What do you do when the storms of life rise up and hit you when you are not looking? What do you feel like when things are going well and all of a sudden you get nailed right between the eyes with devastating news? Have you ever been in a place, maybe in the early morning hours, when you immediately can’t breathe and you feel very panicky and alarmed because of anxiety over a situation?
Life will sometimes come at you hard when you least expect it. It can even clobber you when you have done everything you now how to do in order to prepare for the unexpected. And that does not even include the times when you are always seemingly at the bottom of the barrel in life. You may even feel that you are under the barrel and the barrel is on top of you. What do you do when you have reached the bottom of life and there is nothing, but the storm all around you?
There is a story in the bible that we can learn from that will give us tips and some inside information as to what to do in such cases. It is the story of Jesus calming the wind and the waves. The story can be found in Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, and Luke 8:22-25. One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” So his disciples took him just as he was and they got into the boat and started out. There were other little boats going along also. All of a sudden a huge storm starts and the boat that they are in is filling up with water very fast. The waves are crashing and splashing over the sides of the boat. The wind is just whipping around and blowing hard.
The disciples are getting scared. Keep in mind that a few of these guys were fishermen and they knew the lake and how to handle a boat. So if they are scared it is for a good reason. Jesus is asleep on the one end of the boat on a cushion. Now he was either a very sound sleeper or there was something else at work here. The disciples came to him and woke him up in a panic saying that they were all going to die by drowning and why didn’t he care? That sounds familiar doesn’t it? The storm of life hits you or your family and in your fear and anxiety you ask that one who seems not to participate in your panic why they do not care about you or your situation.
Let’s bring this up to speed. Let’s say the economy is in shambles and some say it is getting better and others who are being smacked down by the bad economic circumstances are feeling the effects so bad that they can’t even talk about it. Or you were going along just fine in life and you go to the doctor for an annual physical and they find a terminal disease and you find out you have only a short time to live. Maybe you found out that your spouse was cheating on you and you had absolutely no idea. Your children, who did so well in school and in life, are now being arrested for drugs. Get the idea?
So you lash out because you are angry and scared at the same time. Here we have the disciples of Jesus doing the same thing to him. What did he do? He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace, be still.” And immediately it was calm. But then, he turns to his disciples and says to them, “Where is your faith?” Let’s examine the events to give you a step by step process on how to handle the storms of life.
Jesus had been teaching the people about the kingdom of heaven. This is the first point. Stay focused on what the bible says and not what the world deems important. Turn off the news. There is nothing in there that will build your faith. Watch out what you put into your mind with what you see with your eyes and hear with your ears. If it does not line up with scripture cut it out of your life. You don’t need it. It will not build your faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
The next thing we find is that Jesus told his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” When Jesus said, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake,” it was settled. Any storm could have blown and it would not have affected the outcome of getting to the other side of the lake. Remember that our number one point was to feed on the Word of God and cut out stuff that steals your faith or does not develop it in any way.
The second thing is to speak that which is not as though it were and not to change it after you say it. Once you say something it is “out there” and will not return void. I heard a story of a woman who kept saying she was coming down with cancer. She did come down with cancer and died. Watch what you say and keep what you say in line with God’s Word.
The third thing is that the disciples took Jesus just as he was into the boat. You cannot possibly be ready for everything all the time. Your faith must be settled in the Word of God and in his divine protection for you and your family and for every area of your life. The third thing involves acting by faith by believing what the Word of God says no matter what life may throw t you.
The fourth thing is that life will throw everything at you including the proverbial kitchen sink. It will do it when you are not looking for it and definitely not expecting it. What should you do? Rest in the Lord. You have entered into the rest of God when you have done all you know to do from the Word of God. God will make up the difference and provide the balance so that all things work together for your good. Where people mess up is because they think that things should work out a certain way or a way of their liking. That is not always the case. Trust God to work all things together for your good.
The fifth item is that Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace, be still.” If the storms of life come at you then you speak to them and tell them to be the way they should be. They should be according to the promises of God’s Word and not the way they are in regard to causing damage and panic. If your mind has been renewed to the Word of God then your thinking has changed to be like God’s. Why? It is because God’s thoughts have been written down and we call the book of his thoughts the bible. The more you read and meditate on the Word of God you will find your thoughts being like what is in the bible. And when the words that you speak are lined up with the Word of God your words will be filled with power.
The sixth thing is that you need to act on your faith. Always act on your faith. People get frozen from fear or act foolishly from anxiety and panic. Don’t be that way. Act on your faith which has come from the Word of God. And trust God that he will bring to pass that for which you believe. If you do these things you will find that you will be doing well when the storms of life come at you.