5 Keys to Find Peace in the Storms of LifeJan 23, 2024
This week, I want to talk about keeping the clutter and chaos of what is going on in the world around us from taking up residence in us. How can we live in this chaotic world yet not let the chaos take us over? Is it possible to have peace on the inside when our circumstances on the outside are anything but peaceful?
God is so faithful. He is not surprised by what is going on in our world right now. In fact, the Bible has seemed to come alive more than ever before and has real guidance for us now in 2021.
Matthew 24:6 says, "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet."
Jesus warned that the world will be chaotic, but He gives us this guidance, "see that you are not troubled." We don't have to be troubled because He is with us. He promised that He would never leave us or forsake us. When we build our life on Him, it doesn't matter what is going on because we will be immovable.
The following excerpt is taken from my book, Planted, Where I talk about being immovable in the middle of a storm:
"Your soul is just like a house that needs a good foundation to be built on. In the story of the three little pigs, the big bad wolf came to each house, no matter what it was made out of. The pigs that were hasty about building their houses out of sticks and hay paid the price later. However, the pig that chose to build his house with bricks didn't mind when the wolf came because he had made himself a place of fortitude. He spent time building something that would withstand outside pressures.
So many times, people want the quick fixes that the first little pigs demonstrated; however, when hardships come, they fall to the elements of the pressure. Renewing your mind to the things of God will strengthen your fortitude so that when the 'big bad wolves of life' come (and they will), you will go unscathed.
Jesus actually told the original Three Little Pigs story in the Bible. Check out Matthew 7:24-27; in it, Jesus talks about the wise man who built his house upon the rock. The rain and wind (storms of life) came to him just the same as to everyone else, but the house stayed firm on that rock. The rock that He was speaking of is the Word of God. It is the firm foundation that you need under you to withstand the storms of life. He also told what happened when another man built his house on his own ideals – his own way, independent from God. When the storms came, the Bible says that his house didn't just fall, but GREAT was its fall.
You may require a little demolition of your thinking before you can start to rebuild the life that God intended for you. Let the Holy Spirit begin to speak to you about changes you need to make to get your foundation set correctly."
I grew up in Oregon, a couple of hours from the coast. Going to the ocean was one of my favorite things to do as a child. The mixed smell of salty ocean water, wet sand, and seaweed is still an aroma I love. As I approached the sandy shoreline, I didn't like walking through the dry, hot, shifting sand - it was hard to gain my footing. However, as I would run to the ocean's tide, the sand felt hard and immovable under my bare feet.
Now, suppose you have ever stood still on hard sand as the tide washes over your feet. In that case, you will feel the sand suddenly loosen up, and you will sink down as the wet sand that once supported you now engulfs your feet, causing you to be stuck right where you are.
I believe this is a picture of how people get trapped in the lies of the world. The information we hear sounds good and reliable. However, when the tide comes in, representing the storms of life, they sink and get trapped, unable to move under the weight.
We need to have wisdom more than ever to discern the lies from the truth. Proverbs 3:5-7 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil."
God is the only one who sees all and knows all. We need to trust Him and His guidance in our lives. When we hear the news or people talking about a situation, take it to God and let Him show us the truth. Like panning for gold, let His Word wash over you and reveal the "gold," the truth of the matter.
There are a couple of accounts of Jesus being in actual storms, which teach us how we are to respond in the storms of life. The first event can be found in Matthew 8:23-27 when Jesus and his disciples were in a boat in the middle of the sea. A great storm arose with waves so big, they started covering the boat! The disciples were frantic, thinking they were going to go under. However, Jesus had a far different reaction - or, should I say, non-response to the storm. He was sleeping! When the disciples woke Him up, He asked them why they were so fearful, then rebuked the winds and the sea, and the storm immediately calmed down.
The second account is the famous event of Jesus walking on water found in Matthew 14:22-33. The waves weren't as big as the first storm, but they were there nonetheless. Now, Jesus wasn't the only one to walk on water in this famous event. Peter also gave it a shot and succeeded until he took his eyes off of Jesus and started looking at the waves around him, which caused him to begin sinking.
I want to share with you 5 keys that we can learn from these two events on how to handle the storms in our own lives.
1. Seek God every day.
I know, I include this one in all of my keys to overcoming anything because it all starts here! There is nothing more important in our Christian walk than to develop a relationship with our Father God. We need to be able to trust Him more than what we hear or are experiencing around us. That trust can only be developed through quality time spent with Him.
