This post was written in the midst of our world experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic. Though it discusses topics specific to this time, its insights and scriptures can be appreciated at any time.
“When the earth and everyone living upon it spin into chaos, I am the One who stabilizes and supports it.”Psalm 75:3 The Voice
When we feel like our whole world is turned upside down, God can be our source of stability.
It is in moments like these that we must not panic and try to take control, but trust that God can bring us stability. We must stay alert, but calm.
This is easier said than done.
After that, whenever the bad depression from God tormented Saul, David got out his harp and played. That would calm Saul down, and he would feel better as the moodiness lifted.1 Samuel 16:23 MSG
Music helps us calm down. It expresses our emotions for us, centers us, reminds us of what matters. As we turn to God in the chaos, we can use music to help us hear his voice through the noise.
The Spotify playlist “chaos to calm” helps us both understand and calm the tumultuous emotions we feel on a daily basis. The following study pairs each song with a scripture to help you remember God in the midst of the storm.
Pan!c by Audrey Mika
In “Pan!c,” Audrey Mika talks about feeling out of control. Fear is paralyzing, and leads her to panic and feel like she can’t break free.
Whenever my busy thoughts were out of control, the soothing comfort of your presence calmed me down and overwhelmed me with delight.Psalm 94:19 TPT
When we feel out of control, spending time with God can give us the soothing comfort we need to stay calm and think clearly.
Frail State of Mind by the 1975
When we get afraid, it can be easy to isolate from others. In “Frail State of Mind,” the 1975 singer expresses that he’s missing out on connecting with other people by keeping himself inside. He resists reaching out to others because, as he says, he has a “frail state of mind.”
Though social distancing for the sake of staying healthy is encouraged, this doesn’t mean we can’t stay connected to the relationships in our lives. We don’t have to be lonely. We just need to be creative.
Discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love.Hebrews 10:24 TPT
During times of chaos, don’t let each other be alone. Find creative ways to be connected and loving in your relationships. Schedule phone calls, meet in small groups of friends, or Facetime your family. Let people know you both care about them and need their care, too.
Hard Times by Paramore
In “Hard Times,” Paramore’s Hayley Williams expresses frustration over feeling kicked when she’s down. All she wants is to be told everything is going to be okay, but the moment she tries to get up she feels knocked back down.
When we go through hard times, it can be easy to try to act like everything is fine, or we don’t need help. But sometimes being humble and honest about where we are really at is the best way to get the help we need. As Hayley says, we “got to get to rock bottom.”
Going through the motions doesn’t please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you. I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.Psalm 51:16 MSG
Holding on to our pride by refusing to ask for help gets us nowhere – even more so when in the midst of chaos. When we admit how shattered our hearts are, we can get the love and help that God is so ready to give.
Breathin by Ariana Grande
In “breathin,” Ariana Grande describes how it physically and mentally feels to be anxious and afraid. When it feels like our blood is running and sky is falling, we need to hear God’s voice to tell us to keep on breathing.
“That day, at evening, Jesus said to his followers, “Come with me across the lake.” So they left the crowd behind and went with Jesus in the boat he was already in. There were also other boats that went with them. A very bad wind came up on the lake. The waves were coming over the sides and into the boat, and it was almost full of water. Jesus was inside the boat, sleeping with his head on a pillow. The followers went and woke him. They said, “Teacher, don’t you care about us? We are going to drown!”
Jesus stood up and gave a command to the wind and the water. He said, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind stopped, and the lake became calm. He said to his followers, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were very afraid and asked each other, “What kind of man is this? Even the wind and the water obey him!”Mark 4:35-41 ERV
God is bigger than the storms in our lives. You may feel like you are drowning, but God is right there with you to help you keep breathing through it.
Keep On by Sasha Sloan
The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger.Job 17:9 NLT
It often feels like the “walls keep caving in” as Sasha Sloan says. But when we go to God, he can help us keep on moving forward.
Calm Down by Skip Marley
As Skip Marley says, it can be easy to get really worked up over a lot of different things. Though being told to “calm down” feels easier said than done, God gives us a reason that we can be calm:
You will not have to do anything but stay calm. The LORD will do the fighting for you.”  Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you still crying to me? Tell the Israelites to start moving.Exodus 14:14-15 ERV
Though it’s difficult, we can be calm because God fights for us. We don’t have to be paralyzed in fear and can keep moving forward when we trust that God is constantly fighting for us.
Happy by Natasha Bedingfield
The song’s lyrics “Can’t figure out tomorrow if today’s still a mess” have been hitting home now more than ever. It can feel like when everything goes wrong, how can there still be good in the world and in our lives? As Natasha Bedingfield expresses, finding things to be grateful for helps us get through the hard things.
Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.  My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine foreverPsalm 73:25-26 NLT
When we are grateful for what God has given us, we don’t need more than what we have. Things may go wrong, hard times can keep coming, but we can be calm and content because our strength comes from God. What can you express gratitude for today?
