Tuesday, 9 February 2021
Title: Peace Amid The Storm!
By: Cecilia Tan 陈俊芳
Passages: Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25
(Jesus Calms The Storm)
These are unprecedented times. The Covid-19 pandemic has inflicted untold devastation upon the entire world. One way or another, we are all grief-stricken by this unrelenting health storm that prevailed throughout 2020 and is still raging even into early 2021. We grieve the loss of loved ones, livelihoods and our normal pre-Covid way of life! Even our basic human rights to freedom of movement and freedom of assembly have been curtailed in this tumultuous storm.
What lessons should we glean from the miracle of our Lord Jesus calming the storm? The disciples did not sail into a storm because they made foolish choices, but because they obeyed Jesus’ command to get into the boat and follow Him to the opposite shore, as recorded in Mark 4:35-36
“On that day, when evening had come, He said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd, they took Him with them in the boat, just as He was. And other boats were with Him.“
The disciples obeyed and sailed into a storm. From this we can see that storms may sometimes come into our lives even if we are following the will of God. However we can rest assured that when God leads His people to storms, He goes with us. Instead of allowing trials and storms to shake us and separate us from the assurance of God’s love, we ought to remind ourselves that the Lord of the storm is with us at all times, not only when we sail through still waters, but especially when we sail through stormy seas. His presence means we are not alone in the storm.
We are not guaranteed an easy life without suffering. We are promised only that whatever happens, God is with us! Knowing that Jesus is with us as we sail through the Covid storm protects us from overwhelming fear and succumbing to panic contagion, which can easily happen as we feed upon the unending WhatsApp Covid updates that bombard us every few minutes!
Besides His presence, we are also comforted by the power demonstrated by Jesus in calming the storm. With one quick command from Jesus, the storm abated and the sea became calm. How easily Jesus calmed the storm, with only His Word: “Peace! Be still!” This demonstrates the divine power of Jesus. Only He Who has created the wind and the rain would be able to address them like this and be instantly obeyed. Indeed the unseen Covid virus will certainly be banished from the face of the earth in God’s perfect timing, as it is already a defeated enemy.
It is not only God’s presence and power that will enable us to come out of this storm unscathed. We are also privileged to be beneficiaries of His many promises recorded in the Bible. For instance, in Isaiah 41:10, we are commanded to “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.“
Joshua 1:9 contains yet another command of God to “be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
The psalmist declares in Psalm 32:7 that “You (God) are a hiding place for me; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with shouts of deliverance.”
In John 14:27 Jesus instructed: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
The above verses are just a few of the very many promises God has made in the Bible to assure us of His abiding presence to help and walk us through every of life’s storms. We can rest in His promise that He will never release His grip on our lives but will always uphold us with His victorious right hand!
After their brush with death, Jesus did not comfort His disciples but scolded them instead. Matthew 8:26 “And He (Jesus) said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?’ Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.”
Before witnessing this miracle of Jesus calming the storm, the disciples had seen Jesus (i) healing a leper and many other sick people, demonstrating His power over the realm of diseases (ii) healing the Roman centurion’s servant, demonstrating His power over the realms of space and time and (iii) casting out evil spirits, demonstrating His power over the realm of the supernatural. Yet when they were amid a storm at sea, they easily panicked and feared for their lives so much so that Jesus had to rebuke them as men of little faith!
We are all like the disciples – with faith that is fragile and easily battered in the midst of a storm like the present Covid storm. May we constantly remind ourselves that in the Bible there are at least 365 “Fear Not!” commands from God, commands backed by the power, character and love of God. May we seek to obey these commands and keep our eyes on the Lord of the storm.
Since Chinese New Year is just 3 days away, allow me to wish all Chinese readers a very happy and blessed Chinese New Year! May the Lord of all the years gone by, and the year to come, continue to bless us abundantly with His love, peace and joy. And may we strive in this new year to trust Him more and have greater confidence in His ability to bring us PEACE AMID THE STORM!
Our Heavenly Father, Your Word says we will face storms in our life. We thank You for the assurance that You are walking alongside us in every of these storms. Help us not to fear and panic but to trust You, that You will get us safely through the storm, just as our Lord Jesus got His disciples safely to the other side of the Sea of Galilee after the terrifying storm. Help us to focus not on the storm, but on Your power, Your presence and Your promises that we may find comfort and strength to endure the storms of life. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
除了祂的同在，耶稣平静风浪所展现的能力也安慰了我们。在耶稣发的一道迅速命令下，风暴平息了，海面也平静了。耶稣轻而易举地平静了风浪，只凭祂的话：“住了吧！静了吧！” 这证明了耶稣的神圣能力。唯独创造了风和雨的耶稣才有能力如此斥责它们而它们立即服从。事实上，看不见的Covid 病毒肯定会在上帝完美的时机间从地上被驱逐，因为它已经是一个被击败的敌人。
我们都像门徒 －有着很容易被一个风暴摧毁的脆弱的信心，就如目前的新冠风暴一样。让我们不断提醒自己，圣经中至少有365句 “不要怕！” 来自上帝的命令，以上帝的能力、品格和爱为后盾的命令。愿我们寻求遵从这些命令，并把我们的眼目定睛在那掌管风暴的主。
现在距离农历新年只有3天，让我谨此恭祝所有的华人读者农历新年快乐、蒙福！愿在过去岁月的主，以及来年的主，继续以祂的慈爱、平安和喜乐，丰丰富富地祝福我们。愿我们在新的一年里更多地信靠祂，有更大的信心相信祂有能力带给我们 在风暴中的平安 ！