Encouragement From The Word

Remain Calm!

A lot of people, it seems, are worried about the Ebola Virus. I wouldn’t call it “mass hysteria” yet, but we are getting close to the need for a “remain calm” announcement!

There is much in the world that can cause harm; it has always been so. The realities of contemporary media mean we hear about it a lot sooner and more often than we used to. But in the midst of that which can harm, there is also that which can bless.

Worrying, of course, does nothing to help us or the situation about which we’re concerned; as Jesus told us, we can’t add to our lives by worrying (Matthew 6.27).

Whatever our concerns, know that we can give them to God and be assured of his care. The answer we receive, whatever it may be, may not be exactly what we ask for, but it can be part of God’s greater plan, which is too vast for us to know.

Take heart in these words from Psalm 90 (NLT), and be at peace.

Lord, through all the generations

    you have been our home!


Before the mountains were born,

    before you gave birth to the earth and the world,

    from beginning to end, you are God.


You turn people back to dust, saying,

    “Return to dust, you mortals!”


For you, a thousand years are as a passing day,

    as brief as a few night hours.


You sweep people away like dreams that disappear.

    They are like grass that springs up in the morning.


In the morning it blooms and flourishes,

    but by evening it is dry and withered.


We wither beneath your anger;

    we are overwhelmed by your fury.


You spread out our sins before you—

    our secret sins—and you see them all.


We live our lives beneath your wrath,

    ending our years with a groan.


Seventy years are given to us!

    Some even live to eighty.

But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble;

    soon they disappear, and we fly away.


Who can comprehend the power of your anger?

    Your wrath is as awesome as the fear you deserve.


Teach us to realize the brevity of life,

    so that we may grow in wisdom.


O Lord, come back to us!

    How long will you delay?

    Take pity on your servants!


Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love,

    so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.


Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery!

    Replace the evil years with good.


Let us, your servants, see you work again;

    let our children see your glory.


And may the Lord our God show us his approval

    and make our efforts successful.

    Yes, make our efforts successful!