Question of the Day (Saturday): How has God been faithful to you in 2020?

In her talk yesterday, Tayna Walker quoted Os Guinness: “We may be in the dark about what God is doing, but we are not in the dark about God.”

This is a massive season of global uncertainty … but we know the God we serve. So we want to hear from you GAC!

  • Are there stories of how God has been faithful to you in 2020?

  • What are the stories of God’s character you want your culture to know?

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At the beginning of 2020 I was asking God what I needed to say “no” to in order to say “yes” to other things He might have for me. What, even good things, did I need to say “no” to?

When everything got shut down, it was frustrating because it felt like a lot of the things I took for granted as being consistent in my life got taken away (regular work flow, church community, events to look forward to). At first, I tried to control it all by creating a strict schedule for myself even though nothing was really on the calendar, lol.

But then I realized that, in a way, God was answering my prayer and asking me to loosen my grip on my expectations for life. He was saying “SLOW DOWN, rest in me, see what I have for you.” With everything cleared off the table, I didn’t have to say “no” because it was already done for me. Instead, I was freed to say “yes” to opportunities that I previously might have been oblivious to (one of which was getting involved more on Connect :slight_smile: ). God began opening doors to use + explore my gifts in different ways.

Not saying it was easy at all – 2020 has been rough, frustrating, disheartening, and so full of growth and grief. It’s been a somber kind of beautiful. But one of my many takeaways from this year is that in Jesus, there is abundant life beyond what we can imagine despite how dismal the world around us may seem. He is unchanging; consistent in the chaos, faithful to expand our horizons and shift our perspectives.

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In hindsight I can see that God started in 2018 preparing me for 2020. My business as a massage therapist had taken a pretty hard hit that year. I was questioning whether or not it was time to make a career shift. I spent several months praying, questioning, and struggling with what to do next. During this time, I was contacted by one of my instructors from massage school who I had not spoken with in over 6 years. This man is a strong believer in Jesus, and he said I had been on his mind recently and he wanted me to consider training for a new therapy that was being introduced in my career field. He asked me to pray about it. I did, and the Lord opened the door for me to begin the process of this therapeutic training. I completed the training and became certified in late 2019.

At the same time, my daughter introduced me to the Zacharias Institute and gifted me with a registration to the Core Module. I was scheduled to start that training in February of 2020. I began the Core Module and was thoroughly enjoying it when Covid-19 appeared on the radar. A few weeks later I found myself in quarantine followed by lock down. It was a delight to spend my remaining time in lock down focused on finishing up the Core Module training, but I was really questioning whether the energies I had poured into the therapy training had been a waste of time and finances. I was wishing I had spent those energies elsewhere.

Fast forward to the month of May and our state started to reopen. I expected business to be slow. But much to my surprise, people were not only not hesitant to come for therapy, but were actually desperate for it. I have not had a lack of work since the day I opened back up. I find that at times the work load can be overwhelming.

But the thing that is really sweet to me, is that because of the Core Module training, I am better equipped than ever before to not only minister to hurting bodies, but also to thoughtfully engage with dear ones who are hurting spiritually as well as physically. I am often tired at the end of my day, but I feel a deep sense of gratitude that God has not only provided for me, but has invited me into the work that He so passionately cares about, that of introducing hurting people to the hope found only in Jesus Christ. I don’t “deserve” the honor that I have been given. I am deeply humbled by the privilege.

And as a personal aside, RZIM Connect has been a lifeline of encouragement and personal growth during these months. I am so grateful for this community. God truly cares for a hurting world, and He graciously provides for the deepest longings of our hearts. I thank God that He meets us here, in the midst of 2020, with the beautiful offer of Himself!

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God is faithful and good all the time! 2020 is definitely a challenging year. We lost family members unrelated to Covid, and also wonderful servants of God. Those that left this world has gone to Heaven, they have fought their good fight, but they left a legacy and testimonies that encourages me to continue on my journey of faith. I would like my culture to repent of their sins and know that the loving God, who neither sleeps nor slumber, who will take care and provide for us. He knows us intimately and cares for us unconditionally.

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I’ve seen God’s faithfulness in all the small prayers He has answered, prayers for insignificant things, prayers He’s answered in ways I never expected. As I wait on Him for help in some bigger life struggles, He continually tells me, “I hear you, Jen. I’ve got this.” It’s hard to comprehend a God who loves me that much.

