Advocacy is the Best Pill
Most parts of the world are currently experiencing the second wave of the pandemic, and this brings me to remember the account of Job.
The man did everything right in the sight of God. He ran from anything that could displease God; yet, he faced one of the biggest plagues any man has ever had to handle in the history of man.
Do you know how many great servants of God exist in our world today? I have heard several assertions that have suggested that God is angry with the world for the many evils roaming the earth, and that is why he has allowed the virus and other negative happenings to grace this year. Another one suggests that maybe instead of clearing out the wicked ones like in the days of Noah, he is allowing the pandemic to do the same thing differently. That is not the God we serve.
It is shameful that a lot of Christians believe these old wives’ tales in modern form. Are we quick to forget that Jesus shed his blood to redeem us totally from the law of sin and death? God Himself prepared a lamb and sacrificed Him so that we don’t have to offer any more atonements. His blood became a cleanser that made the world habitable for his children. If that blood wiped out the laws of sin, how can we still believe that the pandemic is God’s judgment for the evils of the world? Let me take your mind through some real-time facts about this pandemic.
1. Bad Things Happen to Good People
This principle will not change. Do you know why? God raises adversity to prove the faith of the righteous. Look at Job. The Bible described him as faultless. This aggrieved the devil who always stands in the accusation of God’s children- he felt Job was only faultless because God gave him all the privileges of life. So God allowed him to distort Job’s property and health, to prove the man’s faith.
Think of things this way: the church has made so much impact in the last couple of years, and the devil, probably aggrieved like old times, demanded that God should permit him to look for a situation that would shake the strengths of the church. Just like in the scriptures, God gave him that permission and the pandemic showed up (unfamiliar illness). Gatherings became prohibited. Inadvertently, church buildings became closed. Did our communal worship of God stop? No. Instead, the church found a more effective way to continue its services. Platforms like ChurchPad became a tool for churches to create worship atmospheres in different homes with one voice.
2. Real Solutions Are Mostly Beyond Human Capacity
Remember that Job suffered two sets of affliction. The first one to his wealth and the other one to his health, but as much as he lamented, he never cursed God as the devil predicted. The pandemic came affecting the world’s health and then its wealth (economy). You might call this reverse psychology, but I am taking us somewhere. Job’s friends were not happy seeing him in that broken state, yet they were not allowed to have real-time solutions for him, so they did the opposite- they criticized him. The pandemic started, and people threw accusations around while searching for probable solutions. As the quest for a lasting treatment became more difficult, countries began to lose hope and started criticizing one another.
3. Every Affliction Has an Expiry Date
Like I mentioned earlier, this pandemic is a lens through which we can understand the book of Job better. It has caused a lot of people to lose their jobs, and be economically devastated.
Job unexpectedly lost all of his wealth in little time. He was broke and broken. The pandemic had claimed the lives of friends, neighbors, and relatives. It is not too much to say that the world is grieving at this time. Job lost all his children in just one day. He had too much to grieve over, and the only reason our generation is not having it the exact way it happened to Job is that we have an advocate in Jesus Christ. The man had no advocate except himself, which makes it hard for him to contend with the devil. Jesus was not in the picture.
Job’s suffering took him to the very edge of death. The devil wanted so badly to take his life, but he knew he could not defy God. Even as the pandemic had eaten deep into the fabric of our global economy today, can we claim that we are suffering as much as Job did centuries ago? His wealth got burnt to the ground, but our economy is only experiencing a massive decline. Scriptures tell us that God restored Job’s health; he had the same number of children he lost, and his wealth grew to be double.
4. What Did Job Leave Undone?
The adversity Job experienced on an individual level is similar to that which we are now experiencing globally. Even as he represented himself, most of all the things he said in his broken state were lamentations and words of regrets. He did not think to act in the capacity of the advocate that God had made him. The Bible says, ‘Ask, and you shall receive’- but Job did not use his power of advocacy or probably never knew it existed. He trusted God with all his heart and never failed God, but he also never asked that God should come to his aid. Yet when the devil’s time was up, God delivered and granted him double blessings for his shame.
5. We Have a Better Chance Because of Advocacy
Today we have more than Job did. We have a senior advocate that fights the accuser on our behalf. Jesus is not sitting on the right-hand side of the Father for nothing. When we face difficult situations that are just beyond our control like this pandemic; as Christians, we must not rely on our understanding. The Bible tells us so. We trust in the Lord with our hearts and do not lean on our knowledge. We acknowledge the Lord in all our ways, and he will direct our paths. Should we not see that there is a silver lining beneath the clouds of this pandemic?
6.The Key to Victory Lies in Our Hands
When we have a tool like prayers in our hands by which we can call on our senior advocate, who is ever ready to plead our case before the Almighty God, why should we then fear? The churches might not be physically in full operations across the globe, but it has now found a home in the digital space. There is no excuse for us to neglect the place of prayer anymore.
Now is the time to do what Job did not think to do in his time. The time to find the cause of this pandemic is gone. The time for lamentation and regrets is also past. Now we are in the dispensation of prayers, and this is hinged on the Church to build us up so that we can provoke Jesus to advocate on our behalf. I will tell you this: there is no lasting solution to this pandemic without Jesus; the only way to get through to him is to lay our trust fully in him.
Let us build a formidable prayer wall together as Christians and provoke the Lord to give us total victory over challenging times.
By Temitayo Badewole