And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
So, what are you praying for these days? For God to keep you and your loved ones from getting the coronavirus? For God to end the threat of the virus, so people don’t get sick or die from it anymore, and so you can stop losing income and pay your bills?
Those prayers are appropriate because God invites us to pray, “Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver you,” he says in Psalm 50.
But, in the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus also taught us to pray, “Your will be done.” (Matthew 26:42) Why would you pray, “Your will be done” in these days when you are stressed about your future or that of those you love? Because God has promised to bring good out of your suffering. The apostle Paul reminds us of this in Romans 8:28 when he says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
What good could God bring out of the uncertainty and anxiety caused by this virus? He could be reminding you that you need him so that you rely more on him and less on yourself or the things of this world. That would be good. He could be showing you that things you assume will always be there—your health, your job, your income, your lifestyle—can be gone in a flash so you don’t build your life on such unreliable things but instead on him. That would also be good. He could be helping you rethink your priorities, so you think more about what matters—your relationship with God, being there for your loved ones, helping the needy, and hurting. That would be good too.
Maybe it would be good to pray for God to open your eyes to all the good that he can work through these present hardships and the suffering they may bring you. Because that is his specialty. Through the worst suffering possible—his Son’s suffering at the cross for your sins, he achieved your greatest good—your eternal salvation. So, keep praying “Your will be done,” with confidence that he will keep working good for you in these difficult times.
Lord, even as I ask you to protect my loved ones and me during this difficult time, I also pray that your will be done. Help me to trust that your will is always best for me. Amen.