Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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Dannah Gresh: Do the current circumstances make you feel like you might lose your sanity? Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth says there’s a solution.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Heaven rules, and knowing and believing and reminding yourself of this reality—heaven rules—is what will keep you from going crazy in a broken, fallen, and messed-up world.

Dannah: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, co-author of You Can Trust God to Write Your Story, for May 21, 2020. I’m Dannah Gresh.

Nancy: Normally we record the daily Revive Our Hearts program at our National Ministry Center where we have a live audience of approximately eighty women who come and sit through the recording for the day. But, as you know, these are not normal times, and our National Ministry Center is still closed.

So today we’re recording in a make-shift studio in the basement of our home—I guess you could call it a studio. It’s actually a guest bedroom. We’ve got pillows propped up everywhere to help with sound, and we’re doing things in an unusual way.

But I wanted to come to you from this room today and tomorrow to share with you some reflections that have been on my heart about what our world has been going through over the past few months.

I also want to share reflections about what Robert and I have experienced with our cancer journey during this same season.

I’m calling this short two-day series: “Coronavirus, Cancer, and Christ.” My prayer is that these thoughts will encourage you in whatever you may be facing at this time.

But first I want to take a moment to say a huge “thank you” to each person who has made a donation to Revive Our Hearts this month. As we’ve been sharing with you, we’re coming up to our fiscal year-end, and we’re asking the Lord to provide a significant amount of funding to get us to the end of this fiscal year . . . and then to provide what we need to get started on the year ahead as the Lord is opening up some amazing new opportunities and doors for ministry around the world.

I got an email just this morning that I want to share with you, just as a reminder, of why we’re doing what we’re doing and what your investment is going toward. A woman wrote and said:

Dear Nancy and staff at Revive Our Hearts

I just want to say “thank you.” Almost a year-and-a-half ago, I hesitantly started listening to the Revive Our Hearts podcast, but I haven’t missed one since. 

The truth of God’s Word is faithfully proclaimed each day and so often the words of the daily message are exactly what I needed to hear that day. Almost daily I tell my teenage children something exciting that I have heard and learned from the podcast.

So here’s a woman who’s being spiritually nurtured and encouraged in her own walk with the Lord, and then she’s sharing what God is doing in her life with the kids that God has entrusted to her. She said: 

Thank you for pointing me and countless others to Jesus. I’m praying that your ministry continues to grow and flourish.

And then I love this. She said: 

Throughout this pandemic I have needed to cling to the truth of Scripture more than ever. How encouraging it has been to tune in each day and be reminded of what is true about God.

And then she signed it: “With a grateful heart.”

Well, that note could have been written to you if you have prayed for this ministry, if you’re one of our ministry partners, if you’ve given to help with this fiscal year-end need. This woman has a grateful heart because day after day the Word of God that has been poured into her heart through this program has been an infusion—a daily infusion—of hope, of perspective, of truth. It has grounded her in what is true about God.

And that’s what we’re trying to do day after day here on Revive Our Hearts through all of our different outreaches, to help you know, to remind you what is true about God, and then enable you to share that with others that God puts in your world.

So maybe you’ve been thinking about helping with this fiscal year-end need but you haven’t had a chance to do it yet. Let me just say this would be a good time to do that.

And when you make a gift of any amount to Revive Our Hearts today or tomorrow, as our way of saying “thank you,” we want to send you a copy of the book that Robert and I wrote last year called, You Can Trust God to Write Your Story.

When we wrote that book, we had no way of knowing how timely that message would be and how much we all would need those basic, fundamental reminders of who God is as we walk through this pandemic, coronavirus, and Cancer—knowing that Christ is faithful in the midst of that and that He is writing a story that is good and that we will one day look back and say, “Oh, Lord, You have done all things well.”

So Dannah will remind you at the end of the program how you can make a donation at this time, and when you do, be sure to ask for a copy of You Can Trust God to Write Your Story. That message has never been more timely. Thank you so much for your support during this time.

Well, speaking of these times, our world is convulsing. I think we can all feel that. Our world, no matter whether we’re married or single, young or old, healthy or sick, wherever we live around the world, our world has been turned upside down and inside out.

