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The Path to God's 'Perfect Peace'


Dr. Anthony Fauci is not only America’s top infectious disease doctor, he has also become one of the most trusted people in the US. So, when he suggested a way to bring back sports during the coronavirus pandemic, his opinion made national news.

“There’s a way of doing that,” he said in an interview. “Nobody comes to the stadium. Put [athletes] in big hotels, wherever you want to play. Keep them very well surveilled ... and have them tested like every week and make sure they don’t wind up infecting each other or their family and just let them play the season out.”

Of course, some will complain that sports without spectators is not sports. Dr. Fauci disagrees: “I think you’ll probably get enough buy-in from people who are dying to see a baseball game. Particularly me. I’m living in Washington—we have the world champion in the Washington Nationals. I want to see them play again.”

The latest on when we’ll have a vaccine

As the coronavirus pandemic passed two million cases yesterday, Dr. Fauci’s comments point to one aspect of the topic on everyone’s mind these days: How do we return to “normal,” whatever that looks like?

President Trump said this week he is close to completing a plan to end the COVID-19 shutdown and reopen the battered US economy. He believes that some parts of the country may be ready to go before May 1.

According to the president, roughly twenty states have avoided the crippling outbreaks that affected others and could be opened “very quickly.” He plans to work with the various governors to implement “a very powerful reopening plan” at a specific time and date for each state.

For instance, the Texas governor announced that he will release details Friday on his plan to jumpstart his state’s economy. By contrast, California’s governor expects to ban mass gatherings of hundreds or thousands of people in his state at least through summer.

Much will depend on the availability of testing, new medical therapies for COVID-19, and a vaccine to prevent the disease. The National Institutes of Health’s lead scientist for the coronavirus vaccine said a vaccine for the disease could possibly be available to the general public by next spring.

How to find wisdom beyond ourselves

We can make our plans, but the coronavirus outbreak reminds us daily that no human can see the future. When the new year began, did you know that it would be dominated by this pandemic? Could you see this four months ago? Can you see four months from today? Neither can I.

The good news is that we can turn to wisdom beyond ourselves. The prophet Isaiah said of Jesus: “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord” (Isaiah 11:2).

Jesus demonstrated such wisdom and foreknowledge throughout his earthly ministry. He knew who would betray him before they did (John 6:64). He repeatedly predicted that he would be rejected, killed, and resurrected (cf. Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22). He knew he would die with “transgressors” (Luke 22:37) and that he would return to his Father after his resurrection (John 16:28).

And he called his disciples into a future purpose that none could understand but all could fulfill (cf. Matthew 28:18-20).

How to experience the "breath" of God

I don’t remember an April 16 like this one. We face an ongoing pandemic, an economic recession and restart, and an upcoming presidential election. As we look forward with uncertainty, it is vital that we maintain our connection with the same Spirit who led Jesus into his purpose with joy (Hebrews 12:2).

It is interesting that the Hebrew word for spirit is “ruach,” the same word for breath. The Holy Spirit is to be the air we breathe, the essential lifeline of our souls. If we are surrendered to him and dependent upon him, he will lead us into an otherwise uncertain future. If we are not, he cannot.

Such submission often involves sacrificing what we wanted or thought we needed. But here’s the rest of the story: everything we must sacrifice to be fully controlled by the Spirit will be more than compensated by what he does in and with us as a result. It feels like death to give up sin and to refuse temptation, but when we die to self, the Spirit raises us to a new life that is incomparably better.

In other words, when we die to what Satan offers, we can be raised to what the Spirit provides in its place. And God’s best is always for our best.

"You keep him in perfect peace"

What about tomorrow most worries you today? Name your fear, then turn it over to the Holy Spirit. Ask him to show you anything in your life that is impeding your ability to sense his leading, then repent of all that comes to your thoughts and claim your Father’s forgiving grace (1 John 1:9).

Next, ask the Spirit to show you anything you need to know or do about this fear today, then follow his leading. Ask him to lead you into the future according to his perfect wisdom and plan.

Now claim what Isaiah said of your Father: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3).

Will you have God’s “perfect peace” today?

NOTE: My new website paper, “Life After the Pandemic: What May Happen and How to Prepare Biblically” is now available. I discuss this issue from medical, financial, cultural, and spiritual perspectives. I invite you to download it for free here.

Publication date: April 16, 2020

Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/olegbreslavtsev

Jim Denison, PhD, is a cultural theologian and the founder and CEO of Denison Ministries. Denison Ministries includes DenisonForum.org, First15.org, ChristianParenting.org, and FoundationsWithJanet.org. Jim speaks biblically into significant cultural issues at Denison Forum. He is the chief author of The Daily Article and has written more than 30 books, including The Coming Tsunamithe Biblical Insight to Tough Questions series, and The Fifth Great Awakening.

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of CrosswalkHeadlines.

For more from the Denison Forum, please visit www.denisonforum.org.

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