4 Signs God Is at Work in the Chaos of COVID-19
Even in the midst of chaos, make no mistake, God is at work. Here are four signs that His plans will not be thwarted and his people will not be overcome.
It’s still so hard for me to wrap my mind around the reality that COVID-19 has flipped our world upside down. Living in California, we are watching the restrictions on daily life grow tighter and tighter. It seems unreal, like a scary movie.
We are undoubtedly witnessing history in the making. Years from now, scholars and historians will analyze the effects of COVID-19 on our society, economy, mental health, physical health, and our spirituality. In many ways, the world has been caught by surprise.
But God most certainly has not.
Even in the midst of chaos, make no mistake, God is at work. His plans will not be thwarted and his people will not be overcome.
Here are 4 signs God is at work in the chaos of COVID-19.
Greater Openness to the Gospel
History has shown that people are more open to religion during times of crisis and instability. We can all empathize and relate to lost and confused hearts looking for answers. It’s become clear for all of us that regardless of how much we plan, strategize, and think ahead, we can’t control what happens to us and around us.
People are searching for hope in the midst of chaos. And studies show part of that search includes religion. It might seem like bad timing for people to be more open to the gospel, because churches are closed. But the opposite couldn’t be more true.
Though we don’t understand it, God’s timing is perfect.
We live during a time when people are less likely to walk into a church because of how foreign and intimidating it might feel. But that isn’t stopping us from sharing the gospel.
As believers in Jesus, we have an opportunity to minister and share the truth of Jesus like never before. God is on the move and we can be part of the work he is doing. We are all witnessing a pandemic, so we are all standing on common ground. There is an opportunity to share with friends and family why you aren’t paralyzed by fear.
Let your peace be a testimony to the truth of Jesus. This is a time when more people are open to hear about Jesus and it’s time for believers in Jesus to start sharing.
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Community Is Stronger Than Ever
It’s quite astonishing how connected people are even when they are unable to see one another in-person. God is at work drawing people together during a time of crisis.
Say what you will about technology, but it has been a true benefit for families, friends, and churches to stay connected during a time of social distancing. Our innate need to stay in community has become apparent and people are longing to stay connected. People are finding ways to be intentional in their communication through Zoom calls, FaceTime, and other creative ways. Even social media is being used to encourage one another.
In this time of social distancing we are being reminded that we were never meant to live in isolation. Part of being created in the image of God is being designed for community. God even said, man not was not meant to be alone. It’s not the way he designed humanity.
Through this pandemic, it has become clear that we were not meant to live in isolation. We are all being reminded of something we have always known to be true. God is at work through the chaos of the coronavirus as the whole of humanity is stepping further into community, as we were designed.
The world has slowed down in a way we’ve never seen before. The mandate to shelter-in-place is forcing people to pause and rest. It’s not a pace of life our society is used to living. And it’s not one that comes easy. But it’s a life God has called us to.
God even modeled rest for us, “And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done” (Genesis 2:7). This model of rest from work is something we should follow and likely, not something many of us are very good at.
The call to rest is really a call to trust God.
Many of us become busy striving, achieving, and succeeding. Right now, we are very limited in what we can do. You might even feel as if you’ve lost control. That’s a very natural response in these unprecedented times. But rest isn’t only good for our physical health. It’s good for our spiritual and emotional health, too.
To step into the rest God called us to is to actively let go of control and to put it into God’s hands. In this season, you and I are being forced to slow down and rest. Rest is a good thing and yet, it’s so hard for us to make it a priority. To create space in your life for rest is a way God restores you and revitalizes you. God is moving through this time to remind us about the goodness of rest in our lives.
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Your Faith Is Growing
It doesn’t matter who you are, COVID-19 is affecting everyone in one way or another. For followers of Jesus, questions of God’s sovereignty and provision are natural. It’s in times like these, when your faith is challenged, that you are more likely to grow in your faith.
Though this is not a time when the church is being persecuted, it is a time when believers are collectively facing hardship. The church has a long history of growing during times of trials and difficulty.
James the brother of Jesus, said it this way, “for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:3-4).
Though Christians shouldn’t go looking for difficult situations, we should view them as opportunities to grow our faith. It’s in moments like these that we begin to wrestle with the promises of God and we undoubtedly find him to be faithful. The relief might not come when you want it and it might look different than what you thought, but God is always true to his promises.
It’s in times of hardship that we see God’s glory on full display. When human efforts fail and you have done all you can do, God moves in ways only he can. It’s out of this place your faith will grow deeper, stronger, and wider.
There is no doubt that we are all living in difficult times that are directly affecting us as individuals. But God has not stopped working. He is not silent or passive. He is on the move. He is working in the hearts and faith of his people.
It may be difficult to see the hand of God during this time. But rest assured that God is at work during the COVID-19 crisis. He is working all things for his glory and for the good of those who love him.
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Tamara Chamberlain and her husband Dale are authors and speakers who are passionate about loving and serving Jesus together. They love having conversations and creating community around the abundant life that Jesus promised us. You can connect with Dale and Tamara at herandhymn.com.