You Can Have PeaceJune 8, 2020 Save Article
Whatever the storm, whatever the circumstances, God is fully committed to sustaining the one who is committed and focused on Him. He promises to bring you through.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)
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 your nation. When life seems to be falling apart, even the upright can get uptight. You want the “peace of God that passes all understanding.” The world can’t give that kind of peace. It comes only as a fruit of the Spirit, and it’s not dependent on circumstances. It is supernatural. But before you can have the peace of God, you must have peace with God.
You cannot have true, lasting peace 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). When we are saved, the war is over, the hostilities have ceased, Jesus has conquered, we’ve surrendered, and there's peace with God. God wants that peace for you. Then when the storms of life that come to all of us arrive at your door, you’ll be equipped to weather them, having His peace.
When the Lord Jesus Christ was facing the cross, He made out His last will and testament, and He mentioned you in His will. Did you know that? Jesus Christ willed His body to Joseph of Arimathea for awhile. He willed His mother to the Apostle John. But do you know what He left you? He left you His peace. He said as much in John 14:27. "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you." Then He added, “not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” The world can’t give you this peace. Therefore, the world can’t take it away. It’s the peace of God that passes all understanding that will rule your heart.
First, let’s understand what peace is. Peace is not the absence of problems. You'll never arrive at the place where you’ll have an absence of problems as long as you're on this earth. “Man who is born of woman
Is of few days and full of trouble." (Job 14:1). We know we’ll never be free of problems, but God’s peace means the addition of power. We see it working in Matthew 14. A miracle with a message happens in this chapter. Jesus’ disciples are in a storm on the Sea of Galilee, fearing they might lose their lives, when He comes to them, walking on the water. “But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid” (Matthew 14:27). God illustrates to us what real peace is—peace in the midst of a storm.
- Have you ever been in a situation where you were afraid you might die? What was your first reaction? Did you call out to God?
- Has this happened to a family member, and if so, how did you handle it at the time it was occurring?
Two kinds of storms will come to you in life:
Correcting storms. Jonah found himself in over his head when he ran from the express, revealed will of God for him. He literally took off in the exact opposite direction from where God wanted him to go. Sometimes we ourselves cause our storm. That's what we call a correcting storm.
Perfecting storms. The disciples, on the other hand, got into a storm because they were in the will of God. Jesus had sent them out in the boat for a purpose to be achieved in their lives. That's what we call a perfecting storm.
But whether it’s a correcting storm or a perfecting storm, God is over it all. David said in Psalm 42:7, “Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls. All Your waves and billows have gone over me.” At another time, the disciples were on a stormy sea and Jesus calmed the storm. Matthew 8:27 tells us, “So the men marveled, saying, ‘Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?’” Psalm 148:8 says, “Fire and hail, snow and clouds, stormy wind, fulfilling His Word,” another way to say “God is in control.”
Life is often like a storm. Like David, we feel engulfed in its waves. In Psalm 42:7 David wrote: “All Your waves and Your billows have come over me.” When the storm grips your life, God has provided a way not only to survive the storm but rise above it with His peace.
Let’s look at five words from this story that spell “PEACE.”
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 (Matthew 14:22) told them to get in the boat and row to the other side. They were in the will of God and sailed right into a storm. Jesus led them there providentially. 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 storms. Some teach that false theology of the “health and wealth gospel”—that we’ll just sail through life with prosperity and die happy in our old age. First, that’s not true, and second, it’s not biblical.
In your storm, know that if God didn’t cause it, God allowed it. It didn’t take Him by surprise. Nothing comes to you that God doesn’t know about. Mark it down: God never says “Oops.” He is over it, beyond it, through it, above it, and in it. He is the providential God.
- When was the last time (we all have them) you were convinced God had to be saying “oops” as He looked upon your life? Upon this world?
- What do you learn from finding out that there are “correcting” storms and “perfecting” storms?
- Be honest. No one will see this but you and God: Identify a time in your life when you were under those waves and realized, “This is a correcting storm.”
- How did you respond? What lesson did you learn?
To have peace in the midst of your storm, remember the word providence. One of the greatest verses in all the Bible is Romans 8:28. You’ll do yourself a favor to memorize it:
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
We don’t guess. We don’t hope. We know.
E is for ENTREATY
“His prayers protect me here.”