You may have seen a meme out there that’s on the Internet, and it says something like this: “It’s like our lives are being written by an eight-year-old: There was this virus, and everybody had to go home for the longest spring break ever, and then they closed the school for the rest of the year, and then it snowed, and everybody ran out of toilet paper. Oh, no! And then suddenly some giant killer bees swarmed in.”

Well, as my sweet husband Robert often says, “You can’t make this stuff up.”

A friend wrote me this week, and she said, “This is absolutely bananas, and now murder hornets? What is this life? What is happening?”

Well, what’s happening is there’s a lot of craziness going on—a lot of things we understand and even more things that we don’t understand.

A friend texted me just a few minutes ago, and she said, “The one word I would use to summarize how I feel right now is discombobulated.”

Discombobulated—you may or may not know how to spell that, but I think you can identify probably. A lot of us are feeling that way.

People are feeling isolated. They’re feeling thrown off their rhythms. Everything is unfamiliar.

And then you see these eerie pictures of people in masks and gloves and HAZMAT suits.

You see these pictures and experiences—Robert and I did when we had to run an errand the other day—of these downtown streets and shops that are usually just filled with people and activity and now they’re all strangely empty.

It really is like some dystopian novel or movie.

Could you even have imagined these kinds of scenes just a few months ago? Something is just not right. The fact is, that in this broken, fallen world, nothing is really right.

And, to add to the equation, in the midst of all the craziness of the pandemic and coronavirus and all of the fallout of that; as I’ve shared with you over the last couple of months, in the middle of March, my husband Robert was diagnosed with cancer. And many, many of you have prayed for us. I want to say, “Thank you!”

We could not be more grateful for how the Lord has walked with us on this journey, how He has provided for us, and the sweetness of the prayers and encouragement that we have received from God’s people. We’re so grateful for that, but, again, that news threw our world into more of a tailspin, adding to the coronavirus that cancer diagnosis.

And, of course, there are all these voices that are speaking to us day in and day out. They’re experts, right? Health professionals, scientists, politicians, journalists, news anchors, bloggers, pastors—all speaking out, all trying to be helpful, I suppose, trying to interpret the data and the information we have. A lot of them are speaking super-confidently.

And here’s the thing: Some of them are saying, “This is going to get better. We’re headed in the right direction. Things are looking good.”

And then you have the pessimists who are saying, “Nope. It’s going to get worse. We’re on a downward trend.”

You listen to all of this, and you think, What’s happening? What’s going to happen?

The fact is: Nobody knows. In fact, Robert and I talked about this the other day. He said, “So many unknowns, but what really matters is known fully.”

That was a good reminder to my own heart that can start to feel unsettled by all the unknowns. Robert just reminded me that the things that really matter are known fully.

You see, with all this constant barrage of input from the medical people, the scientists, the newscasters, the commentators . . . They all have opinions. They all have things to say. But will you agree with me that what we really need to hear in a time like this, and in every time, is the Word of the Lord.

We need to know what God has to say. We want to know, we need to know, “Where is God in the midst of all of this?” That’s what really matters. And once we see Him and hear Him and know what He is thinking and get some sense of what His heart is in all of this is, then we have a security, an anchor, a solid place for our souls.

And that leads me to the Word of God. If you have a Bible, I want to encourage you to open to the book of Psalms, Psalm chapter 29. I want you to see this, be able to read it for yourself. And I want to focus on the last two verses of this psalm that have been my go-to verses in recent months.

I want to share with you some of the things God has been doing in my heart, some of the things He’s been showing me. And these two verses I’ve gone back to again and again and again. They have been for me an anchor . . . an anchor for my heart, an anchor for my runaway emotions, an anchor for my rogue thoughts and imaginations—all the what-ifs in these crazy days. These verses have been a lifeline and an anchor.

Now, let me just step back and give you a little bit of context for Psalm 29. There is something drastic, earth shattering, dramatic going on in nature. One commentator that I read said that he thinks that it may have been a massive thunderstorm. Whatever it is is altering the environment. It’s changing the circumstances.

