No doubt, 2020 has been a year many around the world couldn’t wait to see the end of. So many things happened in that year that a lot of us have never experienced before. If not anything, the sheer number of people who have died and are still dying directly or indirectly from being infected with COVID has been staggering and unfortunately, this has dovetailed into the beginning of 2021.
I have personally not experienced any year since I was born, when Church buildings were closed for services for months on end. I currently live in a part of England which is in the highest tier of COVID restrictions, preventing my Church from opening our doors for services. At this time, there is speculation that restrictions will be tightened up nationwide in order to curb the rate of infections that seems to be increasing daily.
It is so easy to feel disheartened and disillusioned with all that has happened as a consequence of the COVID pandemic, especially if you have been impacted as many have been, either through the loss of a loved one, jobs or business but I believe that the only way for us is forward because that is where the ultimate victory over this battle is.
We serve a God who hears. Ask Hagar, when she thought she was all alone in the wilderness and had no idea whether she or her unborn child would survive. It was at her darkest hour that the Angel of the Lord appeared to her and assured her that she would give birth to a son and the child would be named Ishmael (Which means, God hears) You may have prayed through the last year, wondering if God hears, especially since things seem to be getting worse, rather than better but I would like you to know that God indeed hears and is already working out our salvation just as He has done before.
In the meantime, our job is to keep pressing on in prayer and in doing what He has called us to do within the limits of whatever restrictions we may be facing. One thing I thank God for is that the internet has not experienced the upsurge in online services like we have seen in the last one year. Worship leaders and Christian artists have freely provided content on YouTube and other streaming services to encourage and inspire the Church to continue to worship in our homes. Prayer groups are springing up on Zoom and WhatsApp like never before making it possible for believers to continue to fellowship even when we cannot physically meet. I am a Volounteer Team Lead and Coach for YouVersion Bible App and in 2020, the over 52 Million new users joined the app which shows more people are engaging with the Word of God!
It hasn’t all been bad news and I believe that we will come out of this better, stronger, more loving and more determined to fulfil the mission that God has called us to accomplish here on earth.
We won’t stop, we will keep on pressing on like Paul who said, “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3: 13-14)
Let us press on in prayer, in preaching the word through whatever medium is available to us, let us show Christ’s love to the people around us but much more than anything else, let us stand upon God’s promises at such a time as this and by the grace of God, we will celebrate the victory.
Happy new year to you.