“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you.” (1 Peter 4:12-14)

The Corona virus is NOT a testing. I repeat, it is not. You can know this, beloved reader, because it did not come because of a lack of faith, nor as a result of any faith group or non-faith group. In addition, it did not come because of the actions of any cultural, national, or ethnic group. Yes, it is an ordeal! But not a parallel to the sufferings of Christ.

However, it can show the strength depth of faith and hope that we have in Christ. Not that faith will cure or prevent the virus. When you see and hear of those who have acted with compassion towards others, THAT is a living out of the compassion that Jesus the Messiah (and the Divine) had, and has, for humanity. Now, do not discount the acts of compassion because those who manifest them do not profess a Christian or religious faith. The Spirit of God can rest & reside in anyone!

In other words – and all apologies to Peter – this passage does not really relate to our current health issues. As much as the global community is suffering, it is not the “fiery ordeal” that Peter is talking about. I just wanted to set the record straight.

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.” (Chapter 5:6-10)

But Peter’s words are good advice for the days that we are in now. It is good advice for anytime you have struggles and turmoil. While the “adversary the devil” is not the author of this pandemic, you can be sure that it is taking every advantage of the situation. This is true throughout the global community and to our “brothers and sisters” everywhere. Let me say further – if we/you are doing a very careful and literal read of this passage – the “little while” that we are suffering may be longer than might be expected. Do though seek and savor the restoration, support, and strength that comes from the Divine.

Admittedly I could have approached this passage in a different way. But . . . . this pandemic we are embroiled in can overwhelm one’s thinking and sap one’s endurance. It is a fine line between finding scriptural solace for our current situation, and assuming the current situation has theological underpinnings. I pray with Peter during these days the Spirit of God rests upon you!

“To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.” (Verse 11)