Gospel Peace in Uncertain Times
Grimke Sermon and the Spanish Flu
“To look inward to our love towards Christ is painfully unsatisfying: to look outward to Christ’s love towards us is peace” Ryle, pg. 322
“Sickness is often one of the most humbling and distressing trials that can come upon man” Ryle, pg. 333
“Sin is the cause of all sickness, and disease, and pain, and suffering, which prevail on the earth. They are all part of that curse which came into the world when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and fell. There would have been no sickness, if there had been no fall. There would have been no disease, if there had been no sin” Ryle, pg. 33.
Sickness helps to remind men of death.
Sickness helps to make men think seriously of God.
Sickness helps to soften men’s hearts.
Sickness helps to level and humble us.
Sickness helps to try men’s religion
"I believe that in heathen lands sickness often paves the way for the missionary, and makes the poor idolater lend a willing ear to the glad tidings of the gospel. I believe that in our own land sickness is one of the greatest aids to the minister of the gospel, and that sermons and counsels are often brought home in the day of disease which we have neglected in the day of health. I believe that sickness is one of God's most important subordinate instruments in the saving of men, and that through the feelings it calls forth are often temporary, iit is also often a means whereby the Spirit works effectually on the heart. In short, I believe firmly that the sickness of men's bodies has often led, in God's wonderful providence, to the salvation of men's souls." Pg. 340-341, Practical Religion, J.C. Ryle
“Let us cleave to Christ more closely, love him more heartily, live to him more thoroughly, copy him more exactly, confess him more boldly, follow him more fully.” J.C. Ryle
The gospel multiplies in the midst of pain and suffering.
The apostle Paul was in quarantine and self-isolation. He was in prison for preaching the gospel. Yet, one of the themes that emerges from the letter is joy. He had people criticizing him, he had concern because one of his co-laborers was very ill, he had to deal with false teachers, he had to deal with Christians fighting with one another, yet he remained calm and content.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Trials show us that we are dependent beings.
Embrace the moment and rejoice in God in this trial.