Tag Archive | fighting the storms of life

Acts 27:15 ” The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind and so we gave way to it and were driven along.”

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.

Philippians 4:12 ” I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

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.

Matthew 8:27 ” The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this? Even the winds and waves obey Him?’ “

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.

Mark 6: 48-50 ” He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night He went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw Him walking on the lake, they thought He was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw Him and were terrified.”

In these scriptures we see the story of Jesus walking on the water and the disciples initial reaction.  The disciples had been rowing for hours…fighting the rising winds and rough water.  They were exhausted.  With heads down, they were battling to just keep moving forward.  So when Jesus approached the boat, fatigue and stress blinded them to be able to even recognize Jesus…irrationally, they imagined that it was a ghost rising from the waves.   The same thing will happen to us when we fight the storms of life alone.  Heads down, we power through, battling to keep moving ahead, but becoming more and more drained.  It’s then that the combination of stress, anxiety, and exhaustion often leads to unfounded fears that overtake us.  It’s also at that time,  we suddenly come to the end of ourselves and finally cry out, “Lord, I can’t do this!”