Hello, this is Danny Forshee, and I serve as pastor of Great Hills Baptist Church in Austin, TX. These are some very crazy, challenging and really unprecedented days in which we live. I have never seen events converging like they are presently. Physical storms and fires are causing severe property loss and damage and even loss of precious human lives. The political divide is deeper than ever. The societal unrest continues with riots and vigilante killing of innocent lives. And then there is the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to wreak havoc and death. Many have lost their jobs, their health and simple comforts that once brought enjoyment.

Yes, these are trying days, but God. I love that little statement, “But God.” It is one we use at our church among our staff. When things are difficult and we are faced with trying circumstances, we say “But God.” One of the biblical texts in which these words are used is Ephesians 2:3-5: “Among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).”

Yes, these are very challenging days and the temptation is for you and me to either give in or give up. But God! God is for us and as his children we know he cares for us and will bring us through every difficult season of life. He gives us his Holy Spirit and the church to support us and get us through to the other side. I recently received a kind, handwritten letter from a 16-year-old in our church whom we baptized just last year. She wrote to me that when difficult times come to not view them as weights to hold but as burdens to share so others can help carry the load. I pray that for you as well.

In the midst of so much suffering, calamity and national and personal hardship, you may have developed spiritual amnesia and forgotten how awesome God is and how according to Romans 8:37 through Christ you are not just a conqueror, but you are hypernikao—more than conquerors through Jesus Christ. “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Be blessed by these powerful lyrics from a popular song by the Christian band, Newsboys:

The cross has the final word
The cross has the final word
Sorrow may come in the darkest night
But the cross has the final word

There’s nothing stronger, nothing higher
There’s nothing greater than the name of Jesus
All the honor, all the power
All the glory to the name of Jesus
The cross has the final word
The cross has the final word
Evil may put up its strongest fight
But the cross has the final word

So, be strong in the Lord. You are loved, prized, and Romans 8:28 is still in the Bible! Hard times do not last, but God’s people do. But God!

These words of encouragement come to you as a part of an initiative from the COVID-19 Task Force for church leaders to be “together for the unfinished task” during this time of uncertainty.

COVID-19

Tools & Resources

regathering

rethink:

Ministry in a Post-COVID-19 World