Being a hyper guy who has struggled with anxiety/depression, peace is something that I have “battled for”. Wrong tactic…right?! How do you “battle” to get peace? Most of us in this crazy out of control world seek it, crave it, research how to get it, read about what others have done, and listen to analysis from behavioral scientist. Yet, peace evades most of us.
Matthew 8:23-27 records a startling episode in the life of Christ and His disciples, 23 When Jesus got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And behold, a violent storm developed on the sea, so that the boat was being covered by the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. 25 And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” 26 He *said to them,“Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. 27 The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” After Jesus and His disciples got into a boat on the Sea of Galilee, “a violent storm developed” literally translated “a shaking storm”. Their boat was being pummeled by this storm and the disciples were terrified for their lives. What was Jesus doing? He was taking a restful nap. The disciples screamed out to Him, “saying Save us, Lord, we are perishing.” After waking, Jesus “Jesus said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?’ Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.” In the midst of the storm, Jesus woke up and spoke to the violent, shaking storm with the results being “perfectly calm”.
It becomes apparent that in the midst of the violent storms in life, peace, perfectly calm comes from Jesus. Philippians 4:5-7 speaks an amazing truth, “5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all people. The Lord is at hand. 6 Do not have anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” First, we need to recognize that we walk in the presence of God (“the Lord is at hand”). Do we practice His presence or live out life as if we are alone? This is a big deal. Second, if an anxiety arises, recognize that we are not practicing His presence and are living out a temporal value system. Go back to verse five recognizing the Lord is at hand and pray and plead to Him to restore His presence (v. 6). Then, “the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension” is restored…perfectly calm. As Jesus rebuked the storm, He will speak to our storms and “will guard our hearts and minds.”
Never forget, as long as “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19), there will be storms. Practice His presence and you will be guarded riding out storms perfectly calm. John 16:33 explains it this way, “These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
“Peace I leave you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor fearful” (John 14:27). Practice His presence, perfectly calm.