Someone recently said to me, “We’ve needed something to stop the craziness of our lives. We were exhausted and going in so many directions as a family. We’re just so busy and this ‘Stay At Home Order’ is just what we needed to rest and get our lives together…and when it’s all over we’ll be ready to get back at it!”
If this is you or anything close to a description of your life…take a second and ponder on that statement. You needed something to intervene in the craziness to slow you down to gain perspective. There’s not a crime in that. We all get distracted. We all get overwhelmed. We all get caught up in the moment, chasing the dreams that everyone else chases.
Here’s the crime: it’s one thing to admit “I need help” and it’s another thing to say “I needed help and I’m going to use it for a temporary benefit and then discard it, learning nothing from it.” I’m willing to admit that some folks might say “and when it’s all over we’ll be ready to get back at it”…and do so with a change of perspective and values. But that wasn’t the case in this conversation…it was a matter of “we needed someone to pull us out of the game in order to rest…because we couldn’t control ourselves and make that decision on our own. Once we’ve rested and caught up, we’ll re-enter the crazy cycle.”
In 1 Corinthians 14, the Bible tells us that God our Creator is not the author of confusion. Now, that was written in the context of a very chaotic assembly of believers that was meeting in the ancient city of Corinth. When they were coming together to worship and adhere to the Word of God, it was just a mess. But…the truth is there, none the less. God is not the author of confusion.
When our personal lives, our occupations, our families, our churches and our communities resemble a three-ring circus, and a chaotic one at that, God is not the author of that. Take a look at some of the things that the Bible says about chaos.
1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Proverbs 25:28 A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
1 Corinthians 14:40 But all things should be done decently and in order.
Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors, there is safety.
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Isaiah 32:17-18 And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 26:3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Colossians 3:1-25 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. …
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Colossians 1:16-17 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Ephesians 2:14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Psalm 1:1-6 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; …
Philippians 4:8-9 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
1 Peter 5:6-2 Peter 1:4 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you…
Sooooo, during the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic…
What is God – the author and Creator of life itself – teaching you about yourself today?
What is God teaching you about the things into which you invest your time, talents, personality, resources, money, etc.?
How valuable are those things?
Which things can you do without?
Which ones can you not do without?
Which have become idols to you?
What gifts of God have you neglected?
What is God teaching you about your faith in what He can accomplish with the time that He created and gifted to you if you’ll let Him take the lead?