症，讓我們謙卑在神面前禱告，先知阿摩司為以色列的禱告可以成為我們的榜樣，因為以色列人犯罪又犯罪，神的怒氣要降臨，神讓先知看見五個異象（阿摩司書第七章到第九章）第一個是蝗蟲災難的異象。先知看見後對神說: 主耶和華啊，求你赦免，因為雅各微弱，他怎能站立得住呢? 聖經說: 耶和華就後悔說: 這災可以免了。當耶和華指示先知第二個災–降火的災。先知看見後對神說: 主耶和華啊，求你止息，因為雅各微弱，他怎能站立得住呢? 聖經說: 耶和華就後悔說: 這災可以免了。教會，讓我們一同謙卑在神面前說: 主耶和華啊，求你赦免，因為菲律賓微弱，他怎能站立得住呢? 願耶和華後悔說:這災可以免了。