EMBATTLED COVID-19 FINALLY DEFEATED

PURPOSE OF AFFLICTIONS AND LESSONS OF COVID19

Affliction is a necessary aspect of life yielding positive results in terms of character strengthening. Affliction is understood in modern phraseology as persistent suffering or anguish.

The Bible gives many analogies to illustrate the value of character building through affliction. Bodily pain and disease have been instrumental in stimulating many to seek God when those who were in good health have had no concern about Him at all. The farmland that is not tilled produces nothing but weeds. The weeds will run wild. In process of time, if they are not pruned and trimmed, they will just continue to run wild. So would our hearts be overrun with unruly spiritual weeds, if the true Vinedresser did not Jesus says that every branch that bears fruit He purges so it can bring forth more fruit. So there is the purpose behind affliction. It consistently checks our growth by sanctified trials and tests. 

Here, as in Proverbs 3:11-12  

My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:  3:12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

 God has designed affliction to serve as a disciplinary action for His children.  Remember that this discipline is not punitive, but corrective.

 Job 33:27-30

Behold, God does all these things,

    twice, three times, with a man,

 to bring back his soul from the pit,

    that he may be lighted with the light of life.

heart.”

THE HIDING OF THE DIVINE PURPOSES IS A SALUTARY TEST TO FAITH. 

THE HIDING OF THE DIVINE PURPOSE IS A GRACIOUS DESIGN ON THE PART OF GOD MORE EFFECTUALLY TO WORK OUT HIS WILL CONCERNING MAN. The rebellious, not knowing it, cannot frustrate it. 

 THE HIDING OF THE DIVINE PURPOSES ISSUES IN THE PERFECTING OF THE SUPREME EXCELLENCE OF THE HUMAN CHARACTER – PATIENCE. 

God doesn’t afflict us or allow us to be afflicted for no reason.

He has wonderful purposes for all he does in us. 

So in God’s plan, afflictions have great benefit to us, as painful as they are at times. If we keep these benefits in mind when we suffer, they can help us endure joyfully.

Afflictions deliver us from pride. 

Afflictions make us sympathetic, merciful and slower to judge. 

Afflictions remind us of the brevity of this life and make us long for heaven where our true treasure is. “When things go on much to our wish, our hearts are too prone to say, ‘It is good to be here!’” John Newton.

Afflictions stir us to pray and keep us dependent on God. Too many days of continuous sunshine and we can forget how much we need the Lord. But as thunderstorms make us run for shelter, so afflictions make us to run to our Refuge and Strength, and cry out like David, “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.” Psalms 25:16

Afflictions are opportunities for Christ to display his power in us. As long as we can handle things in our own strength, we won’t see God’s power. It’s when the burden gets too massive for us to bear that Christ comes along and says, “Hey, let me take that from you” and reveals his universe-sustaining strength. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Afflictions drive us to God’s word. “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.” Psalms 119:71. A life preserver doesn’t mean much to someone lounging in a deck chair reading a novel. But when the ship is sinking and one is adrift in the ocean that life preserver is everything. When we are sinking in affliction, we grab onto God’s promises and they uphold us.

Afflictions yield supernatural comfort. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.

 prove the reality of God’s grace in our lives. How does someone endure years of sickness yet continue to be joyful? How does a wife lose her husband to cancer yet join the saints the following Sunday and lift her hands in worship? What makes a husband care for his Alzheimer-racked wife and continue to love God? God’s amazing grace! Endurance through afflictions is evidence we haven’t believed some empty philosophy or fable.

Afflictions make us thankful when God delivers us from them. “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me” Psalms 50:15.

Afflictions produce unique fruit that doesn’t grow in other soil. Fruit like faith, patience, perseverance, gentleness, long-suffering? By going through trials that require them.

Afflictions manifest God’s faithfulness and mighty sustaining power. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 8:35-39.

Afflictions make us like Christ. God’s ultimate goal is to conform us to his Son so that we can enjoy him forever. So ultimately, afflictions are for our eternal joy and gladness in Jesus

Affliction is a school, so we must learn from it.

In the face of the current COVID19 pandemic, there are many lessons for the world.

A novel type of coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infecting humans appeared in Wuhan, China, at the end of December 2019. Since the identification of the outbreak the infection quickly spread involving in one month more than 31,000 confirmed cases with 638 death. Molecular analysis suggest that 2019-nCoV could be originated from bats after passaging in intermediate hosts, highlighting the high zoonotic potential of coronaviruses.

 the end of December 2019 the news of an outbreak of a respiratory disease of unknown aetiology in Wuhan city, Hubei province of China, started to circulate around the world (WHO 2020c). The origin of the outbreak was linked to Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market

The World Health Organization formally named the disease COVID-19, and the Coronavirus Study Group named the underlying virus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2. A cluster of unusual pneumonia patients was first detected in late December, and the novel coronavirus was officially identified as the reason on January 8

Where do these viruses come from?

MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV appear to originate in animals, and the same is likely true of SARS-CoV-2. This makes them zoonoses, diseases that can jump between humans and other animals. MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV were originally bat viruses that spread to an intermediate animal (camel and civet cat, respectively), which then exposed humans to the viruses. Genetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 sequences shows that their closest genetic relatives appear to be bat coronaviruses, with the role of intermediate species possibly played by the pangolin, an endangered species trafficked in China for its scales and meat.

The Animal Origins of Coronavirus and Flu

Zoonotic diseases like influenza and many coronaviruses start out in animals, but their biological machinery often enables them to jump to humans.

China is in the midst of an epidemic caused by an emergent strain of coronavirus. 

The relationship between bats and coronaviruses (CoVs) has received considerable attention since the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-like CoV was identified in the Chinese horseshoe bat (Rhinolophidae) in 2005. Since then, several bats throughout the world have been shown to shed CoV sequences, and presumably CoVs, in the feces; however, no bat CoVs

The close link between bat and human CoVs has led to the speculation that all human, and perhaps mammalian, CoVs may have originated in bats.

Experts agree they have a great deal to learn, but four factors are likely to play some role: how close you get; how long you are near the person; whether that person projects viral droplets on you; and how much you touch your face. (Of course, your age and health are also major factors.)

To gain access to your cells, the viral droplets must enter through the eyes, the nose or the mouth. Some experts believe that sneezing and coughing are most likely the primary forms of transmission. Professor Kwok said talking face-to-face or sharing a meal with someone could pose a risk.

Julian Tang, a virologist and a professor at the University of Leicester in England who is researching the coronavirus with Professor Kwok, agreed.

“If you can smell what someone had for lunch — garlic, curry, etc. — you are inhaling what they are breathing out, including any virus in their breath,” he said.

The virus does not linger in the air at high enough levels to be a risk to most peopl but the techniques health care workers use to care for sick people can generate high levels of aerosols. This is part of why it’s so important that they have proper protective equipment.

Still, other public health experts say that at this crucial moment, when the world still has an opportunity to slow the transmission of the coronavirus, any number of feet is too close. By cutting out all but essential in-person interactions, we can help flatten the curve, they say, keeping the number of sick people to levels that medical providers can manage.

Though coronaviruses are not typically sexually transmitted, it’s too soon to know, the W.H.O. said but the close contact involved makes sex a risk factor in the transmission of Corona viruses 

Mark Findlater, 32, was convicted in 2016 for possessing images and videos depicting sex acts between adults and dogs, cows, pigs and horses on his home computer.

bestiality porn offender has been jailed after ignoring a court order banning him from keeping animals.

A man who is best known for having sex with a dolphin made headlines after insisting that he is definitely heterosexual.

Malcolm J. Brenner, a man who gained fame after he went public with his account of having sex with “Dolly”, recently clarified that he is only attracted to female animals.

These stories prompted a lot of questions, namely ‘but isn’t it illegal to have sex with animals?’

You would be surprised. In many countries and US states, bestiality is still legal according to international zoophile advocacy group Zeka.

A surprising number of countries do not have laws outlawing sex with animals despite many of them having laws prohibiting who you can marry.

After Covid19 pandemic, countries must put in place laws to reduce such humanbsexual contacs.  There are so many lessons to be learned from the pandemic.

Global interdependency. Under normal circumstances, the increasing interconnectedness of the world facilitates the exchange of ideas and information. This leads to the enhancement of the prosperity and wellbeing of many nations.

Freedom, solidarity and compassion, since “nobody can succeed alone.” We need cooperation and  social distancing is necessary for health reasons.

The biggest lesson for me has been navigating the road between fear and wisdom,” said pastor Andre Tan of The City Church. “It is especially tough as fear often has a way to masquerade itself as wisdom. How many precautionary measures are actually sound judgment and how many are too much, such that they teeter over into irrational fear and anxiety?

The biggest lesson that I have learned dealing with COVID-19 is the need to be humble as a church leader,” said Toh. “There is so much that I do not know and have to learn. And that increases my desire and the need to seek the face of the Lord daily.”

As the virus continues to spread globally, church leaders around the world should be aware that their flocks are watching their shepherds intently. Signals of faithfulness will have implications long after the COVID-19 season is over.

Amid all the bad news in the headlines, the Good News of Jesus Christ is more relevant than ever.

“The world has a virus infection that is far greater than all the viruses we’ve ever known throughout its history. That virus is sin,” said Edmund Chan, leadership mentor of Covenant Evangelical Free Church.

“And with this virus, there is absolutely no immunity, no survivors, and no hope. And it infects 100 percent of all humanity. No one is spared from this.

“The world is in need of a Savior. The world is in need of salvation.

America “is experiencing the consequential wrath of God,” the Rev. Ralph Drollinger wrote in a lengthy March 21 “Bible study” on his Capitol Ministries blog, which caused outrage among several national LGBTQ advocacy groups.

In addition to gays and lesbians, Drollinger — who The New York Times recently referred to as the Trump Cabinet’s “shadow diplomat” — also laid blame on people with “depraved minds,” environmentalists and those who deny the existence of God for igniting “God’s wrath.” 

