Every time I read the news (which might be a mistake these days), I find another story of a celebrity who tested positive for coronavirus. Despite their fame, power, wealth, and influence, they couldn’t avoid the heartbreaking news. Apparently, corona is no respecter of persons. That’s humbling, isn’t it?
In one of his final letters, Paul wrote to his friend Timothy: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth” (1 Timothy 6:17). Money, like most modern smartphone users possess, can make us forget how pathetically vulnerable we are. First world “rich” people (like me and, by global standards, 99% of you) add Instagram followers, build businesses, and raise successful children, quickly thinking we are pretty good at life. Yet all of it can disappear in an instant. And we can’t stop it.
This virus has been a humbling reminder that money, beauty, and influence can’t save your life, nor can it ever save your soul. Your checking account and 401(k) might get you some extra toilet paper, but it can’t shield your system from the imminent threat of sickness and death. This is why Paul doesn’t want you to put your hope in your wealth or your achievements or your career or your GPA.
Paul wants your hope to be placed in God: “Command those who are rich . . . to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17). We humbly hope in God. The God who is with us during our social distancing. The God who is for us despite our fears and failures. The God who is in us, working through his Spirit to comfort us and replace our worries with worship.
If God gave us what we deserve, we would all die instantly and never see his face again (Romans 6:23). Thankfully, God is merciful enough to give us another breath and the blessing of eternal life with him.
So, today, I ask you to put your hope in God. Put as much of tomorrow’s joy into God’s presence. I guarantee you, through Jesus, you will wake up tomorrow morning to his smiling face.
Proof, once again, that Christ > Corona.