Two years ago, the contemporary worship band UNITED released a popular song, Know You Will, that seemed as if it was written specifically for the pandemic.
It reminded the listener that God can bring hope to a seemingly hopeless situation. It also encouraged the listener to rely on God during trying times.
It quickly climbed onto Billboard's Hot Christian Songs chart in the summer of 2021 and was embraced by many as an anthem of hope. UNITED’s Taya Smith-Gaukrodger says it was written before the pandemic even hit the world.
"It's kind of crazy," she told Christian Headlines.
Benjamin Hastings, Dylan Thomas and Joel Houston were the co-writers.
"God knows the things that are coming up in the future," she added. "We don't know."
This month, UNITED released an expanded edition of its latest album, Are We There Yet?, which includes Know You Will. The expanded edition has 21 tracks and includes the band's first music recorded together as a group, in-person, since the pandemic. It also includes a new version of Know You Will.
"By the grace of God, UNITED has been going for 20-plus years," Smith-Gaukrodger said. "I really think it's by the grace of God."
The platinum-selling group recently completed a multi-city co-headline tour with Chris Tomlin. The group's music – Oceans is its most well-known tune – is sung by churches around the world.
Smith-Gaukrodger attributes the band's worldwide success to two factors: 1) the members are active in their local churches, and 2) they are serious about personal devotion.
"If you're writing for the church and writing for people, how could you write for people that you don't even know? How could you write for people not really understanding what it is that they need in that season?" Smith-Gaukrodger said. "And also, just that personal conviction of your own devotional time with the Lord Jesus Christ [is essential]."
Smith-Gaukrodger's favorite devotion is Oswald Chambers' My Utmost for His Highest, she said. UNITED’s songs, she said, are written only after a time of "waiting on the Lord and praying and prayerfully considering what we should be writing."
"God is a creative God. He has the greatest ideas," she said. "He knows better than we know what we need."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Daniel Knighton/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.