What is COVID-19 revealing about the church? You may have heard the saying, “Crisis reveals character.” This is truer today than it ever has been. Martin Luther King Jr. says, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort or convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
One thing I have learned about myself is what I am going through always reveals who I am. When I am pressed, my character is revealed. When I am tempted, my character is revealed. When I am afflicted, the true me is always exposed. Crisis will always reveal character. This truth is the same with the body of Christ. When the church is pressed, the character of the church is revealed.
I wonder what the world would say about the church during this time. Are we silent? Are we showing more fear than faith? Are we not any different than our lost neighbor? The Christian should be found standing on the promises of God during this pandemic.
God has done some of His greatest work in the midst of the world’s greatest chaos. It’s been true all throughout church history. When the church is pressed, the Kingdom is expanded. The church becomes stronger, bigger, and bolder because of pressure.
What is COVID-19 revealing about the church during this time? Luke, in the Book of Acts, shows us how the character of the church is exposed in the midst of intense pressure. Christians are being pressed on all sides, being beheaded for their faith, and losing family members. And what we see is not so much of complaining and scattering. But instead qualities of faithful followers. Let’s take a look at Acts 2:42-47.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.” – Acts 2:42-47
We see several things that are revealed when the church of Acts is pressed.
Devotion is Revealed.
Scripture tells us that they “devoted themselves.” This is a Greek verb that means to be steadfast and single minded to a certain thing. The had extreme devotion to the things of God in the midst of horrible circumstances. When they were pressed, they dove into the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread (remembering), and prayer. They didn’t let pressure allow them to lose perspective. The remained steadfast.
Generosity is Revealed.
They didn’t hoard. When this church was down to nothing, they didn’t begin to hoard or have the “every man for himself” attitude. Hoarding would have shown that they had no faith in God to provide. But instead, they took the approach of generosity. They gave as people had need, “…distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need.” What a picture to the “outsiders” who were watching how the believers were going to respond. What a witness!
Praise is Revealed.
Praise usually stops where stress starts. In Acts, these people are literally losing their lives for following Christ and we see in verse 47 that they are still praising God. Praise is the antidote to surviving the storm. During this crisis, the Christians should be found praising Him because He is still good. The Christians’ social media platforms should be used for praise, not for politics. The world needs to see and hear that Christians will apply what they have been preaching. Keep praising!
Let’s take a look at what happens when the church in Acts stays devoted, becomes generous, and continues praise. God responds in a mighty way.
God adds to their number day by day those who were being saved!
Church, if we want to see something great happen, if we want to see a revival, then I suggest we follow Acts 2:42-47. When we are pressed, may the character of Acts 2 be revealed in us. I believe that we do not experience verse 47 unless we are devoted to Acts 2:42. We do not have enough verse 47 experiences because we don’t have enough verse 42 Christians.
So, let me end by asking this. What is COVID-19 revealing about your character? God is still on His throne. God is still in control of chaos. And God is still worthy to be praised.