Mark 6:47-48 records the same stormy event and tells us that while the disciples were rowing, struggling against wind, Jesus was up on the mountain praying for them. They were in the middle of the sea, yet the Bible says He saw them. The Sea of Galilee is just a little over 8 miles wide. If they were in the middle of it, they were about 4 miles away. Yet He saw them. Today, in His glorified body, the Bible tells us Jesus is seated at the right hand of God the Father and He “ever lives to make intercession for you” (Hebrews 7:25). He sees you, and He is entreating the Father on your behalf. I can guarantee you, Jesus Christ is praying for you. And the wonderful thing is, His prayers are always answered. He said, “...Father, I thank You that You have heard Me...” (John 11:41-42). Friend, He is now in Heaven, praying for you. Say to yourself: “Jesus sees me, and His prayers protect me here.”
A is for ASSURANCE
“His presence comes to me here.”
What is His assurance? “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). He is there with you. He is the great “I AM” in the midst of your storm.
Jesus Christ will be more real to you in your storm than at any other time. The waves that seemed to threaten the disciples were really a superhighway that brought Him to them. He came walking to them on the waves. The sea they thought would drown them was the vehicle that brought Him to them. He was there, but at first, His disciples didn't realize that. Because they didn’t recognize His presence, they were afraid. We need to learn how to recognize Jesus in our storm.
He always comes to you in the midst of your storm. You may not recognize Him, but if you're a child of God, He is there.
- Read Isaiah 43:1-2. If you had a problem—a huge problem—yet you knew in the next room, right outside your door, Jesus Christ was there praying for you, how would you feel?
- How did Jesus come to be present with:
• The three Hebrew children thrown into the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:16-28).
• Daniel in the lion's den (Daniel 6).
• The trembling disciples behind closed doors in the upper room, after the crucifixion (John 20:19).
Jesus always appears, bringing peace in the middle of your storm. We need to learn to recognize Him while we’re in it. Put your eyes upon the Lord Jesus. If you take them off of Him—as Peter did—you begin to sink.
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the
LORD forever, for in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength. (Isaiah 26:3-4)
There is a wonderful assurance that His presence will come to you in the midst of the storm.
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, 10).
Jesus said, “Don't be afraid. I am here. I have come to you in this storm.”
C is for COMFORT
“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, coming to them walking on the water? Was Jesus showing off? Of course not. He was teaching one of the most glorious spiritual lessons you will ever learn. They were afraid they would sink and drown, that these waves would come over them and put them under—the same waves Jesus was walking on. What’s He showing them?
Here is the great spiritual lesson we must learn from our storms:
God wants to give you power to sustain you in your storm. Even though Peter began to sink, he didn’t drown. In John 16:33 Jesus says, “These things I have spoken to you that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Jesus wants us to learn that we’re going to have storms, but He has overcome them. What looks like it’s over your head is already under His feet. Whatever your problem is, whatever the trouble, He is more than enough to uphold you through it. He is head over all. "And God hath put all things under His feet and given Him to be head over all things" (Ephesians 1:22).
- Read Psalm 46:1-10. This passage reveals a lot about the relationship God wants to have with us.
• How far removed from us is He? (v. 7)
• How far away is His help? (v. 1)
• How does God care for His city, His dwelling place? (v. 4-5)
• What is God’s power over armed conflict? (v. 9)
• What else is God sovereign over? (v. 2-3)
• After asking for His help, what should we do? (v. 10)
- Read John 16:33. How does this comfort you?
God 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.
E is for EXPECTATION
“His promise reassures me here.”
Our last word filling out “P-E-A-C-E” is “Expectation.” We live by faith. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is being sure we will get what we hope for, even when we can’t see it yet.
If God were to explain things to us, most of us wouldn't understand, because His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Behind every command of God is His promise to carry out that command. We don’t need to understand how God will do it. He takes care of that. We do not live by explanations, we live by promises. Andrew Murray said, “God is willing to assume full responsibility for a life totally committed to Him.”
Remember this, dear friend, you can have full expectation that God will keep His Word. He will perfect that which concerns you. Whether it be a perfecting storm or a correcting storm, live by the promise of God, and you can have full expectation that God will keep His Word and see you through.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholds him with His hand. (Psalm 37:23-24)
- Providence: His purpose brought me here.
- Entreaty: His prayers for me protect me here.
- Assurance: His presence comes to me here.
- Comfort: His power enables me here.
- Expectation: His promise reassures me here.
Keep these five truths in the forefront of your mind whenever you navigate through dark waters. God will keep in perfect peace the one whose mind is fixed upon Him and trusts in Him. You can have peace in the midst of your storm.
- When facing a storm, what attitude of heart will you guard against?
- What new thought do you have about how Jesus ministers to us today?
- If we cannot live by explanations, because none may ever emerge, what should we live by?
- Life is filled with unexpected turns—unexpected to us but not to God. What promises of God from this study stand out for you to claim the next time you face a crisis?
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