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In a world of hysteria, have faith in God

Good morning, friends. Notice, I didn’t put alot of enthusiasm into my greeting. That’s because I have a headache; the same one I’ve had for three days. Tylenol hasn’t helped. One minute, I’m sweating and the next, freezing. I can’t check my temp because my thermometers don’t work, and where would you buy one now? Two nights ago, I woke up freezing to the bone, got up and put my furry winter robe on and climbed under a heap of blankets. Yep, it’s likely I have the virus. But will I test? No, what difference would it make? I believe most of us have some form of it anyway by now. Um, is there a test for my attitude? I’m glad you asked!

As this world is getting more and more bizarre by the day, many of us are slipping into anxiety and depression, not to mention the anger we’re dealing with. And talk about a feeling of hopelessness, as we sit back idly and watch our normal be taken away — probably forever. Every single day, we say to each other, “Well, surely it can’t get much worse” — and yet it does. I know for myself, I’m as tired as I can be hearing all about masks and why or why not. I’m tired of watching people being separated over a skimpy piece of material. Even our churches are divided over this issue. It sickens me to no end. We couldn’t have dreamed up this mass hysteria in a million years.

Speaking of mass hysteria, don’t we all want to fall into a heap of tears as we watch our heritage being toppled and burned, literally. Mass hysteria has become the new norm. We’re growing accustomed to waking up each new day to a new scenario of chaos and devastation. Watching the news has become a source of anxiety and anger for most of us. The tension between those of us who still believe in America and the values we’ve held dear, and those who seemingly have decided to destroy our nation under God is as far apart as the east is from the west and it sickens and angers me.

Did I just say “our nation under God”? What has become of us? I strongly doubt that other nations watching all of this would say, “Now, there’s a country that loves and serves God.” Each new day seems to bring more darkness, a new surge of anger and an anxiousness that can’t be quashed. One nation under God is gone. We are hopelessly lost now; a nation that has turned its backs on God and each other. Every man for himself! Dog eat dog mentality!

Be still, and know that I am God! Friends, God is still our hope! Psalms 46 offers us so much hope right now! Please take time to read it in entirety. Verse one tells us that God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble. Verses 2-7 says, “Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple into the depths of the seas, though its water roars and foams and the mountains quake with its turmoil. There is a river –its streams delight the city of God. God is within her; she will not be toppled. God will help her when the morning dawns. Nations rage, kingdoms topple; the earth melts when He lifts His voice. The Lord of Armies are with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold — Stop your fighting and know that I am God! I will be exalted among the nations! The God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Tony Evans says, “The chaos around you shouldn’t override the calm within you.” Most recently, he said, “The cross is greater than the crisis.” I ask you this morning, friend, what is your focus? Has it become the chaos or the cross? Has this world gone wild caused you to lose your hope in God? This is where the rubber meets the road! Does your faith in God give you peace in the midst of hysteria, or are you focused on the storms so that you can’t even recognize the God of Jacob at work right next to you? The Word of God says, “Calm down! Be still. Know that I am God.” This is not a time for the faithful to get caught up in the chaos, but rather a time for the faithful to truly show the world a faith in God that will not be shaken! We need to be on our knees before the God who knows all about this — the God who has allowed it — the God who is still on His throne and will answer our cries for deliverance!

Psalms 4:3 says: Know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for Himself; the Lord will hear when I call to Him. Psalms 5:3 says: In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to You and watch expectantly.” Verse 12 says, “For You, Lord, bless the righteous one; You surround him with favor like a shield”. Friends, God’s got this! We can see no end to the turmoil all around us, yet, if we keep our eyes on Jesus, He promises to give us peace…not as the world gives, but His peace, the one that passes all understanding. In the meantime, let’s be faithful to cry out to Him and believe that help is on the way! Be still and know that He is God.

Maybe now I can settle down and ponder my own heart. Do I have the virus, or have I joined the masses, who are hysterically out of control? Maybe I need to get on my knees this morning and tell Jesus all of my troubles, too. Maybe I need to heed my own advice to simply, be still.

Lord, we need You now more than ever before in our lives! This nation needs You, Father! You promised us that if we stay faithful to You, that You would surround us with Your favor. We wait expectantly now, Lord, with our eyes lifted toward heaven. Help our helplessness, Lord. We just need You now. In Jesus’ name, I pray, waiting on You to deliver us. Amen!

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Debby Renninger is a licensed pastor ministering in the Church of the Brethren. She may be reached at (717) 250-7086 for speaking engagements.

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