Monday, January 19, 2009

Peace in the Time of Storm

John 14:25 "These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

There are many references to peace in the Bible. Some have the idea of the absence of war or hostility, where a certain king's reign was symbolized by peace, many are talking about being at peace with God, rather than being at war with Him, so a more spiritual sense, but John 14 seems to be talking about another kind of peace.

I have been convicted lately of the lack of inward peace in my heart in all the circumstances around me. God has been strengthening my faith, through various trials, but what about peace in those trials. I should be at peace in the midst of the storm if I am really trusting Him. This has been hard for me.

So if I really have faith that He will accomplish His purposes in my life, whatever they may be, and He is faithful in every situation to finish the work He has started, then why am I lacking peace?

Mark 4:35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, "Let us go across to the other side." And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, "Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?" And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"

Jesus is at perfect peace as the storm rages, because He knows where His faith lies. The disciples, who have already watched Him do numerous miracles, have forgotten who He is and that He really does care for them, "Do you not care?", and are focused on the storm and its power. Jesus says, "Why are you so afraid, have you still no faith?" Since they have seen His power over sin and disease , their faith should have been stronger, and they should not have been afraid.

I have seen Him do many great miracles in my life, yet my faith is weak, which diminishes the peace in the midst of a trial; like calm, or tranquility, in the midst of a storm.

This is what God has called us to. Not only to have faith to trust Him, but to have faith strong enough that when the storm is breaking apart the ship, we are sleeping, or resting, in His care of His children.

Gracious Master and Commander of the seas of life, You not only control the literal seas and all that is in them, but You control every part of me. You have given me Your Holy Spirit to encourage and strengthen me, to grow my love for You, to increase my hatred for sin, and love for others. You are the Breast I can cling to when the storm is raging around me, like a child does when it needs comfort. There is no peace like Your peace, no rest like resting in the palm of Your hand, no calm like the calm when You quiet the storm in me. Shepherd of my anxious heart, give me faith to trust You, and forgive me for not trusting when You have shone yourself so trust worthy. I desire to be filled with faith and marked by peace, but only You can bring this about in me. Please see fit to change my heart to reflect You more clearly, not so I might be lifted up, but that You would be glorified as the Only One who could bring about this change.

Phil. 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

The God of Peace will be with Me, when I practice, and think, on these things.

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