Jesus could be asleep in the boat in the middle of a storm because He knew that God was watching over Him and would protect Him. There is no need to be afraid of your situation when you realize that Jesus is in "your boat." He is in your life and is experiencing your storm right with you. When you seek Him, He will give you the wisdom you need for everything you face. He will tell you when you need to speak to your storm - demanding it to be still, or when you are to go through a storm trusting that He is with you and will never leave you. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
I have provided a source called "Seek Him" to help you with this step. It is designed to guide you through how to seek the Father each day with worship, prayer, and Bible reading. You can get January's plan for free here to try it out.
2. Don't Fear, Jesus is Here!
The first words out of Jesus' mouth as He approached His disciples walking on water was, "Be of good cheer; It is I; do not be afraid." I believe Jesus is speaking the same thing to us. First of all, He said to be of good cheer - be happy! You might think that when you are going through something, that is not the time to be happy. However, I believe Jesus would say that is precisely the time to be happy!
James 1:2 says, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." That means that if you put Jesus in the middle of your trial, you will get spiritually stronger.
The next point Jesus makes is a vital key - DO NOT BE AFRAID." Fear is the Christian's "kryptonite." It will derail your success and derail your peace faster than anything else. In fact, Peter started to sink from letting fear take over his mind. So, how do we keep fear from entering into our hearts and minds? By doing one thing, Peter didn't do.
3. Keep your eyes on Jesus.
Peter was actually walking on water while he was looking at Jesus. Go, Peter! However, he got distracted by the waves. I believe he got distracted by the natural waves as well as the waves of his thoughts screaming at him, "walking on water is not possible!"
We need to remember that God's ways and thoughts are higher than ours. (Isaiah 55:9) He can make a way when there is no natural solution. Just look at Moses and the Red Sea. God is not confined to our natural laws. He is, however, bound to spiritual laws - those things He has said in His Word. That is why God can't make people act or not act a certain way. He gave people free will, and He will not contradict Himself.
One of the ways we can keep our focus on Jesus is to be vigilant. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to be vigilant because our adversary, the devil, seeks ways to bring you down. Your 5 physical senses are excellent tools that God created you to use, enabling you to experience and enjoy life. However, the devil also will use those same parts of your being as a gateway to your soul. Take seriously what you watch or listen to or the sinful ways you gratify your flesh. Those things will make you take your eyes off Jesus and cause you to sink and get stuck in your circumstances. Hebrews 12:1 says to throw off the weight of sin that holds you back from running the race you were created to run.
We humans do not like this word, but it is essential to have peace amid your storm. Whether you realize it or not, you are either a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness. Romans 6:16 says, "Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?"
You are either obeying God or obeying the devil. I'm not going to apologize if that seems harsh. People hold themselves back from living in peace by not obeying God and His Word. When Jesus told Peter to come, Peter OBEYED and stepped out of the boat.
Is there something that you know God has been speaking to your heart about, but you are too afraid to obey it? Again, it takes faith and trust in God that He only has success in mind for you.
5. Be Patient
The Bible is full of guidance in being patient. And contrary to popular belief, you have been given all of the patience you will ever need. James 5:7-9 tells us that part of being patient is establishing your heart.
Spend time examining yourself, and don't get bent out of shape with what your neighbor is saying or doing. God is moving on your behalf. He is working your situation out so that you will be victorious. Don't lose heart in the time of waiting. Trust that God knows what He is doing.
It is in the waiting when we grow closer to Him when we learn from Him, and when we keep our faith built strong in Him.
The battle is already won. You have victory in Jesus if you don't lose heart. The clouds WILL clear, and the wind and rain WILL cease. And when the sun comes out, you will be found standing firm on the rock of Jesus Christ, our Savior.
If you have never had a personal relationship with Jesus, He's right there with His hand held out, asking you to come. Just simply pray this prayer,
"Heavenly Father, I come to You in the Name of Jesus. Your Word says, "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:21). I am calling on You. I pray and ask Jesus to come into my heart and be Lord over my life according to Romans 10:9-10: "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation." I do that now. I confess that Jesus is Lord, and I believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead. I repent of sin. I renounce it. I renounce the devil and everything he stands for. Jesus is my Lord.
I am now reborn! I am a Christian - a child of Almighty God! I am saved! You also said in Your Word, "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Luke 11:13). I'm also asking You to fill me with the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, rise up within me as I praise God. I fully expect to speak with other tongues as You give me the utterance (Acts 2:4).
In Jesus' Name. Amen!
If you prayed that prayer for the first time, please fill out the form below and let us know. We will send you a package free of charge with some materials to help get you started in your faith journey.