And it’s interesting, while this natural disaster of whatever source is going on, there’s seven times throughout this short psalm that you see the phrase “the voice of the Lord”—the voice of the Lord, the voice of the Lord. In the midst of the thunderstorm, or the natural disaster, whatever it is, God is speaking.

In fact, verse 3 tells us the God of glory thunders. God thunders. He’s not just speaking quietly. He wants to make Himself known. He’s revealing Himself. He’s revealing His mind, His heart. Not everything. We won’t know everything about Him this side of eternity, but God is speaking.

And then we come to the last two verses. Read it against the backdrop of this massive natural disaster, and verse 10 of Psalm 29 says,

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned, King forever. The Lord gives His people strength; the Lord blesses His people with peace (vv. 10–11).

I want to just meditate on verse 10 today, and then that last verse, verse 11, in our program tomorrow.

So, “The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned, King forever.”

Here’s the setting: It’s a flood. This is some kind of overwhelming circumstance. I mean, you think of a flood . . . I’ve never actually been in a flood, but I’ve known people who went through a flood and have described the sensation of just barely being able to keep your head above water, this sense of desperation, the sense of disaster, the sense of drowning, the sense of, “I can’t breathe!”

Anybody felt like that recently? “I can’t breathe! I’m going under!”?

So there’s a flood going on. And where is the Lord? What’s He doing in the midst of this flood?

Well, the first thing I see is that He is sitting. “The Lord sits over the flood.” He’s sitting.

I love this picture, as I’ve been meditating on this psalm. We don’t see God just running around heaven panic stricken. He’s not pacing the celestial halls or saying, “What am I going to do?” or “Who can I get to help?” or “Let’s start a committee.” There’s no panic in heaven. The Lord is sitting. He’s sitting down. He’s calm.

And where is He sitting? He’s sitting on His throne. “The Lord sits enthroned over the flood.” In all of this, the Lord is sitting, and He’s on a throne. That throne, that place where He is sitting is over the flood. He’s not under the flood. He’s not flooded. He’s not getting buried by these circumstances. He’s not being overwhelmed by the things that are overwhelming us. He’s not buried under the flood. He is sitting over the flood. “The Lord sits enthroned over the flood.”

“The Lord sits enthroned.” He repeats it. It’s for emphasis so that we get this picture—in a world of instability and uncertainty, here’s one thing that is absolutely certain: “The Lord is sitting enthroned over the flood.”

And then the second part of that verse tells us He sits enthroned, king forever. He sits as king.

Think about the coronavirus. That word corona actually comes from a Latin word that means “crown or halo.” You’ve seen the pictures of this coronavirus. The viruses are round, and they have spikey proteins on their surfaces. When you put it under a microscope, it looks like a crown. Corona—the word means crown or halo.

God sits enthroned. He is the King. He is the one who is crowned in this time of the coronavirus, or cancer, or whatever other kind of flood you may be facing.

There are two words that Robert and I say to each other over and over and over again. I suppose we’ve said them maybe hundreds of times, maybe thousands of times, in the years we’ve been married. The two words, which would be one way of summarizing the whole of Scripture are: Heaven rules. Heaven rules. You’ve seen me put this on social media posts, on tweets, on emails. I tell myself and I tell others over and over and over again, “Heaven rules.” Christ sits as King.

I have a sweet friend who has heard me say this many times. And during this whole coronavirus and cancer situation, one day she was praying for Robert and me. She lives far away in Texas, and she took a picture that she texted to me—it’s now the screen saver on my phone. It’s a picture of a Post-It Note, a yellow Post-It Note, that says, “Heaven Rules.” And she’s just holding up that Post-It Note in her hand. “Heaven Rules.”

I have that reminder in front of me all the time. And Robert and I say it to each other after we watch the evening news, which there are times when we just have to say, “No more of that.” But we do watch a lot of news. And after we watch it, we look at each other, and we say, “Honey, Heaven rules—Heaven rules.”

As we got Robert’s cancer diagnosis, we looked at each other, and we said, “Heaven rules.”

Now, that’s not all we said. We talked about the realities, about the unknowns, about the what-ifs, about our natural human fears and what might happen, could happen. We talked about those things. But at the end of the day, we keep coming back to “Heaven rules.”

