'It's been a humbling time,' says Hillsong's Taya Smith

Christian artist Taya Smith says she has been relying on God's kindness and her relationship with Jesus as she enters a new era as a solo artist against the backdrop of scandals at Hillsong where she was a worship artist for nearly a decade.

In an interview with The Christian Post, Smith admitted it was "crazy" that her first solo single, "For All My Life", released on the same day as news broke about the resignation of Hillsong senior pastor Brian Houston over pastoral misconduct. 

"Crazy when I think about the timing of all this, which again, not my timing, pretty wild that my first single would come out on the same day that crazy news, that's heartbreaking, also comes out," she said. 

"But at the same time, maybe it's a gift because this other song is a song about faith and about stepping out and trusting not on your own understanding, but leaning on God's understanding.

"Knowing that He will make your paths straight if you continue to just do everything that is said in the verse before, like to lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him and trust in Him. So it's been, in a good way with the Lord, a self-reflective time."

It's been a tough time for Hillsong with the resignation of Houston, which triggered the departure of a number of churches and pastors in the US.

This came at a time when the church was still dealing with the fallout from the firing of Carl Lentz as Hillsong New York City pastor two years ago over adultery and leadership issues.

Since then the denomination has been hit by accusations ranging from extravagant spending and courting celebrities, to sexual misconduct and abusive leadership. These accusations were the subject of a recent unflattering documentary. 

In the wake of all that is happening, Smith said she was thankful for the wisdom she could draw upon in the Bible. 

"It's honest. Jesus said, 'In this world, you will have trouble but take heart I've overcome the world," she said.

"So we have the promise of a Savior and a Heavenly Father and a Holy Spirit, who leads and guides, and is an ever-present help in times of trouble."

She continued, "I'll just be honest; it's been a humbling time in general. It's been a revealing time. It's been a revealing time of where my foundations are and what they're on." 

She said that there were many people looking to Heaven and saying, "God, what are you doing? I don't understand."

"But we're called to have faith; we're called to have eyes of faith," she continued as she quoted Romans 8:28 and God's promise to work everything together for good. 

"I'm grateful for a personal relationship with Jesus because if my faith was built upon a person that isn't Jesus, then I'd be swirling right now," she said.

She also suggested it was a time for searching their own hearts and asking questions like, "Where have we been complicit God? Where are there areas in our own lives that have been pitfalls? Or where sin is so easily entangled within our own hearts?"

She added, "Crazy thing is we've been praying as a church for revival; we've been praying for a fresh wind. I think God answered the prayer but just not in the way that we expected. With revival, it's removing all the blockages so we can see God. That's my greatest desire.

"The [Bible] says, 'Blessed are the pure in heart' in Matthew 5:8 for they'll see God. That's my desire, but for that to happen blockages and things that have allowed us to not see Him, or have gotten in the way or have tainted the way things should actually be, that all has to go first to see God."

Smith's first solo album, Taya, releases on 27 May.