But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Are you finding it hard to be positive and optimistic during these difficult COVID-19 days?
Let me tell you about a remarkably positive man you may have never heard about. Paul Gerhardt was a Lutheran pastor in the mid-1600s in Germany. When he was a child, his family home and church were destroyed in the Thirty Years’ War. As an adult, he lost four children in infancy because of disease. He lost his church when he refused to compromise his beliefs at the demands of the government. He went for a year without a paycheck. A year after that, his wife died, leaving him to raise the one son who had survived the epidemic.
Your life may not be marked by tragedy and hardship as much as Paul Gerhardt’s, but can still be hard, and not just due to the fallout from the coronavirus. Maybe your marriage isn’t great. Maybe your job is mentally, emotionally, or physically draining. Maybe you have serious health problems. Maybe you never seem to catch a break, or your dreams routinely turn into disappointment. Maybe you are disappointed in yourself, and you realize God should be the one disappointed in you and your sins.
Paul Gerhardt realized that his sin was actually his biggest problem because it meant that he had no right to expect anything from God. So, what made him so positive? He knew that God loved him anyway. That in love for him, God had sent Jesus to die for his sins and rise again; all so that Paul could know God loves him, had forgiven him, and would take him to heaven.
God loves you and sent his Son for you and your salvation too. So even in these hard times, find your reason for hope and optimism in Jesus Christ, so you can say with Paul Gerhardt.
Why should cross and trial grieve me?
Christ is near with his cheer; never will he leave me.
Who can rob me of the heaven
That God’s Son for me won When his life was given?
(Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 428)
Thank you, Lord, for proving your love for me by sending Jesus to save me from my sins. Use this truth to keep me positive during difficult times. Amen.