In this verse Paul is being transported as a prisoner to Rome when a fierce Northeaster swept in. The crew of the ship suddenly found themselves totally at the mercy of the hurricane force winds and crashing waves. In many other places in the Bible we can find examples of that helpless feeling of being tossed by waves and battered by the storm. Psalm 107:23-28 tells of that weak and defenseless feeling of being thrown back and forth by the storms of life…and the hopelessness that comes from the lack of control. For many of us, we feel like we’ve been caught up in a terrible storm for weeks now called COVID 19, and have been waywardly tossed here and there. But the good news is, if we continue to read in Psalm 107, we find that only our God is able to still that tempest in and around us and guide us to a haven of peace…and that place of refuge in Him.
The Apostle Paul was well acquainted with adversity and poverty. In I Corinthians 4:11-12 he explains his plight, “To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.” So is it surprising to see Paul write here, ” I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…”? Contentment in our life can be as simple as looking at the glass as half full, rather than half empty during trials and tests. It can be expressing gratitude to God for the rain, (the blessings) in the midst of the raging storm in our life. For the secret to personal contentment for anyone can only be found in the deep and abiding relationship with God the Father.
Jesus had just rebuked the storm and now all was peaceful and calm on the Sea of Galilee. With only a few words, the fierce winds and raging storm had ceased. But why were His disciples so dumbfounded and astonished at what Jesus had done? After all, they had been witnessing countless miracles as they traveled with him. But like us, when the storm hit their lives personally…they panicked. When we’re hit broad-side and without warning with the storms of life…we panic. We suddenly are battered by the winds of anxiety and will succumb under the waves of fear. It’s then we need to reach out our hands to Jesus for help…for it tells us in Psalm 107:29, ” He stilled the storm to a whisper, the waves of the sea were hushed.” May the Lord of the universe calm the storm in your life today.
I urge you to read this Psalm sometime today…for within the 43 verses, you’ll see yourself portrayed somewhere. For this passage tells of those who wander and are lost. It tells of being in desperate situations…places that invoke feelings of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. There are the lost – those who are wandering alone in the wilderness. There are the guilty – those who are slaves to sin and full of shame and self-loathing. There are the fools – godless ones being deceived by the world. Finally, there are the tossed – those who have been battered by life’s storms. But in all these situations, when they cried out to God for help, He answered. So despite what you’re going through today… God is there, ready and willing to help you.