9 Quotes from “Coronavirus and Christ” by John Piper

“I AM MOVED TO WRITE because playing the odds is a fragile place to put your hope. Odds like 3 percent versus 10 percent, youth versus old age, compromised health versus no history of disease, rural versus urban, self-isolated versus home meeting with friends. Playing the odds provides little hope. It is not a firm place to stand. There is a better way. There is a better place to stand: a Rock of certainty rather than the sand of probabilities.”

“I recall being told on December 21, 2005, that I had prostate cancer. For the next several weeks, all the talk was about odds. Odds with waiting to see. Odds with medications. Odds with homeopathic procedures. Odds with radical surgery. My wife, Noël, and I took these numbers seriously. But in the evening, we would smile at each other and think, Our hope is not in the odds. Our hope is in God.
We did not mean, “It is 100 percent certain God will heal me, while doctors can only give me odds.” The Rock we are talking about is better than that. Yes, better than healing.”

“Hope is power. Present power. Hope keeps people from killing themselves—now. It helps people get out of bed and go to work—now. It gives meaning to daily life, even locked-down, quarantined, stay-at-home life—now. It liberates from the selfishness of fear and greed—now. It empowers love and risk taking and sacrifice—now. So be careful before you belittle the by-and-by. It just may be that when your by-and-by is beautiful and sure, your here and now will be sweet and fruitful.”

“This is a firm Rock under my feet. It is not fragile. It is not sand. I would like it to be a Rock under your feet. That is why I am writing.”

“The secret of “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” is this: knowing that the same sovereignty that could stop the coronavirus, yet doesn’t, is the very sovereignty that sustains the soul in it. Indeed, more than sustains—sweetens. Sweetens with hope that God’s purposes are kind, even in death—for those who trust him.”

“But his goodness is not disconnected from his righteousness. It is not bestowed in a way that would deny his infinite value and beauty and greatness. This is why God’s righteousness involves final punishment as well as goodness. When God punishes the unrepentant in hell, he is not bestowing his goodness on them. But he does not cease to be good. His holiness and righteousness govern the bestowal of his goodness.”

“Calamities are God’s previews of what sin deserves and will one day receive in judgment a thousand times worse. They are warnings. They are wake-up calls to see the moral horror and spiritual ugliness of sin against God.”

“Would that we could all see and feel how repugnant, how offensive, how abominable it is to treat our Maker with contempt, to ignore him and distrust him and demean him and give him less attention in our hearts than we give the style of our hair.”

“He is not silent about what he thinks. Scarcely a page in the Bible is irrelevant for this crisis. My voice is grass. God’s voice is granite. “The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever” (1 Pet. 1:24–25).”

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