Piper wrote this book when coronavirus was permeating and taking multiple lives in the last days of March 2020 and there was no known medical solution for the virus.
John Piper’s theologically sound and biblically based wisdom in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic is meant to encourage believers to endure while living in a temporary, fallen and sinful world. He does this as he shares a hard life situation that he also went through, that is, being diagnosed with cancer as he highlights the storms that every believer has to endure.
Part One: The God who reigns over coronavirus
Piper’s robust examination of God and His attributes of holiness, righteousness, wisdom and sovereignty in this section, helps in providing a clear theological and biblical foundation in understanding the subject of “suffering” for a Christian. The writer encourages Christians to come to Christ who is the rock, a solid foundation that can never be shaken. He emphasizes that God is righteous and sovereign over the whole universe, nothing catches Him by surprise for He controls and wills everything. He mentions that God’s same sovereignty that could stop the coronavirus, but didn’t, is the very sovereignty that sustains the soul of a believer in the pandemic. He also indicates that God’s rule is sweet to those who follow and obey Him and have their stand in Him because they understand his plan. Piper’s main aim in this part was to show why God in Christ is the Rock in this pandemic and what it feels like to remain on his strong love.
Part Two: What is God doing through the coronavirus?
Piper answers the question, “What is God doing through the coronavirus?” with six answers:
- In the coronavirus outbreak, as in all other calamities, God is giving the world a physical picture of the moral horror and spiritual ugliness of God-belittling sin;
- The coronavirus might be God’s specific judgment to some people (not everyone) because of their sinful attitudes and actions;
- The coronavirus is a God-given wake-up call to be ready for the second coming of Christ;
- The coronavirus is God’s thunderclap call for all of us to repent and realign our lives with the infinite worth of Christ;
- The coronavirus is God’s call to his people to overcome self-pity and fear, and with courageous joy, to do good works of love that glorify God;
- In the coronavirus, God is loosening the roots of settled Christians, all over the world, to make them free for something new and radical and to send them with the gospel of Christ to the unreached peoples of the world.
Each of the answers that J. Piper gives is supported by Scripture and sound theology. He helps readers to understand the book more by giving various useful applications.
I have been encouraged to stand on Christ Jesus the solid foundation, in and through whom, I can never be moved. This world has coronavirus, numerous diseases, viruses and all sorts of pain but what must comfort me is Christ alone and trusting in Him with the hope of eternal communion with him upon his imminent return. I was reminded that this fallen world is not my home and only Christ helps me to endure all kinds of pain in this temporary world.
The book reminded me that God judges sin and that I need to ask for forgiveness for my sinful attitudes and actions. I was also reminded of the urgency that the spreading of the Gospel requires from me as a born again Christian. This book helped me decide to use modern technology wisely for the purpose of spreading the Gospel to those around me.