Peace in the Storm

It is inevitable that you are going to face storms in your life.
I face them.
You face them.
Every person in the Bible faced them…including Jesus.

What we do in those storms will determine how we fare once they end…
…because they will end.

I know a lot of Christians that pray for peace for themselves and for others, but few who actually find it. It’s like an elusive state of being where none of life’s stresses (or horrors) are able to touch us.

If such a state of being exists, I certainly haven’t found it, yet. But I have experienced storms.

There are days where fear threatens to derail my day. Sometimes they are legitimate fears where I need to act to avert them, while others make no sense and instead, leave a very vague sense of dread.

Some days I am on top of the world, while others I struggle with depression and tilt on the side of despair. Again, some circumstances are easily identified that I can deal with, while others are hidden in the shadows.

Anger is another storm altogether because something in me feels justified to feel this way, even though I know Jesus is gently encouraging me to forgive. The object of my anger or lack of forgiveness is usually not even aware that the clouds are swirling with streaks of lightening and clashes of thunder in my own soul…but I know and feel it.

In all of these storms, I have found something that regularly brings me peace. Last week, I was struggling with just such a time. The storm was brewing like most times in my life…some circumstances I could identify and others I could not.

I have learned that consistent time in scripture eases much of life’s baggage. On this particular day, I was praying for God to bring back to me a sense of peace and calm, but the storm raged on. It was overshadowing the things I needed to do that day and kept me from experiencing Christ throughout my day.

So, I decided to start going through scripture, again. I had been reading through Isaiah for a few days and decided just to pick back up there.

As a rule, I don’t look up verses about peace….
I don’t go to trusted passages about God’s promises…
I just start immersing myself in His word.

It just so happens, my next passage was Isaiah 40 and 41. Here are some of the highlights:

40 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. 3 A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. 5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 40:1–5 (ESV)

9 Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” 10 Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. 12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Isaiah 40:9–12 (ESV)

10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 11 Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. 12 You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. 13 For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Isaiah 41:10–13 (ESV)

In a few moments, I found peace again. Not just because of the content (though this is pretty awesome content), but simply because I was resting in God’s word. Here’s why I think this matters:

1. God’s word reminds us that He is God and He is always at work for our good, even when we feel alone.

2. God’s word reminds us that most of life’s troubles are INSIGNIFICANT in comparison to the incredible gift of forgiveness through Christ that we have. This world is just a blip on the timeline of eternity that we will spend with God.

3. God’s word reminds us that God is more concerned with how we are growing through life instead of living life without storms.

4. God’s word reminds us that we are loved and He is with us.

5. God’s word also reminds us that our storms will not overtake us and we can be confident in his Lordship and his care for our souls.

As you go through your own storms, perhaps the best thing to do is open your Bible and let God’s word do a work of peace in your own life.

Mark Love
Lead Pastor

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