Recently, it’s been feeling like the world is spiraling into chaos.
I keep thinking, “Who in the world do we trust when everyone in the world seems to be going crazy?”
At our core, we live in a body of flesh, and that flesh is at war with the Spirit of God. We betray God, each other, and even ourselves.
How do we find peace in the midst of such turmoil and distrust, anger and failure, disagreement and violence?
First: we let the Scripture remind us that God is actually in control.
Second: we let the Bible remind us that we aren’t the only ones who aren’t crazy.
And third: we choose to fear God, and to let him (not our circumstances) be the source of our peace.
It’s easy to get depressed when people consistently disappoint you. Friends attack you, public figures betray your trust, and family fails to be the peace you hope for.
Remember when Elijah was running for his life from Jezebel, who was sending people out to kill him?
He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” – 1 Kings 19:10
And do you remember how God responded?
He said that there were seven thousand in Israel who had remained faithful.
And how did he say it? In a gentle whisper.
All the bluster God sent before that gentle whisper (the powerful wind that broke rocks, the earthquake, and then the fire) were to show Elijah that he was in control. The gentle whisper was to show him who he was to Elijah, and that Elijah wasn’t the only one.
There are always people who are faithful. Always those who are striving to live a blameless life. Always those who are humble and kind, and gentle and filled with love.
Even when it feels like they’ve all disappeared.
And even when it seems like the world is out of control, God is in control, and he is the one we truly should fear – not our circumstances.
This is why, in times like these, Scripture becomes the rock I cling to.
King David wrote in Psalm 101 about love and justice, and those who are faithful. When it read it the other day, it suddenly seemed so clear that he dealt with the same garbage we deal with today.
Let the words of that Psalm wash over you. I hope it refreshes you as it has refreshed me.
“I will sing of steadfast love and justice,
to you, O LORD, I will make music.
I will ponder the way that is blameless.
Oh when will you come to me?
I will walk with integrity of heart
within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
anything that is worthless.
I hate the work of those who fall away;
it shall not cling to me.
A perverse heart shall be far from me;
I will know nothing of evil.
Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly
I will destroy.
Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart
I will not endure.
I will look with favor on the faithful in the land,
that they may dwell with me;
he who walks in the way that is blameless
shall minister to me.
No one who practices deceit
shall dwell in my house;
no one who utters lies
shall continue before my eyes.
Morning by morning I will destroy
all the wicked in the land,
cutting off all the evildoers
from the city of the Lord.”
God promises that what he gives us is so much better than what we can get in this world that we can be at peace even when everything good in the world seems gone.
So cling to him. Dive into the Psalms and let its truths wash over you. Trust God, fear him instead of this world, and know that you’re not the only one.
God, thank you for being trustworthy and merciful to us. Thank you for promising to be our shelter in turbulent times. Thank you for giving us your Word to be our wisdom when we don’t see the way. Guide us through these difficult circumstances, and protect us as we strive to follow you faithfully. Let us be gentle like you. Keep us from accidentally (or worse, intentionally) slandering others, or from being haughty and arrogant. Instead, humble us and give us the strength to be merciful and kind to others! Amen.
Read through Psalm 101 again and write out the specific traits that King David puts in the good category, and in the bad category. Then take active steps to avoid the bad category this week, and to embody the good category.
About Brennan McPherson
BRENNAN S. MCPHERSON writes epic, imaginative biblical fiction with heart-pounding plots and lyrical prose, for readers who like to think biblically and feel deeply.