Read: Romans 5:2b-5
“Even when I don’t see it, you’re working. Even when I don’t feel it, you’re working. You never stop, you never stop working.”
These words are lyrics to the song “Waymaker,” which has been on my heart over the past few weeks. My heart continues to be reminded that God often works in the unseen ways. A lot has changed in a short amount of time. As we try to navigate these strange and unusual days, I’m convinced that these may be the days where God is doing his greatest work.
We can see both in Scripture and throughout history, God often uses adversity, suffering, and even trials to shape us into his image and to spread the gospel. The church in Antioch was born out of the adversity in Jerusalem. As believers fled the city because of persecution, people shared the gospel as they bolted. God’s hand was on these believers known only to God, whose names aren’t even recorded in Scripture. He worked powerfully and the great missionary sending church—Antioch—was born.
God doesn’t waste suffering but works mightily in adversity. This pandemic has caused the church to get innovative and to focus on what really matters most. Social media is now filled with church services, online Bible studies, and God-honoring messages. God may be creating a hunger for himself and his word, even through this crisis. God may be shaping our churches to focus on the gospel, now more than ever before. God may be giving us a burden for the eternal destiny of our community and state.
As we spread the only real hope in the universe, the message of Jesus, who knows the lives that will be changed through his powerful gospel? Who knows how God could be working? I believe God could stop COVID-19 in its steps if he chooses, but if he doesn’t decide to, maybe he sends revival to our nation through it.
I believe God is at work even during these unusual days and I take great comfort in that truth. I desperately want him to continue to work in my life, the life of our churches, and throughout our state.
Sammy Simmons pastors Immanuel Baptist Church in Benton and is president of IBSA.