Peace be Still
In reflecting on Sunday’s teaching, I was reminded of the story of Yeshua and the disciples in Mark 4:37-41. In this encounter, Yeshua and the disciples were crossing to the other side of the lake when confronted with a storm. Mind you, some with Him were fisherfolk and adept to storms on the lake and yet still they panicked. Dare I say that their panic was inflamed because their leader and great miracle worker was asleep during the storm. Scripture tells us in the midst of the storm, they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?… 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” (Mark 4:37-39).
How does this insight help us in our faith walk in these turbulent and uncertain times? 2020 has been unique, throwing a wrench in our perception of normal and a need for us to realign and adapt. My personal experience has been one that goes beyond the pandemic to encompass potentially turbulent family relations, especially with my boys and extended family. I have had to acknowledge my helplessness in self and turn to Abba for guidance. Like the disciples with Yeshua in the storm, even though He has always been with me, I was panicked and gobsmacked at what seemed to be a disintegration of normalcy around me.
However, I have learned to encourage myself and my family in the Lord and stand firm because He is faithful. The scripture admonishes in Isaiah 40:31 that those who wait on the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.
My key takeaway is the predicate ‘waiting on the Lord’, what does this mean? It implies aligning one’s will with God’s will and walking in obedience, elevating God first in all things after which our hearts desires will be fulfilled. Practically it means loving God with all my heart, mind and soul and likewise loving all those I am in contact with unconditionally.
In doing these, I am enjoying a kind of peace that is supernatural and doesn’t make sense in the midst of the storm. I have learned to be calm, casting my burdens upon Him. His Word assures me that the enemy’s machinations and schemes will definitely come against us but will not prevail, that we should submit to God and, through the process of submission, resist the enemy into flight. Like Shadrack Meshach and Abednego, I am of the strong conviction that irrespective of what the enemy targets our way through fiery darts, God will save and deliver us, and even if He doesn’t, we will not succumb to any negative circumstance or compromise our faith in any way. As Paul puts it in the book of Romans, ‘we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope’ (Romans 5:3-4). And might I add the suffering referenced here is for staying the course of the gospel rather than walking in disobedience.
Saints, let’s press on in faith, for our God is faithful and rewards those who diligently seek him. We welcome 2021 in confidence, knowing He who has began a new thing will bring it to an expected end.
– Pastor David, December 31, 2020