I’m not sure what you’re going through today. Chances are you’re going through a storm – be it big or little, long or short. If not, maybe you just came out of a storm, or there’s a new one brewing in the distance. The truth is, we all have storms to face. Not one of us is exempt from that. Our storms will look different and affect us differently. But as believers, we are all called to trust the One who is in charge of the wind and the waves… and rest in His unfailing love.
Psalm 112:4-8 says, “Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man. Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.” (NIV)
I love this psalm! Verse 7 is my favorite… “He will not fear bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting [confidently relying on and believing] in the Lord” (AMP). We don’t have to be shaken by anything… we don’t have to fear bad news. Instead of giving way to fear, our hearts can be steadfast and secure, full of faith and trust in the Lord.
Without going into too much detail, I have this storm that I’m going through. It’s been a pretty long one, though there have been some peaceful moments here and there. There isn’t a clear end in sight, but we did receive some news recently – insight into why this storm might be happening. While it brought a level of relief, it didn’t bring much immediate clarity – the black and white solution I was hoping for. All that to say, I could have easily freaked out and let fear enter in. But I love the response my mom gave me on the phone: “Stay the course.”
So that has been my theme this week. Stay the course. When I just want to throw my hands up because the waves are getting too high… when I just want to take a detour and stop at the next shoreline… I remember what God has called me to. I remember that contrary to my flesh’s desire, I’m not in control. I’m not supposed to have all the answers. God has called me to trust Him. To have faith in the plan that He is unfolding. To stay the course.
I know I’ve shared this before, but Jesus promised we would have trouble in this life. In John 16:33, Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (NIV). The Greek word for trouble here is thlipsis, and it means: “a pressing, pressing together, pressure; oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits” (www.blueletterbible.org). We shouldn’t be surprised when pressure comes; we should expect it! But we should also remember that God is on our side… we have access to His peace that passes understanding, and the victory that He won for us on the cross.
“I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” (John 16:33, MSG)
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world. [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]” (John 16:33, AMP)
I’ve been reading through the Psalms lately, and the ones with waves have been catching my eye. I love the pictures they paint, and the truths they reinforce: God is in control of the storm, and He is greater than the storm.
- Psalm 93:3-4 – “The seas have lifted up, O Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea – the Lord on high is mighty.” (NIV)
- Psalm 65:5-7 – “You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas, who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength, who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations.” (NIV)
- Psalm 89:8-9 – “O Lord God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty Lord? Your faithfulness surrounds You [as an intrinsic, unchangeable part of Your very being]. You rule the swelling of the sea; when its waves rise, You still them.” (AMP)
- Psalm 107:23-31 – “Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters; they have seen the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep. For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. They went up toward the heavens [on the crest of the wave], they went down again to the depths [of the watery trough]; their courage melted away in their misery. They staggered and trembled like a drunken man, and were at their wits’ end [all their wisdom was useless]. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distresses. He hushed the storm to a gentle whisper, so that the waves of the sea were still. Then they were glad because of the calm, and He guided them to their desired haven (harbor). Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and for His wonderful acts to the children of men!” (AMP)
I love Psalm 107:29! Here it is in the NIV and Message:
“He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.” (NIV)
“He quieted the wind down to a whisper, put a muzzle on all the big waves.” (MSG)
When our courage melts away in our misery, we can call on the One who stills our raging storms to a whisper. God is faithful – it’s “an unchangeable part of His very being”. He doesn’t want to see us flailing about or drowning in the midst of our storms. He wants to see us victorious, undaunted, full of joy – our hearts secure in Him.
“Then Jesus got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!’” Matthew 8:23-27 (NIV)
Verse 26b in the Amplified says, “Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was [at once] a great and wonderful calm [a perfect peacefulness].”
We will continue to experience difficulties and trials in this life, but God wants us to find Him and cling to Him in the midst of the storm. To trust that He is bigger than the storm, and He will bring a great and wonderful calm in His perfect timing. And even if the winds and waves are raging around us, our hearts can be still in Him.
My song recommendation this week: “It Is Well” by Kristene DiMarco with Bethel Music – it has become my anthem in this season! Here are a few of my favorite lines…
End of verse 1: “Seas that are shaken and stirred can be calmed and broken for my regard.”
Chorus: “Through it all, through it all, my eyes are on You, and it is well with me.”
Bridge: “So let go my soul and trust in Him; the waves and wind still know His name.”
He can calm the raging seas for my regard – because He loves me! Through my storm, I can keep my eyes fixed on Him and it can be well with my soul. The waves and wind know Who is in control.