During these scary and surreal times we’re living in, it’s difficult to wrap our minds around why God would allow something like this to happen. While the Covid pandemic and its variants have shaken many people’s faith, there are still lessons to be learned about a faithful God. Questions about sovereignty, mercy, and grace are abundant during this crisis, and it’s hard to know where to even start praying.
Lots of people have found themselves in a similar situation. In fact, there are lots of Christians having conversations about this very topic on eBible.com. EBible is an interactive platform where you can read and study the Bible as well as ask questions and get answers from the community. The question of the pandemic being part of God’s plan is a popular one, and I’ve summarized a few of the top answers below. May God guide you in His wisdom and timing as you pray through these trying times!
Part of God’s plan
Tim Maas tells us more about God’s hand in everything:
Yes, God is sovereign, and nothing happens without His permissive will. God is also able to bring ultimate good out of even the worst circumstances. However, in this present age, we still live in a fallen world in which forces opposed to God are also very active, and circumstances can occur that are not in accordance with God’s specific will, among which I would include the presence of communicable diseases. I would grant that a product of pandemics such as this may be the bringing of some people to repentance and faith, but I would be very hesitant in concluding that God allowed this particular pandemic for that purpose.
The pandemic is causing much death and suffering that may involve or affect anyone. Also, it is taking the lives of people who have not yet been reached with the gospel. From that perspective, I would view it as perfectly proper for Christians to pray that it be alleviated, and to work in whatever way they can to bring about its eradication.
Grant Abbott goes a step further in his answer:
God often used calamity (like plagues) in the Old Testament to cause the nation of Israel, his chosen people, to turn away from their evil and wickedness and turn back to a sincere and pure devotion to God. God even used the warning of impending disaster to turn an entire city away from its evil and into an obedient and faith-filled relationship with God (Jonah 1:1; 3:1-10).
God’s specific will in the midst of any trial or test we may face, like this Covid-19 pandemic, will be unique for each person, but will always be in harmony with his general will revealed in the bible. God welcomes us to ask him to reveal his specific will for each of us, in the midst of a health crisis like this, and he will surely guide and direct us so we fulfill the good work that he is doing in our lives.
Not what God wants
A pandemic that kills millions of people is not part of God’s “plan.”
The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy, Jesus comes that we may have the abundant life (Jn 10:10). God’s “plan” is that the people will humble themselves and pray, seek His face and turn from their wicked ways, so He can then hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land (2 Chr 7:13, 14).
Some people have a different way of thinking. It goes something like this: Since this is happening, it must be “God’s will” for millions of people to die, so that the level of our depravity will be undeniable, and the result will be en masse repentance.
It’s very hard to believe that the Bible can be so misunderstood, that Jesus can be thought of in that way. He came to us in person, fed the hungry, healed the sick, restored lame limbs, He even raised the dead. Besides all that, He preached a gospel of peace and good will among men FROM GOD (Lk 2:14).
Are people saved by going through trials and troubles? No! The (preaching of the) gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes the good news. (Rom 1:16)