Today, I feel inadequate to offer the guidance, encouragement, strength, or reason that will help us navigate the chaos we are living through every day. I have been watching and listening for someone to speak with Godly discernment amid the chaos. I mourn for the time an ambassador for God, like Billy Graham, would stand strong and represent Him to our nation. Today, I would like for us to look back and learn from a few statements of strength that Billy Graham shared for times like these.

Graham once said, “You cannot pray for someone and hate them at the same time.” The fiercely divided political environment in our nation has led many Christians to lash out in anger or frustration rather than praying for those with whom we don’t agree. The Bible teaches us to love and pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44). Judging by social media posts, emails and several one-on-one conversations, many Christians are more concerned with putting others down than lifting them up in prayer. We will never move past the reach of our prayers.

Take time to pray for people who are causing your blood to boil through their evil actions. Their actions will not change until their hearts change and only God can change a person’s heart. Graham also taught us, “No matter how dark and hopeless the situation in our nation might seem, never stop praying.” Don’t give up, give out or give in. Now is a time to stand firm and pray earnestly. We should always be longing for the return of Jesus to rapture his Church, but we must remain faithful to the mission he has given us until that day comes. We are seeing the minions of Satan wreaking havoc on our cities and our institutions. There is a spiritual battle raging around us and spiritual battles must be fought with spiritual weapons (2 Corinthians 10:4). The stronghold that Satan has on our nation right now can only be pulled down by God. We must pray in faith believing that God remains in control.

Today, it seems like there are no answers, yet Billy Graham taught us “though cultures differ and times change, the Word of our God stands forever as an unchanging source of answers to all of life’s problems.” There is instruction in God’s Word for times like these. As Satan uses lies to cause destruction, the Bible is our source of truth (Psalms 119:160). Today, we can be used to bring healing when we openly and unashamedly share truth from God’s Word. Christians know the fight against any form of racism is a noble battle. We also believe that peaceful protest designed to highlight injustice should always be welcomed. On the other hand, rioting and rebellion against law and order should have been stopped the very instant the line was crossed. Graham once said, “No matter how advanced its progress, any generation that neglects its spiritual and moral life is going to disintegrate.”

Most of what we are seeing today is not making our nation better; instead, it is making us bitter. We must not live in fear that we will offend others by calling sin wrong. Proverbs 14:34 states: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Christians cannot sit idle while evil strives to take over. Graham stated, “Christians need to take a stand for what is right and not let evil go unchallenged.” How are we standing against evil? Is God’s voice being heard through His people?

Pray with me that God will raise up ambassadors that will speak truth and stand strong as they lead powerful transformation in our nation.

Chuck Sprouse, a lifelong resident of Greenwood, is the Senior Pastor of the Ninety Six First Baptist Church. You can reach Chuck at csprouse@fbc96.org or 864-543-2333.