Keep it together in troubling times

The main thing when an emergency happens is to keep in a state of mind where you can think rationally. Many a people who have died would still be here if they had not panicked when something bad happened.

Church and community, think about a time when you were in a crisis and you panicked — all kind of crazy thoughts started running through your mind. Everything that you knew went out of the window, you lost it! You could not think clearly; whatever it was shook your world.

Somebody is there today, and more than one person too. I don’t believe that the young man and his sister who were stuck in the mountains for four days with barely anything to eat or drink would have survived if he had not had the frame of mind to speak to himself and say “don’t panic!” When crisis comes, the key to coming out on top, or surviving the experience, is by remaining calm. Satan will blow stuff up in your mind and cause you to think the worst so that he can gain control. Whatever you do, don’t push the panic button!

Inspired by the “Animal Planet” network, I once told my congregation about how lions, when they are on the hunt, spread out in different angles — and as they come in on a herd of wild buffalo, the buffalo are spooked and they panic and run. If they could think, they would realize that if they just stay calm and stick together, the lions would never attack a whole herd of wild buffalo because the buffalo is much bigger than the lions. Sticking together is their defense, but in running they get confused and one always separates from the pack. The lions key in on the one and attack. That’s the way the devil is — when something bad happens he attacks the mind to cause us to panic, to think the worst, and to react accordingly; we get spooked, we unravel, we forget all that the Bible says and the enemy comes in for the kill.

We’ve got to keep it together; that’s what King Asa did in 2 Chronicles 14:1-11. King Asa did the right thing in the eyes of the Lord, but doing the right thing don’t mean a thing when Satan is in the picture. Just because you do the right thing don’t mean that you won’t have some enemies. In verse 9, the Bible says that Zerah the Ethiopian came out to fight against Asa with an army of a million men and 300 chariots — my God! Now imagine community the predicament that King Asa was in. When the enemy has more men than you, and you know that they don’t like you, and they want to do harm to you, it’s easy to fall into the panic mode.

The Holy Spirit knows that somebody is in the panic mode today. You see in this story yourself. You’re on the mountain lost and stuck in an elevator. You are crying out for help but nobody hears you; you are tempted to react out of emotion. Fear has gripped your heart. You feel like you are going under, crazy thoughts are running through your mind and you are tempted to panic.

But look at what King Asa did — instead of panicking, he prayed “Help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on you, and in your name we go against this multitude (2 Chr.14:11).” In verse 12 “The Lord struck his enemies before him and they fled.”

Community, let’s take a lesson from Asa; in the time of a crisis let us not panic, but let us cry out to God who is “a very present help in the time of trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

The Rev. George T. Ellis is pastor of Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church.

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