Choosing PEACE Over Panic
We are living in trying times. With wide-spread business' closing, people out of work, church buildings shut down, there is great alarm and unrest in our nation. There is a growing national and global panic that now includes putting food on the table amid the current health situation.
What are we to do as believing believers and as Christ's Ekklesia? How do WE respond?
Finding Peace in the Storm
In Mark 4:36-41, the disciples are in sheer panic because the storm on the lake is almost doing them in. The storm must have been so bad that even though a good number of disciples were fishermen, they all went into panic mode.
36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
Mark 4:36-41 New King James Version (NKJV)
The disciple's experience and know-how can't help them. Waves are coming in, and water fills the boat. I would say that it is a reasonable time to panic!
The good news is that they have Jesus in the boat. He is not panicking. He is not even awake! He is sleeping. How does one sleep in the middle of a windstorm so intense that skilled fishermen are panicking, afraid for their very lives?
They wake Jesus up. He assesses the situation. He does not panic. Instead, He uses the authority that has been given to him, speaks to the wind and the waves, and says, "Peace, be still." The wind stops, and the waves cease. That's it. Three words and everything changes.
Finding Peace from Presence
I love the quote from Bill Johnson regarding the story, "you have authority over any storm you can sleep in."
Jesus never panicked in the storm. He rose from the place of communion with His Father, and being full of faith, said, "Peace, be still." He set the example for us.
Peace is not the absence of fear as much as it is the presence of Someone. As we cultivate His presence, our minds are renewed and we are no longer led by our freaked-out emotions but rather by God's abiding presence.
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)
Now, may the Lord himself, the Lord of peace, pour into you his peace in every circumstance and in every possible way. The Lord’s tangible presence be with you all.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 (The Passion Translation)
So I encourage you, stay close to His heart, and activate your faith. Declare "peace, be still" from a place of peace, not panic.
How to Grow in Peace
Here are ways to grow in peace.
Cultivate a supreme value for His presence.
Have God's promises within reach. These can be promises found in His Word and/or prophetic words over your life. Read and declare them.
Ask the Lord to fill you with His peace as you believe and trust Him (Isaiah 26:3).
Blessings!! -- Pastor Greg