Lifeway Christian Resources, one of the world's largest providers of faith content, recently reported a significant growth in Bible sales beginning in April of last year. That was a time when much of the world began to experience shutdowns due to COVID-19.
"It was a really great year for our Bibles team last year," the company's Chief Executive Officer Ben Mandrell told CBN News.
Mandrell explained the increased interest is because the Bible is where people look for answers and guidance during hard times.
"It's no surprise when people are in trouble [or] when they feel anxiety and when they feel uncertain about their lives, what do they do? They start looking for hope," Mandrell explained. "They start looking for help. And in a time where local churches are struggling to gather, people are more interested in reading the Bible right now and having quality time with God alone and so they're reading scripture more."
Shelly McLeod of Baker, Louisiana says fear and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic led her to scripture more often.
"Maybe a sense of fear coming upon me and being motivated to get closer to God," McLeod said. "Reading His Word just kind of gives you a peace of the Holy Spirit."
The promise of help and protection throughout Psalm 121 brought comfort to Liesel Higgins of Waco, Texas.
"That has kept me through this entire pandemic," explained Higgins. "I am not fearful. I know it's around – but I pray before I leave home. I do not leave my doors without saying Psalm 121. 'He will guide your going in and coming out.'"
While COVID-19 restrictions still keep many churches closed, it's not stopping people from taking a digital route to worship together.
Mandrell said, "There's an online Bible study option at Lifeway now. People can hop on an online Bible study around a great study by Priscilla Shirer or somebody who's bringing a fresh word."
Within 48 hours of its New Year's Day launch, subscriptions to a Catholic podcast called "The Bible in a Year" exploded on Apple's chart.
Hosted by Father Mike Schmitz, also known as YouTube's favorite priest, listeners are encouraged to follow along as the Word of God is read aloud.
With more than 1.3 million downloads, Schmitz said he is overwhelmed by the response.
"There are not only a bunch of powerful stories in the Bible but there's also the story of the Bible," explained Schmitz. "I think that's probably what people are realizing – that they need maybe more than they have in the past."
That truth, said Schmitz, is prompting people from all walks of life and denominations to consider what is most important in life.
"I think there's something that the last year has revealed that we all should have always known that we avoided – that we live in a world of uncertainty and we live in a world that is not secure. Then everything that has happened in our world happens and then people are like, 'Wait, what do I hold onto that actually is permanent? What do I hold onto that is actually eternal?'" he added.
One thing people want to hold onto is fellowship of some kind.
"People are hungry for connection too," said Mandrell. "Not just studying the Bible on their own. 'Even if I can't get into my Sunday school class or my small group, how can I get online and connect with people around spiritual things?'"
It is a connection that Father Schmitz is helping to make as he offers followers the hope that never fades.
"The Lord he breathes into us when we read his scriptures, so my hope is that at the end of this - even actually during it that people realize that 'I'm looking at the chaos in the world differently. I'm looking at the chaos in my life differently. I'm looking at God not as this distant tyrant but as a Father who knows my name, who loves me,' said Father Schmitz. "That's my prayer from all of this."
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