Trust in You by Lauren Daigle
Do you ever feel like you’re trying to trust that everything will be okay, but your emotions tell you otherwise? When we feel overwhelmed, discouraged, or fearful, it can be difficult not to listen to those doubts that God will pull through for you. Lauren Daigle expresses that struggle, but ultimately makes the choice to trust God anyway.
Why am I so overwrought? Why am I so disturbed? Why can’t I just hope in God? Despite all my emotions, I will believe and praise the One who saves me and is my life.Psalm 42:5 Voice
Though our emotions often take over, we can still make the choice to believe and hope. Despite all of our emotions, we can choose to believe that God will pull through for us.
How Great by Chance the Rapper
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be honored among the nations. I will be honored in the earth.”Psalm 46:10 NIRV
Sometimes we just need to remember who God is. When things are in turmoil it is easy to rely on humanistic power alone, but we have to remember that God is a God who is both powerful and caring. That is what will help us stay still and calm.
Rainbows by Forrest.
We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.Romans 8:28 Voice
In this song, Forrest. says that without rain, there are no rainbows. God wants and is able to use everything in our lives to work toward something good and beautiful. Even when we go through difficult times, we can look for the purpose in it. We can find ways to make rainbows out of rain.
Sometimes by H.E.R.
H.E.R. keeps it simple. Sometimes things don’t go your way. Sometimes you’re gonna have those days. Sometimes you feel out of place. But sometimes change. When things go badly it can feel like they will always be this way. But God can help us through anything and everything, as long as we don’t give up.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV
We don’t have to get weary or lose heart, as long as we keep our eyes on God. When world events and circumstances already have a huge weight on our hearts, we can’t let guilt add more weight, or we’ll get burnt out. What guilt do you need to throw off today so you can keep moving forward?
W.A.Y.S. by Jhene Aiko
Jhene Aiko reminds us that to find our peace of mind, we need to lose our pride. If we are going to keep on pushing when things are hard, we need to be humble and not try to take everything on ourselves. True peace is found in humility.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.James 4:7-8,10 NIV
When we humble ourselves and ask God for help, he can lift us up. He can make us strong where we are weak, and help us fight against what we feel too tired to resist. (Also, let this be a friendly reminder to wash your hands!)
Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
In a time when we feel the most stress and fear, the classic “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is a song of hope and peace. In a world of noise and disorder, we can still choose to dream that there is something somewhere over the rainbow.
His house is my shelter and secret retreat. It is there I find peace in the midst of storm and turmoil. Safety sits with me in the hiding place of God. He will set me on a rock, high above the fray.Psalm 27:5 Voice
Like the classic song, God can be the place we go to for secret retreat. Though we are in the midst of storm and turmoil, we can find peace and hope through him.
Sunday by Forrest.
Forrest. reminds us that we don’t have to worry because “Sunday is coming.” When we trust that God wants to take care of us, we can plan for the future without having to worry about the future.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.  “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.Matthew 6:33-34 NLT
God wants to give us what we need. We just need to take our lives one day at a time and trust that God has our back.
Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing by John Legend
In his cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing,” John Legend sings an assurance that you don’t have to worry, because he’s standing right by your side. This is how God is with us.
When the armies of the enemy surround me, I will not be afraid. When death calls for me in the midst of war, my soul is confident and unmoved.Psalm 27:3 Voice
Though we may be constantly bombarded with fears from both within and without, God is right by our side to help us.
Happy Again by UMI
UMI expresses sadness and the desire to be happy again. But through the lyrics “Everytime I wanna cry I see the light inside of you, every night I hurt inside but somehow I will make it through, coz I’m gonna be happy again” she realizes that becoming happy again is not a sole endeavor. It is achieved through our relationships – finding the light in others and making them happy too.
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.Proverbs 11:25 NIV
When we choose to go out of our way to refresh others, we will also be refreshed. Finding happiness through hard times cannot be accomplished through just seeking comfort and pleasure for ourselves. Through helping others, we find happiness as well.
Treat People with Kindness by Harry Styles
In the midst of chaos, it is easy to get self-focused. Others are going through similar, if not worse, difficulties as us, and while we try to take care of ourselves we must remember to treat those around us with kindness, too.
For it is Christ’s love that fuels our passion and motivates us, because we are absolutely convinced that he has given his life for all of us. This means all died with him,  so that those who live should no longer live self-absorbed lives but lives that are poured out for him—the one who died for us and now lives again.2 Corinthians 5:14-15 TPT
Our gratitude for the love God has for us should fuel us to give that same love to others. In these dark times, it is more important now than ever than to be a light to those around us.
LOVE by Jhene Aiko
Jhene Aiko expresses the power love can have. It not only helps others, but drives out fear in ourselves.
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.  We love each other because he loved us first.1 John 4:18-19 NLT
Choosing to love in the darkest of times is the best thing we can do. Who can you call or check in with today? We can show love to others in many small but significant ways, like praying for each other, being kind, encouraging each other, and sharing scriptures.
For the full list of songs, check out our Spotify playlist “CHAOS to c a l m.”