Nick Hall is the founder of the Pulse evangelization movement and host of the “Bible Quarantine” series on Fox Nation. His movement has seen more than 117,000 new confessions of faith in Christ across more than one hundred nations in forty-three languages.
The special Good Friday service responsible for many of the conversions included appearances by Max Lucado, Lauren Daigle, Michael W. Smith, and NFL Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy. Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, actress and evangelist Priscilla Shirer, and recording artist Lecrae shared messages in preparation for Holy Week as well.
Hall told reporters, “This is the greatest evangelistic moment that we’ve ever seen in our lifetime” and believes that many more conversions than those reported to Pulse likely occurred. He noted, “The doors to our church buildings may have been closed, but the church has not closed. We are living through a great quarantine revival, and I think God is just getting started.”
Clearly, one way the Lord is redeeming this tragic pandemic is by using it to bring people and glory to himself.
“To your name give glory”
Tyre was one of the most prosperous cities in the ancient world. Its position on the Mediterranean coast made it a major port and trading center. As a result, the Bible notes that its “merchants were princes” and its “traders were the honored of the earth” (Isaiah 23:8).
However, because of its “pompous pride” (v. 9), “the Lord has given command” to “destroy its strongholds” (v. 11). As a result, the people of Tyre would “no more exult” in their arrogance (v. 12).
God cannot share his throne without committing idolatry. That’s why the psalmist’s prayer is recorded in Scripture for us to pray: “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!” (Psalm 115:1).
The psalmist then asks, “Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?'” (v. 2). He answers their question: “Our God is in the heavens” (v. 3a). As a result, “he does all that he pleases” (v. 3b).
By contrast, “their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat” (vv. 4–7).
Here’s his point: “Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them” (v. 8).
“It is better to take refuge in the Lord”
Materialism is folly. How is it logical for us to worship as a deity something we made ourselves? How is it logical for us to trust our transcendent needs to something we create?
Here is what we should do instead: “You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord!” (v. 11). God wants us not only to “fear” and worship him on Sunday but also to “trust” and depend on him on Monday.
He wants us to make him the Lord and King of every dimension of our lives, to live holistically under his authority and leading. He wants us to present our entire lives as living sacrifices to him (Romans 12:1), to be “crucified with Christ” so that he lives in us as our ruling Lord (Galatians 2:20).
This calling is especially urgent in times of crisis such as the pandemic. Fear tempts us to turn to resources we can see and away from the unseen God we can blame for our problems.
However, when we make God our Lord and refuse such idolatry, we position ourselves to experience his best. This is why the psalmist testified: “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes” (Psalm 118:8–9).
What “bruised saints” know about God
Theologian Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.: “We can believe God with all our heart and yet have our heart broken by the loss of a child or the treachery of a spouse or the menace of a fatal disease. We know this is true—everyone in the church knows it.
“And yet, generation after generation of bruised saints have known something else and spoken of it. In the mystery of faith, we find a hand on us in the darkness, a voice that calls our name, and the sheer certainty that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God—not for this life and not for the life to come.”
No matter how dark the room, the unseen hand of God is on you.
Are you listening for his voice today?