You may be in a season right now where everything around you seems out of control. Maybe it’s your job. Perhaps there’s great trouble within your family. Or you’re distressed about what’s happening in our nation. When life seems to be falling apart, even the upright can get uptight.
Yet the Bible says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, PEACE” (Galatians 5:22).
This kind of peace only comes as a fruit of the Spirit. It’s not the peace the world can give. It’s not dependent on circumstances. To begin with, you cannot have true, lasting peace in your life until first you become a child of God—until you’re saved. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
Then, once saved, you still face the battles and storms of life that come to all of us. You realize you have peace with God but not have the peace of God.
Yet God intends for His peace to be yours: “Let the peace of God rule in your heart."” Colossians 3:15. “And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:7.
When the Lord Jesus Christ was facing the cross, He made out His last will and testament. Did you know He mentioned you in His will? He left you His peace: “Peace I leave with you, My peace give I unto you. Not as the world gives, give I unto you.” John 14:27. It's not the kind of peace the world can give. As someone said, “The world didn’t give it to me and the world can’t take it away.”
It is supernatural peace, the peace of God that passes all understanding, to rule your heart and mind. This kind of peace is not the absence of problems. It is the addition of power. Jesus’ disciples had to experience it to learn it, and you will, too.
You may be thinking, “I don’t need this. Everything’s peaceful in my life. I’m just sailing along smoothly.” Really? I'm happy for you. But just wait awhile. You'll never have complete absence of problems as long as you're on this earth. Sooner or later, you're going to be in a storm.
By the way, understand there are 2 kinds of storms in life:
Whether it’s correcting or perfecting, remember: God is over all.
The disciples’ encounter with a storm in Matthew chapter 14 shows us what real peace is. What they learned about peace will spell PEACE in your own life when you take them to heart.
P—is for PROVIDENCE
“His purpose brought me here.”
The disciples weren’t on the stormy Sea of Galilee because they were out of the will of God. Jesus Christ Himself told the disciples to get in the boat and row to the other side (Matthew 14:22). They were in the will of God and sailed right into a storm. One thing you'll never hear God say is “Oops.” Jesus providentially led them there.
If you're in a storm right now, I want you to say, "Providence: His purpose brought me here.”
And don't get the idea that if you're in the will of God, you won’t have any storms.
Some are teaching that false theology today that we’ll just sail through with health and wealth and die happy in our old age. That is (1) not true and (2) not biblical.
If you're in a storm right now, know that if God did not cause it, God allowed it. It did not take Him by surprise. Nothing comes to you that God doesn’t know about. He is over it, beyond it, through it, above it, and in it. He is the providential God.
“His prayers protect me here.”
Mark 6:47-48 records the same event and tells us that while the disciples were rowing, struggling against the storm, Jesus was on the mountain praying for them. He saw them. The Bible teaches Jesus “ever lives to make intercession for you” (Hebrews 7:25). He is now in glory, seated at the right hand of the Father, entreating the Father on your behalf.
“His presence comes to me here.”
He is there with you. He is the great “I am” in the midst of your storm.
I will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5
But now, thus saith the Lord that created thee, 0 Jacob, and He that formed thee, 0 Israel, Fear thou not, for I have redeemed thee. I have called thee by thy name. Thou art Mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee. When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. Isaiah 43:I-2.
We need to learn how to recognize Jesus in our storm. He was there, but at first His disciples didn't realize that. Because they didn’t recognize His presence, they were afraid and had no peace.
Corrie Ten Boom said, “If you look at circumstances, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed. If you look at Christ, you'll be at rest."
God's plan is for your peace. When you lose His peace, you're stressed.
Stress is that measurement of the degree to which you have your eyes on the storm and not on God. You’ve taken your eyes from Jesus and put them on the problem.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore [because He is present] we will not fear. Though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea…. Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:1-2 and 10.
Jesus said, “Don't be afraid. I am here. I have come to you in this storm.”
“His power sustains me here.”
The word “comfort” has two parts: “Com” means “with.” “Fort” means strength. “Comfort” means to be with someone with strength. It takes power to walk on the water. God comes to us with His strength.
Why did Jesus put them in that ship, knowing a storm was coming? Why did He intercede for them, come walking on the water, then allow Peter to walk on the water? Was Jesus showing off? Of course not. He’s teaching a glorious spiritual lesson: God comes to you with power to sustain you in your storm. Even though Peter began to sink, he didn't drown.
The waves they feared would put them under, Jesus is walking over. What they thought was going to be over their heads was already under His feet. I don't care what your problem is, He has subdued your problem. He is head over all.
These things have I spoken unto you that you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation. Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world. John 16:33
And God hath put all things under His feet and given Him to be head over all things. Ephesians 1:22
He says, “You're going to have storms, but I've overcome them. What you think is over your head is under My feet.” That is the comfort you have.
Someone once said, “The will of God will never take me where the grace of God cannot keep me.” You'll never get in a storm but what He allows it, even if He doesn't cause it.
“His promise assures me here.”
We do not live by explanations, we live by promises. If God were to explain things to us, most of us wouldn't understand. His ways are not our ways; His thoughts not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Behind every command of God is His promise to carry it out. Andrew Murray said, “God is willing to assume full responsibility for a life totally committed to Him.”
Whether it be a perfecting storm or a correcting storm, you can have the full expectation that God will keep His Word and see you through.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. Though he fall he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand. Psalm 37:23-24
Providence: His purpose brought me here.
Entreaty: His prayers protect me here.
Assurance: His presence comes to me here.
Comfort: His power enables me here.
Expectation: His promise assures me here.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee. Isaiah 26:3.
Keep these five truths in the forefront of your mind as you navigate through these dark waters. You can have peace in the midst of your storm.