I love the Lord, because he has heard
my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live. (Psalm 116:1-2 ESV)

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What I would like our culture to know about God is that He is a good, good Father, not a kill-joy or some warlike figure standing up in heaven waiting to throw a javelin at anyone who steps out of line. In being a good Father he does tell us not to do some things. He does that, not to spoil our fun, but because He knows the heartache if we go ahead and do that thing. It may be pleasurable initially but the long-term effects will only bring pain. Our world is full of illustrations of this. God allows us the freedom to chose to follow His ways or not, but what we don’t have the freedom to choose are the consequences of going our own way. Jesus said, “… I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10b). In the western world we tend to think of abundance only in terms of material wealth and possessions. But what about abundance of joy, abundance of peace, abundance of love…? Aren’t those the things we really long for? God is good and desires to meet the needs of His children in a way that satisfies like nothing else can. That is maybe the first thing I want our culture to know about God.

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How God has been faithful
I finished the Core Module early this year
Because of closure of school, I was able to do Kairos Course, attend Refresh 2020, be active on social media
I am part of GAC 2020
I am still alive and he has been providing throughout

God’s character I want people know
He is faithful and trustworthy
Salvation is found in Him alone

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God has answered many of my constant prayers in 2020, particularly for my family members–around their health and spiritual well-being. God has also carried our family safely and peacefully through these times of lock-downs and restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Praise the LORD!

I believe God has been faithful this year in my life in exactly this : “But we are not in the dark about God”.

By the grace and mercy of our Lord, my family and I have been able to hold on to the promises of God. Knowing and trusting that He is in control. We’ve seen how God has protected us, blessed us and has given us his peace which surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

There’s a line in a song I really love that goes like this: “I am not skilled to understand what God has willed what God Has planned I only know at his right hand stands one who is my Savior”

And this knowledge, is his gift to us. This is how he has shown his faithfulness to me this year. In the privilege of knowing the one who is truly faithful.

God’s been faithful to my life when I havn’t been. This is what I could call my 3rd chance at life after a suicide attempt. And now living in 2020 unemployed, having no savings, I don’t know how I could’ve survived this pandemic without the faith the I have.

Here in the Philippines, there are so many versions of Christ. Sometimes a charater of Him is taken out for one’s comfort. Even some Chrisitian denominations dismiss other Chrisitian denominations as false and claim theirs as true. But I guess the label never really mattered. But when the real Christ claimed, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” it indeed challenged the whole world may it be culture, religion, or philosophy. And this is what I believe we are missing out on Christ here. “No one comes the the Father except through Me”
Always left out in the dark.

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“I am with you.” This is what God has been teaching me.

I would want people in my culture to see the importance of community. Especially as Christians, I believe that God would have us be as the church in Acts who had all things in common. They shared everything they had and no one went without. Unfortunately here in the west our society places more emphasis on individualism and financial gain than on relationships.

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I think one of the wonderful things I’ve rediscovered, or become more fully appreciative of, is the wealth of great teaching available on line. Not being able to attend church regularly and be in community as much as I’ve previously enjoyed, there has certainly been a void of “iron sharpening iron.” But, I’ve found sooo many wonderful apologetics teachers online at the tip of my fingers whenever I need them. And what a wonderful encouragement they are!

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We missed seven weeks because of COVID coming back on Mothers Day in a parking lot service. We have since been able to move back in doors and able to keep going even now. God has protected us with zero COVID cases. Our church as responded to faithfully keep tithing and to attend when possible. Sometimes it is a blessing to be a small church with a paid for building and no paid staff.

In more ways than i can count. But…we recently went through the CZU Fires, here in the mountains in California. We were evacuated for 3 weeks. With so many fires all over the state the firefighters were stretched very thin. There were days when they just had to let houses burn for lack of manpower. 471 houses were destroyed in our little community. Our house and out buildings were spared but many of our close-by neighbors lost everything. Everything! We had people literally from all over the world praying for us. The fire came right up to within 20 feet of our property and stopped. We were told from neighbors who stayed back to fight it, that our property ‘just seemed to fight back itself, from the 150’ flames all around. We have a young newlywed couple who lives in a rental on our property. He is a youth pastor at our church…and they were also amazed at the faithfulness and mercy of God! The only actual burn scare we found was a large bush a few feet away from their home…in ashes. It was such a close call and we continue to praise God over and over!

