Peace in the Midst of the Storm
Storms in nature are created when a system of high pressure surrounds the centre that has a low pressure. We face storms in our lives when the pressures of our circumstances are more than we can handle. Natural storms are of different types, such as thunderstorm, dust storm, snow storm, ice storm, blizzard, tropical cyclone, rainstorm, windstorm, sandstorm, hailstorm, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. The storms we face in life are of different types as well. Some storms come into our lives because we are out of God’s will, while some storms come into our lives because we are obedient to the will of God.
Storms are an inevitable part of life. No matter who you are or where you are, you will experience storms in life. Every storm you face comes with a purpose. If you are out of God’s will, the storm has a purpose to lead you to repentance and change your course of action. Like the storm that came in the life of Jonah, the prophet, when he disobeyed God and went to Tarshish instead of going to Nineveh. “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD. (Jonah 1:2-3 NIV).
If you are obedient to God and find yourself in the midst of a storm, it is to mature you in faith, just like the storm that came when the disciples got into the boat with Jesus. Suddenly, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. (Matthew 8:24-26 NIV).
Storms also come in the life of believers, so that God may be glorified. Job faced the storm in his life when he lost his wealth, health and his beloved children. Yet, Job did not get bitter nor did he lose his faith in God. At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. (Job 1: 20 -22 NIV).
Storms in life are designed to create intense and overwhelming pressure around us. Storms show us our inadequacy and frailty. It is in the midst of a storm most people get on their knees and are brought to repentance. Many are saved while they are facing their storms, others grow and mature within the storm, while some take on humility. In the midst of a storm, many see signs, wonders, deliverance and miracles. In the midst of the storm, believers receive the in-filling of the Holy Spirit. Life’s most crucial lessons are learnt while in the storm. Life’s most intricate development happens in the storm. The turning point, the conversion of the heart and changing the course of life, all happens in the storm.
Storms are created to draw us near to God. While in the storm, you may feel like you are abandoned and God is far away from you. It is in those moments, if you call Him, He will answer you, if you seek Him, you will find Him, because He is right there with you in the midst of your storm. The storm is out of your control, but it is totally in God’s control. We all can feel the peace that comes after the storm, but as believers in Jesus Christ, we are privileged to feel the peace while we are in the midst of the storm.
Storms are catastrophic, yet at the centre of the storm there is perfect calmness and peace. It is called the ‘eye of the storm’. There is calmness in spite of the overwhelming pressure surrounding it because the barometric pressure within the eye is at the minimum. Likewise, the circumstances of your life may be devastating, yet you can be in perfect peace, if Jesus Christ is at the centre of your life. If your mind is focused on God and His words, when you trust in God completely, you will be in perfect peace in spite of the overpowering pressure of your circumstances. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you (Isaiah 26:3 NIV).
Storms make you feel defenceless and defeated. When you focus on the storm, you will grow fearful and distressed, but if you focus on the Lord and trust in His words, you will have perfect peace even in the midst of the most fearful storm. When circumstances overwhelm us, we focus on our inadequacy and worry about the situation, but if your mind is fully focused on God, you will be in perfect peace.
You may be surrounded by intense pressure and difficult situations, but if you trust in God, your circumstances will not overcome you. “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43: 1a-2 NIV).
Sometimes believers assume that once they are saved, they will have no troubles in life, and when troubles show up, they wonder why bad things happen to good people. Jesus tells his disciples that they will face troubles in life, but in Him, they can have their peace. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16: 33 ESV).
There are some that wonder, if bad things happen even to good people, what’s the purpose of being saved anyway? The troubles that the wicked and righteous suffer are not the same. The troubles of the righteous leads them to deliverance and the troubles of the wicked lead them to destruction. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Corinthians 4:17 ESV). The troubles the wicked face is eternal, not light nor temporary. “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”(Matthew 25:46 NIV).
You may wonder, what is the difference between a righteous person and a wicked person? There is only one difference, and it is the Lord Jesus Christ. When a person accepts Jesus as his personal Lord and Saviour, he gets saved and is termed righteous, whereas a person that rejects Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour is termed wicked. Many people see the good deeds of others and term them as good, whereas God calls them wicked, because it is not the good works that makes a person righteous, but only salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus died for you, because He loves you. If you are in the midst of a storm, you are not alone, Jesus is with you. All you have to do is receive Him into your heart, make Him the Lord of your life and He will lead you through the storm. The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7 ESV). Whatever type of storm you may be in, Jesus is right there beside you. Trust Him and receive Him and live in God’s perfect peace, even when you are in the midst of a storm.