By the way, this is a biblical phrase. You find it in Daniel chapter 2. You find the concept all the way through Scripture. And knowing and believing and reminding yourself of this reality, “Heaven rules,” I’m telling you, it’s what will keep you from going crazy in a broken, fallen, messed-up world—coronavirus, cancer, anything else—the constant reminder that “Heaven rules.”

A friend sent me a message the other day. She said, 

I truly do think the only thing that’s keeping me from absolutely crumbling is knowing that as scary and unknown and insane as all of this is, God is the complete opposite. He is bigger and stronger. He is good, and He only does good things. He’s not surprised, and He is in control.

Nothing that is happening right now is happening outside of the confines of the boundary lines He has drawn. As wild as it is, and as wild as it still could get, it won’t cross His line. Praise God! Because, literally, without that, what else do we have?

She’s right. Without that assurance that “Heaven rules,” that Jesus is King, what else do we have?

I saw this tweet the other day from someone I don’t know, but I sure agree with it. This man said, 

I suffered from extreme anxiety and PTSD after an episode with my heart. Studying God’s sovereignty brought me so much peace in my life in a time where every waking second was just trying not to have a panic attack.

I’ve known people having panic attacks during this time, and I get that. It’s natural when you look at the upheaval—the floods everywhere—and you think, I’m going under! I can’t keep breathing! That’s what happens when you have a panic attack. You just can’t keep breathing.

And this man said, after having extreme anxiety, PTSD, heart episodes, it was studying the sovereignty of God that brought him peace when every waking moment he was ripped with anxiety.

And that’s why, friends, we have to learn to counsel our hearts according to truth. Here’s the truth: Cancer is not king. Coronavirus is not king. Financial crisis is not king. These things are very real. They may happen, just as floods and disasters are real, and they happen.

And, by the way, the coronavirus and cancer aren’t the only two crises going on in our world. There are other tragedies. You read about the locusts in Africa that are eating up millions of acres and creating what could be food deprivation for a generation of millions of people. This is real.

But cancer is not king. Coronavirus is not king. Locusts are not king. Christ is King.

I heard a friend say the other day, “You know what you believe. In times like these, you discover whether you believe what you know.”

We know a lot of things. We know what Psalm 29 says. We know, yes, the Lord is King. He sits over the flood. He sits enthroned forever. We know we believe those things—at least we say we do. But in times like these, when everything is going kind of nuts, you discover whether you really believe what you know.

I’ve declared truths from God’s Word to others for all my adult life—forty years or more I’ve been doing this. I’ve been sharing with women the truth of God’s Word saying, “These things are true. You can anchor your heart in these things.”

But here’s what I’ve been finding out during cancer and the coronavirus over these last weeks: I’m finding out that those things really are true. I’ve known them in my head, and I’ve experienced them at some measure in my life. But I’m finding that the things that I’ve known to be true in the past about God and from His Word are an anchor for my heart at times such as these.

The Lord has had a sweet way of reminding me of this in recent weeks. We’ve re-aired a number of series on Revive Our Hearts that I had given years ago—passages I’ve taught from like Psalm 46, “A mighty fortress is our God,” and others of these kind of grounding passages. We’ve re-aired them because we felt they were timely.

Our team has been capturing quotes from my teachings off of those programs and posting them on social media. And so I will see the Revive Our Hearts’ social media feed on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook. I’ve seen these quotes with my name under them, and the Lord has used them to remind me of what I’ve told others, and what I know is true, but to help me counsel my heart afresh. I’ve been preaching to myself with some of those quotes during this time.

I’ve actually compiled some of those quotes on a document, we’ll link to it on ReviveOurHearts.com, so you can read some of those for yourself. But here’s an example of one from a recent program—this is what I told the women when I taught this series years ago, this series from Psalm 46. I said:

God is not shaken. God is not wringing His hands, trying to figure out what He’s going to do with all these catastrophes in this world. He is enthroned. He reigns.

That’s what I said years ago. It was true then. And it’s what I’ve needed to hear today because it’s still true.

