PEACE, BE STILL

March 19, 2020

The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.” Psalm 93:4.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hysteria of today. The news media is driving a frenzy that is causing a crisis of its own. The coronavirus is something we need to take seriously, be cautious, and take steps to stay as healthy as possible. An important step we need to take is to read God’s word. Reading Scripture is the way to calm our own fears as well as help us to give answers to others who are fearful. During times of turmoil we need to remember that God is mightier than anything that comes our way. He won’t necessarily remove the turmoil, but He will give us peace as we face the dangers. Today the news media doesn’t seem to have enough time to keep up with all of the reports of this coronavirus spreading, and because of this there are many empty shelves in stores as people rush to stock up on items needed, just in case we are all quarantined. We need to take care to wash our hands and cover our sneezes and coughs, but the panic and fear need to be soothed. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.” Psalm 46:1-3. This psalm goes on to remind us to look to God. He is with us whatever may befall. In the midst of war, earthquakes, famine, and pestilence, every Christian needs to understand that God will never leave us and we can always find His peace. “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.” Psalm 46:10-11. If we allow His peace to rule in us, we can share that peace with others. In times like these, the door for sharing the Gospel is wide open. We need to be ready with answers.

Fear can cause a person to act irrationally. Over the last week or so I have heard some stories about how people are reacting to this crisis, and it is ridiculous how fear is causing people to react in unreasonable ways. Unless we truly know that Jesus is with us and “…is mightier than the noise of many waters…” we will be just like the world and allow fear to control us. The disciples were men who faced fears and when troubles came along, they would sometimes forget that Jesus was with them. Maybe they didn’t truly know exactly who Jesus was (God Almighty) or understand His power, and like us they sometimes lacked faith. Once when they were all in a boat at sea a storm hit. Many of the disciples were fishermen and understood about storms at sea and knew how to handle a ship. In spite of that, they allowed the storm to confound them. Jesus was sleeping peacefully at the time, and the disciples thought He didn’t care if the storm sank the ship and they all drowned. Wrong. Even when we feel as if God has forgotten us, or is sleeping on the job, He’s right there with us. The disciples awakened Him in panic and He took care of the situation. “And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” Mark 4:39-40. Those are two questions we all need to ask ourselves. Why are we so fearful? Where is our faith? Instead of running to Him in panic and fear, turn to Him in faith. Jesus spoke the same words found in the Psalms, “Peace, be still”. This command was to the storm. In calming the storm, Jesus calmed His disciples. We need to turn to Scripture for words of comfort because it is God’s word.

Satan uses fear as a means of drawing Christians away from our Lord. How many of us are keeping our eyes glued on TV waiting for more news about where the virus is and how many people have died? They never tell us how many have lived. Shouldn’t we be more tuned in to God? People are dying, and that fact is heartbreaking. Actually, people are dying because of many things, such as car accidents, heart failure (often caused by poor eating habits), war (people want what others have), AIDS (because most people won’t turn from their sin), murder (men’s hearts are cold), abortion (men’s hearts are cold), lung disease (people smoke), and many more causes. Part of the panic caused by the coronavirus is the fact that most of the world is afraid of death. That’s normal. Death is final and there’s no reversing it. An advantage Christians have and need to cling to is the fact that Jesus Christ conquered death. Everyone who is born into this world will, at some point, face eternity. Heaven is real, but so is Hell. Only faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus will allow you to spend eternity in Heaven. We need to tell people about Jesus and give them hope. We are all born once, but then there needs to be a second birth, a spiritual birth. Jesus said so. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3. Our first birth isn’t a choice on our part. It’s the second birth that is a choice. It’s been said that God has no grandchildren. Nobody can make that choice for another person, not a parent for a child or husband for a wife. Christians need to share the Gospel with those around us who are so afraid of death right now and tell the lost about life in Christ.

I’ve heard people say that there will be a lot of friends in Hell to socialize with, so it will be like a party. Oh, how wrong that statement is. At the end of days there will be a final judgment before the White Throne of God. “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelation 20:11-12. This is not the judgment that Christians will face. Our sins have been forgiven at the moment we accepted the blood sacrifice of Jesus for salvation. The White Throne judgment will be where those who have rejected Christ will stand having their works judged. Sadly, there will be a lot of “good people” there…ones who have been kind and gentle, but have never put their faith in Jesus. Works cannot earn you a place in Heaven and human kindness cannot come close to God’s standards. If you haven’t asked Jesus into your life, then after the White Throne judgment you will face your second death. “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged everyman according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:13-15. That doesn’t say anything about an eternal party, but it shows eternal suffering. God loves you and doesn’t want anybody to face this second death. You have the choice. Accept His free gift of salvation and you will be born again and won’t face eternity in the lake of fire. Nobody can make the decision for you.

There is a healthy fear. That is the fear of the Lord. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7. When you fear the Lord that means you will respect Him. You will desire to live to please Him instead of saying a few words at an altar, then stepping right back into your sin. Instead of fearing the coronavirus, turn to God. Respect Him and gain knowledge of Him. The way to do that is to talk to Him daily and study your Bible. The more you learn about Him the less fear will control you. God’s love is perfect love and He is mightier than all fear. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18. We are made perfect in God’s perfect love. That perfect love was manifest in the Lord, Jesus Christ. Turn to Him for peace in these troubling times and share your faith and hope with others.

Though the world is in turmoil and chaos, remember that God isn’t sleeping. “Behold he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” Psalm 121:4. Not only does He keep Israel, but He keeps all who trust Him. He knows what’s happening all around us, but His love never fails. Though storms rage around us and the world is in panic, find peace in Him. Remember, even the storms are under His authority. Remember the words that Jesus used to rebuke the storm. “Peace, be still.” Don’t allow the turmoil to overwhelm you.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.

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