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If I was to recount the number of times I have been rescued in my life from placed, people and things, I can’t repay God’s grace, favor, protection and love in this lifetime. The most recent was when I lost my job to some unscrupulous characters. I didn’t have a place to go but God kept me afloat with a place to lay me head and food to eat. He closed doors that were not meant for me. I didn’t understand then cause I was desperate. Now, I know now why. Eventually, right around the time when Covid hit, He opened the door to the job I have now that I absolutely love and appreciate. He saw my pain and struggle and provided. He taught me patience and the need to stay in faith. he is constantly around me, guiding and loving me. I am positively sure, I am never alone.

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the story in 2 Chronicles 20 where King Jehoshaphat is surrounded by those who want to wage war against him and the people of Judah. The Bible records that he is “alarmed” but “resolves” to inquire of the Lord. The people come together to inquire of the Lord. Jehoshaphat boldly reminds the people of God’s character as he declares, “power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.” He reminds them of what God has already done “did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land…” And then he lays down his burden before God, sharing exactly what is alarming his heart. He says, “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” And the scriptures record that all of Judah, including the little ones, waited in expectation. God sent His Spirit on someone (Jahaziel) to bring encouragement, hope, and promises to the people waiting. He told them that the battle “is not yours, but God’s…Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.” And what emboldens me today, is that reminder of then how Jehoshaphat went out to battle. They worshipped. Their preparation for the huge battle in front of them was to praise, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.” God took care of the battle, just as He promised… 2020 has been a year of uncertainty. Every day, we are faced with the constant stress of trying to make decisions in a culture of fear, division, and isolation. But God is faithful. And the same God who rescued the people of Judah from the vast armies that day, is the same God who is more than able to rescue us each day from the battles we face. From this story, I am challenged to take my alarm to God with resolve to inquire of Him, remind myself and others of His faithfulness and His character, and praise Him even when I don’t know how each day ends. I am holding onto that hope during this season. And I desire to be one who shares hope to a world who is desperate for it.

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@janellmwood, such a great story from the OT, and great to see you! on Connect! Hello friend!! :wave:t2::wave:t2:

@acegonzales, just want to say a huge thank you for sharing your story. May God continue to grow your roots deep in his love and purpose for your life. They are many!

Many consider 2020 to be the worst year ever but I can honestly say it’s also been one of the best years for clearly seeing the faithfulness of God. God has been faithful to me in 2020 by providing for me when I was in desperate need He showered me abundantly which made His provision and love awe inspiring and humbling. I have a disabled child and in a year without much income I didn’t know how I would afford the medication she takes to prevent seizures. God provided above and beyond what I need to care for my child.
I want people in my culture to know that God’s character of faithfulness is experienced powerfully in our weakness. It’s then the power of Christ truly rests upon us.

So many great stories here of God’s faithfulness! It is energizing to see all these.

We have a tradition at our church for a Thanksgiving service where people stand up and testify to how God has been faithful to them this year. And this thread reminds me of that—especially grateful for this, since we can’t do that service in person this year.

In my family, God has used this time to grow our patience, as we are a waiting family trying to adopt a baby and are waiting to be matched with a birth mother. It has been a slower process because of the pandemic, as less birth mothers are choosing adoption (but fortunately that’s because they are choosing to parent themselves instead), but it has taught us patience to wait on the Lord in a situation that’s out of our hands.

But in all of that, He has given us a fresh gift of faith to ensure these troubling times and places Godly people in our midst to keep us on track.

But this pandemic season has given us a new design to life that’s allowed for more family time than ever and a better work-life balance than we could’ve ever dreamed of. We are having our most successful year in our family business ever since launching four years ago. And despite being busy with work we still have flexibility with out time. It gave me the free time to design an apologetics Bible study with one of the elders at our church and we got to co-teach it this summer.

But possibly the most faithful story I can share is how God has used this time to give me opportunities to minister to others, including many of our clients and my own 6 year old daughter. She and I took up performing cover songs (she sings and I play piano) and we share the videos on Facebook. We include some worship songs and use it as an opportunity to encourage one another and build others up in love by sharing God’s love with them through our musical messages.