8 Things the Coronavirus Should Teach Us

How are we, as Christians, to respond to such a crisis? Answer: with faith not fear. We are to look into the eye of the storm and ask, “Lord, what are you wanting me to learn through this? How are you seeking to change me?”

Here are eight things we’d all do well to learn, or relearn, from this coronavirus scare.

1. Our Fragility

This global crisis is teaching us how weak we are as human beings. 

The words of the psalmist ring true: “The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind [or COVID-19] blows over it and it is gone and its place remembers it no more” (Ps. 103:15–16).

How does this lesson of our fragility hit home? Perhaps by reminding us to not take our lives on this earth for granted. “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12).

2. Our Equality

This virus doesn’t respect ethnic boundaries or national borders. It’s not a Chinese virus; it’s now a pandemic.

We’re all members of the great human family, created in the image of God (Gen. 1:17). The color of our skin, the language we speak, our accents, and our cultures count for nothing in the eyes of a contagious disease. 

In the eyes of the world, we’re all different; in the eyes of the virus, we’re just the same.

In our suffering, in the pain of losing a loved one, we are completely equal—weak and without answers.

3. Our Loss of Control

We all love to be in control. We fancy ourselves captains of our destiny, masters of our fate. The reality is that today, more than ever before, we can control significant parts of our lives. We can control our home’s heating and security remotely; we can move money around the world with a click of an app; we can even control our bodies through training and medicine.

But perhaps this sense of control is an illusion, a bubble that the coronavirus has popped, revealing the reality that we’re not really in control. 

What about us? Armed with our disinfectant sprays, we try to lower the risks of being infected. There is nothing wrong with this activity. But are we in control of the situation? Hardly.

4. The Pain We Share in Being Excluded     Being excluded and isolated isn’t an easy thing, since we were created for relationship. But many people, now, are having to deal with isolation. It’s an experience the leper community of Jesus’s day knew all too well. Forced to live on their own, walking the streets of their hometowns shouting, “Unclean! Unclean!” (cf. Lev. 13:45).

5. The Difference between Fear and Faith

What’s your reaction to this crisis? It’s so easy to be gripped by fear. It’s easy to see the coronavirus everywhere I look: on the keyboard of my computer, in the air I breathe, in every physical contact and around every corner, waiting to infect me. Are we panicking?

Perhaps this crisis is challenging us to react in a different way—with faith and not fear. Faith not in the stars, or in some unknown deity. Rather, faith in Jesus Christ, the good shepherd who is also the resurrection and the life.

Surely only Jesus is in control of this situation; surely only he can guide us through this storm. He calls us to trust and believe, to have faith and not fear.

6. Our Need of God and Our Need to Pray

In the midst of a global crisis, how can we as individuals possibly make a difference? Often we feel so small and insignificant. 

But there is something we can do. We can call out to our Father in heaven.

Pray for the authorities running our countries and cities. Pray for the medical teams treating the sick. Pray for the men, women, and children who have been infected, for the people afraid to leave their homes, for those living in red zones, for those at high risk with other illnesses, and for the elderly. Pray the Lord would protect us and keep us. Pray to him, that he might show us his mercy. 

Pray also for the Lord Jesus to return, that he might come back to take us to the new creation that he has prepared for us, a place with no tears, no death, no mourning, crying or pain (Rev. 21:4).

7. The Vanity of So Much of Our Lives

“Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities. All is vanity” (Eccles. 1:2). It’s so easy to lose perspective in the midst of the madness of our lives. Our days are so filled with people and projects, works and wish lists, homes and holidays, that we can struggle to distinguish the important from the urgent. We lose ourselves in the midst our lives.

Perhaps this crisis is showing us what to concern our lives with. Perhaps it’s teaching us what’s really important in our lives and what is vanity.

Perhaps this crisis is reminding us what we should concern our lives with. Perhaps it’s helping us to distinguish between what’s meaningful and meaningless. Perhaps the Premier League, or that new kitchen, or that Instagram post aren’t essential to my survival. Perhaps the coronavirus is teaching us what really matters. 

8. Our Hope

In a sense, the most important question is not, “What hope do you have in the face of the coronavirus?” because Jesus came to warn us of the presence of a far more lethal and widespread virus—one that has struck every man, woman, and child. A virus that ends in not only certain death, but eternal death. Our species, according to Jesus, lives in the grip of a pandemic outbreak called sin. What is your hope in the face of that virus?

Our species, according to Jesus, lives in the the grip of a pandemic outbreak called sin. What is your hope in the face of that virus?

The story of the Bible is the story of a God who entered a world infected with this virus. He lived among sick people, not wearing a chemical protective suit but breathing the same air as we do, eating the same food as we do. He died in isolation, excluded from his people, seemingly far from his Father on a cross—all that he might provide this sick world with an antidote to the virus, that he might heal us and give us eternal life. Hear his words:

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25–26)

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