You see, the things that you have trusted, that you have grounded your heart in in the past, are what you will resort to and turn to when the floods and the storms come. So, what are you grounding your heart in? What are you resorting to? What are you turning to?

The truth is: “Heaven rules.” And this truth will bring you confidence and comfort and calm because cancer doesn’t command your future. Your husband doesn’t command your destiny. Your children don’t command your destiny. Your health doesn’t command your destiny. Jesus commands our destiny.

As I said a moment ago, Coronavirus is not king. Cancer is not king. Christ is King.

As I was thinking about this series a few days ago, a hymn came to mind. It’s an old one, but, boy how true today, 

Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne.
(The Lord sits enthroned. Right?)
Awake my soul and sing of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.

("Crown Him with Many Crown" by Matthew Bridges and Godfrey Thring)

“The Lord is enthroned over the flood. The Lord is enthroned, king forever.” For how long? Forever! He’s King now. He’ll be King next week. He’ll be King when the next pandemic comes or the next whatever may be around the corner in your life. In every crisis, in every hard thing and every broken piece of this broken world, Christ is King.

And this whole COVID thing, coronavirus, cancer, these are visible reminders to us, tangible reminders, things we feel very deeply, that this world is still under the curse of sin. But we’re also encouraged to wait in hope for that promised day when the curse will be no more, when Christ will reign as King, with no rivals, no sin, no pain, no tears, no brokenness—only the beautiful reigning light of Christ.

You really can trust Him to write your story in the meantime. This is not the end of the story. Coronavirus is not the end of the story. Cancer is not the end of the story. We know the end of the story. But we’re in the middle of it right now, and as we wait, we need patience and courage and hope.

And both the really sweet and good and beautiful things in this world, of which there are still many, as well as the hard and the painful and chaotic and destructive things are all intended to give us a glimpse of eternity, with or without Jesus. Read the book of Revelation if you want to see what I’m talking about.

These current plagues that we’re experiencing in our world that are so devastating, they’re a hint, just a glimpse of coming, cataclysmic judgment on this world, as God calls to account the wicked and unrepentant who would not receive His gift of eternal life. And the blessings that we enjoy in the midst of the hard things, they’re just a simple, sweet foretaste of the wonders of heaven that await us.

And so, the blessings are meant to create in us a sense of longing. And the distresses, which are many, for those of us who are in Christ, those distresses remind us of the judgment that He came to rescue us from, and that we will never experience because we are in Christ.

So what does Psalm 29, verse 10 tell us? Christ is King. He sits. He reigns. He is enthroned.

And then we’ll see tomorrow, in the last verse of this passage, that in the midst of His reigning, He gives us strength for our weakness, and He gives us peace in our chaos. And how long does He do that? Forever. Forever.

Thank You, oh Lord, for the truth of Your Word that grounds and anchors our hearts. These things are sure. We have a refuge. We have truth. We have a life preserver. We don’t have to be under the flood. We don’t have to live under the control of our emotions and our rogue thoughts. We can anchor our thoughts, tether our hearts to truth, to Jesus, to Christ, who is the ultimate Corona, King. He is crowned with many crowns. So we worship You. We love You. We thank You for how truth settles our hearts.

I pray for my sisters, friends listening today, that whatever each one is facing, she or he may come to find a refuge, a strong peace and strength and grace in the fact that Heaven rules—Heaven rules. For that we give You thanks, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Dannah: What an encouraging reminder from the host of Revive Our Hearts, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. She’ll continue in Psalm 29 tomorrow.

And again, if you appreciate what you hear on Revive Our Hearts day in and day out, and if God is using it in your life, let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

And if you’re able, help us toward our May goal of $750,000. You can donate online at ReviveOurHearts.com. That’s also where you’ll find the quotes Nancy referred to today. Again, that’s ReviveOurHearts.com, or call us at 1–800–569–5959.

When you make a gift of any amount, we’ll send you the book by Robert and Nancy, You Can Trust God to Write Your Story. It’s our way of saying, “Thank you.”

Tomorrow, Nancy will show us that not only does God rule over things like the coronavirus and cancer, but He also cares for each of us. I’m Dannah Gresh, please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Reminding you that Heaven rules, Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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