When Will the Pandemic End? The Blessing of Not Knowing

By Dr. Tony Miranda

Today’s guest blog was written by Dr. Tony Miranda, president of the Texas Hispanic Baptist Convention and pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista in Austin, Texas.

Since the pandemic hit our society in early 2020, we have learned things that we would not have otherwise as a church. For some of us pastors and congregation leaders, our faith has been tested in many areas. Generally, the church has been affected in the areas of health, attendance, finances, difficulty in planning activities, loss of members, and loss of loved ones.

I think that when the effects of the virus began to show in our churches, most of us believed that COVID would only be with us for a few months and then everything would return to normal; How wrong we were! There are times when it seems that the pandemic is about to end when we see that the COVID statistics turn favorable. Then that ray of light dissipates when the cases and the effects of the new variants of the virus increase along with the impact that this generates in our communities. When we realized this reality, we began to have questions of which some of them remain the same to this day.

Will there be new variants of the virus? Will another dose of vaccination or another vaccine be needed? Will we have to close our churches again or take further precautions against the virus? How much longer will we have to wait to return to normal church life? The answer to all these questions is simple: we don't know.

As human beings, our capacity for knowledge is limited, and we do not know the future. But the fact of not knowing things should not be a problem for those of us who believe in the sovereignty of God. There is a blessing in not knowing what God already knows and believing that he will act according to his designs. When we work our faith, we can understand things that the use of reason does not give us. Reason does not move; faith grows; in reason, there is no doubt, faith conquers doubt; reason generates knowledge, faith creates conviction. Faith operates more in us in times of uncertainty than when we have evidence of what is about to happen.

The biblical stories of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego illustrate growing faith amidst uncertainty. When King Nebuchadnezzar confronts these three men to prostrate before the statue and thus avoid being thrown into the fiery furnace, they firmly respond, "Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up" (Dan. 3:17-18 NKJV). As we read this story, we often overlooked that these three men did not really know what would happen to them. They were trusting that God would deliver them from the fiery furnace, "BUT IF NOT," if in the divine sovereignty God allowed them to be burned alive in the fiery furnace, in any case, they would not worship that statue. In their response, we see that their faith operated in them in such a way that, without knowing what would happen, they experienced a firm trust in God that they could not achieve if they had the evidence of what would happen. 

In the same way, if we see that something is about to happen, it probably does not require the use of our faith. But if we do not know what is to come, then our faith increases. Without a doubt, there is a blessing in not knowing things because that is when we depend on God the most and experience a stronger faith in him (2 Corinthians 12:10).

In this time of the pandemic, God has led His church day by day to trust Him. In the midst of chaos and uncertainty, it is a blessing not to have knowledge of the future because this is how our dependence is strengthened on the Lord and reminds us that he is the one who sustains us every day. Tim Keller writes, "God is the only one holding you, whether an army is chasing you or you find yourself lying in your bed. God sustains every breath you take".

Without a doubt, the church has had to trust the Lord in this time of trial, and after COVID, our faith will not be the same. Have you experienced a growth in your faith in this pandemic?

At StartCHURCH, we know this season has been tough for many churches and ministries. Even in the middle of the times we are in, we see God is continuing to build His church. Whether you feel called to plant a church or need help growing your finances or making sure your church is legally protected, we are here to help you. If we can serve you in any way, please call us at 877-494-4655 or schedule a call below.


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