It is easier than it should be to miss the grandeur of God that charges our world. The unrelenting tread, tread, tread across His face seems willed to stamp out the evidences of His care that nature shows, to smother any public sentiment of gratitude to the supernatural, and even stifle personal “thank yous” that Providence may inspire within us. But the pandemonium of pandemic days, earthquake evenings, and hurricane nights, weeks, months, and years must not overwhelm God’s singers of the faithful, joyful song of grace.
In the lines below, a number of pastors ring out God’s song in multiple stanzas of their gathered wisdom that honors truth and wholeness. They sing melodies and lyrics of trust instead of despair, of peace instead of rage, of oneness and godly love rather than the fractiousness of suspicion and judgmentalism, of faith in their eternal Father rather than fear of tomorrow. Listen, then. And join their good song! Eds.
PASTOR HAMILTON, ARIZONA: The phrase “dancing in the rain” has earned itself some popularity. I love its optimism. It tells me that I need be neither bullied nor beaten, blustered nor battered, blockaded nor badgered into submission to cynicism or despair. Why am I unbroken? Because of whose I know I am: I belong to God. What can hell unleash that can undermine my faith and tear away my hope when my soul is one with His? Glory!
PASTOR ANGEL, OREGON: “Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39). We may be daunted by the times in which we live. But if Jesus is in our ship of life, His very words that created and sustain our world will bring us peace . . . and more: they’ll bring us joy.
PASTOR ROY, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA: Praying through 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 has brought me much comfort over the past few months. By prioritizing the cause of Christ, Paul could draw on the grace of God and delight in weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamity.
PASTOR ALAREECE, WASHINGTON: Sometimes life feels dark and turbulent. In those moments, remember that no matter what we face, we are never alone. Jesus has promised never to abandon us. This simple truth can bring back a spark of hope and keep us going.
SISTER ELLEN: We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.1
PASTOR EASTON, NEW YORK: We all know folks who want to but can’t help. They have the heart but not the means. Others can help, but won’t. Our Lord and Savior is good and great, much too good and great not to help—help you; help me; help us all.
PASTOR JINHA, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA: How can we keep hope, joy, and courage alive during a global pandemic or any time when we are struggling to see light in the darkness? Ask the slave longing for freedom, and the saint facing the stake. They know one thing that enabled so many of them not only to endure, but also to leave a lasting legacy for others.
What did they do? They sang: that’s how African American spirituals were born; that’s why many an anthem now exists; that’s how many movements gain momentum.
Songs lift us up—whether you can sing like an angel or you’re tone-deaf. Singing makes you feel better. We were created to sing.
PASTOR HYVETH, MICHIGAN: Looking to find stability in storms of sadness, clarity in oceans of confusion, hope through floods of tears? Run to the Rock, Jesus: “He sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety” (Job 5:11).
SISTER ELLEN: In every one of His children, Jesus sends a letter to the world. . . . He sends in you a letter to the family, the village, the street, where you live. . . . Perhaps they do not read the Bible. . . . But . . . it may be that through you they will be led to understand something of His goodness and be won to love and serve Him.2
PASTOR WILLIE AND SISTER ELAINE, MARYLAND: Fires. Floods. Family breakups. Pandemics. Political upheaval and instability. Wars. Refugees. Sickness. Fear. Unspeakable grief. Hopelessness. Death.
These are realities in our world today. To which heaven offers good counsel: “Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6, 7).