Escaping Hysteria



I made the mistake of scrolling through a major news channel and I could feel hysteria trying to emerge from my television screen like the woman from the movie "The Grudge". Despite the findings of the Surgeon General or the warnings of the CDC, hysteria will not prove to be an effective immunization against COVID-19. According to Merriam Webster, hysteria is defined as a behavior exhibiting overwhelming or unmanageable fear or emotional excess - and anything taken to excess is deadly.


If you sit in the sun for an excessive amount- you’re toast. Burnt toast.

If you drink water too much excess, you’ll die from water intoxication.


If you believe your own thoughts to excess, you’ll become a patient at your local insane asylum.


It’s possible to have too much of God. I know, it’s sounds heretical initially, but no man can experience the glory of God to excess and live.


“And he said, "I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name 'The Lord.' And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live."”

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭33:19-20‬ ‭ESV‬‬


If I want anything or anyone in excess, it’s God. And God himself, in his infinite wisdom, knows that we can’t only handle the good and the bad in moderation. This pandemic is causing mass hysteria within the hearts of so many individuals because they were empty to begin with. Coronavirus is not a god. Yes, it’s effects can be lethal, but so are the effects of driving a car or entering into surgery.


The inability to pay your bills should not throw you into hysteria. You’re made of more than a means to an end. Your dislike or love for the Commander in Chief of the United States should not cause you to become hysterical. There will be decisions made in the US government that tax paying, registered voters will not be able to change. This should be cause for alarm. In fact, it serves as a reminder for us as Christians to not become attached to the things that are temporal. This is not our permanent home, remember?


The Bible tells us that we are to anticipate a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness (2 Peter 3:13). In this new heaven and new earth we read that we will plant vineyards and eat their fruit, build houses and dwell in them, and that we will long enjoy the works of our hands (Isaiah 65:22-23). Before we call to God, he will answer us, and while we are still speaking he will hear us (Isaiah 65:24). Revelation 21:3 states “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” Our eternal home does not need a temple, “because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. This city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it” (Revelation 21:22-24).


In light of the recent events that have occurred in our nation, I think it’s fitting to briefly address the Bible’s stance on scarcity, gifts, and information.


Scarcity


Revelation 21 describes a city where there are streets of gold and walls of jasper, sapphire, and emerald. Will there be any form of scarcity in this New Jerusalem, or will we have access to unlimited supplies of goods? Scarcity is always a relative term, relating our wants and needs to the availability of resources. Given the Biblical message concerning the richness of the New Jerusalem and the vastness of God’s created and redeemed heavens, I believe that there will be limitless amount of goods available for human use. I’m also a firm believer that our wants, which today are often fleshly and rooted in grief, will be somehow scaled back so that we will have a true appreciation of what we have and of God’s divine and good provision.



Gifts


1 Corinthians 12 gives a beautiful description of the distribution of spiritual gifts and our roles within the Body of Christ. I believe that on the new earth, although all of God’s people will be in full communion with the Holy Spirit, there will be still be a distribution of gifts among his people, and that we will still function as a body. In fact, all of the different gifts that God gives to his people will be spiritual gifts.


“The Lord said to Moses, "See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you: the tent of meeting, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furnishings of the tent, the table and its utensils, and the pure lampstand with all its utensils, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin and its stand, and the finely worked garments, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, for their service as priests, and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense for the Holy Place. According to all that I have commanded you, they shall do."

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭31:1-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