Rich Mullins passed away 15 years ago today, when his Jeep crashed near Bloomington, Illinois, on his way to a benefit concert. I did not really know Rich, although I had the opportunity to meet him once and had a meal with him and the band along with a few other friends from Cincinnati Bible College & Seminary after he performed in a concert there. I walked away from that time looking up to Mullins even more. He was the real thing. There were a few of us there he had never met, and he took a real interest in our lives, asking us about ourselves.

Today, I’ve been listening again to some of my old Rich Mullins CDs, enjoying his music again. I’m not sure why, but Mullins’s music draws me into worship better than any other artist. I can relate to many of his songs, especially “If I Stand” and “Calling Out Your Name.” (Clicking on these links will take you to really cool YouTube videos.)

One of the songs Mullins wrote and sang 23 years ago is called “While the Nations Rage.” Funny … as I listened to this song today I had a news program on mute and I could watch what he sang about being played out on live TV.

As we as Christ-followers and leaders live in a time that may look bad and grim, we need to keep these words in mind and in our heart. Listen to the song here or see the words, below.

Why do the nations rage?
Why do they plot and scheme?
Their bullets can’t stop the prayers we pray
In the name of the Prince of Peace
We walk in faith and remember long ago
How they killed Him and then how on the third day He arose
Well, things may look bad
And things may look grim
But all these things must pass except the things that are of Him

Where are the nails that pierced His hands?
Well the nails have turned to rust
But behold the Man
He is risen
And He reigns
In the hearts of the children
Rising up in His name
Where are the thorns that drew His blood?
Well, the thorns have turned to dust
But not so the love
He has given
No, it remains
In the hearts of the children
Who will love while the nations rage

The Lord in Heaven laughs
He knows what is to come
While all the chiefs of state plan their big attacks
Against His anointed One
The Church of God she will not bend her knees
To the gods of this world though they promise her peace
She stands her ground
Stands firm on the Rock
Watch their walls tumble down when she lives out His love

Where are the nails that pierced His hands?
Well the nails have turned to rust
But not so the Man
He is risen
And He reigns
In the hearts of the children
Rising up in His name
Where are the thorns that drew His blood?
Well, the thorns have turned to dust
But behold the love
He has given
It remains
In the hearts of the children
Who will love while the nations rage
While the nations rage

Well, where are the nails that pierced His hands?
Well the nails have turned to rust
But behold the Man
He is risen
And He reigns
In the hearts of the children
Rising up in His name
Where are the thorns that drew His blood?
Well, the thorns have turned to dust
But not so the love
He has given
Oh, it remains
In the hearts of the children
Who will love while the nations rage

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Michael Mack has been involved in small group ministry as a pastor, writer, trainer, and speaker for more than 25 years. He founded SmallGroups.com in 1995 and started Small Group Leadership in 2012. He became the 12th editor of Christian Standard magazine in 2017 and continues to speak in churches about small groups, discipleship, and leadership. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. They have four young adult children. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of friends. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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