FACING LIFE'S STORMS
Do you ever feel as though your life is being swamped by the waves of trouble, responsibility, disappointment? If so, listen to this reading from the Bible, And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves; but he was asleep.
This verse is found in Matthew 8:24. Jesus and his disciples were in a small boat on the Sea of Galilee, and as was not unusual for that little sea, a violent storm arose. The boat was being swamped by the waves, but Jesus was asleep. The disciples were terrified and woke Jesus up with the words, Lord, save us; we perish And he said unto them, Why are you fearful, 0 you of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds, and the sea; and there was a great calm.
The contrast between the frantic fear of the disciples and the calm repose of Jesus is obvious. Why the difference? Jesus had explicit faith in the Father while the disciples thought only of their own human resources. That made the difference.
And that is also what makes the difference today. Life gets rather hectic sometimes, doesn't it? It has its storms. We are afraid. We are sometimes sure we are about to perish. The inward storms of the heart, of the family, of our business, and of life in general sometimes seem destined to overwhelm us. But what do we do when these storms arise?
If we have our anchor firmly planted in the Father, we can remain calm through it all. As the storm raged, Jesus was asleep! It is difficult to imagine his total lack of fear. When he awoke, he first rebuked the disciples for their fear, and then rebuked the wind. What we need today is that inward peace that provides calm amidst outward turmoil. And that comes only by having our feet firmly planted on the rock our salvation, Jesus Christ. Christ was resting in the Father, and we can rest in Him.
David said in Psalms 4:8, I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep; for thou, Lord, only makes me dwell in safety. And in 25:12-13, What man is he that feareth the Lord? Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. His soul shall dwell at ease. In 37:37, Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace. Sin brings shame and fear. A bad conscience makes a coward. In Psalms 119:165, David said, Great peace have they which love thy law; and nothing shall offend them. Listen to Isaiah, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee Isaiah 26:3.
Just before Jesus returned to heaven he said, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid John 14:27. The world offers but cannot produce peace. The man with millions is still afraid of a depression. The man with a storm shelter is still afraid. But there is real inward peace and calmness to be found in unreserved trust in the Lord. Are you like Jesus who could sleep through the storms, or like the disciples who were terrified? In Romans 8:6, Paul said, To be spiritually minded is life and peace. One of the fruits of the spirit which comes into our heart and lives after we have been born again is love, joy, and peace. (Galatians 5:22). But it comes only after we have genuinely submitted our lives to God.