And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm ~ Mark 4:39.
The word, ‘uncertainty’, is like the predominant word in our world today. Endemic fear runs rampant in many hearts, hence, we need to be constantly reminded that our God is bigger and much more powerful than any challenges we might be facing.
Of a truth, these are difficult and unprecedented times. Unprecedented? Yes, from Covid-19 pandemic crisis, to EndSars imbroglio, to heightened terrorism, kidnapping and banditry, to increasing sectarian and secessionist agitations, we never had it so bad. This is the reality of the times in which we find ourselves now, with alarming consequences that many people are still grappling with, daily.
In addition to the impacts on human lives and lifestyles, which these stormy situations have forced on us, there are also the significant economic, business and commercial impacts being felt, especially by people who live in the eyes of the storms.
Many people are on a high stress level, stormed and affected one way or the other as a result of these multifaceted crises. They are on edges, and are worried about what the future holds.
Even then, our political players are not helping matters at all. They look lost and unconcerned, with gladiators left to roam freely in our social landscapes, and governments are all out to squeeze means of livelihood from the citizens under the guises of unfriendly government policies. Naturally speaking, the situation is not looking up!
Quite unfortunately, even the Church, a community of believers where people engage, support and care for one another, is not left out. This is because, even though we are not of the world, yet, we are in the world. With some of these crises, by and large, the Church suddenly became like the “distant church”, where members are physically separated from one another due to specific health concerns and some alarming security advisories.
However, in it all, I believe that God can still give us His peace in the wake of these storms. God does not fail His people; all He expects of us is to learn to embrace His peace even in the midst of the storms, and to remain focused on spiritual and eternal things, to the glory of His Name.
Jesus Christ Provides Peace In the Storms
Our God is a Sure Foundation, a Solid Rock, and an Unfailing Anchor in troubled times. He has what it takes to calm the storms and to still the raging waves (Psalm 107:28-29). Besides this, Jesus Christ is in firm control, every time! Hence, we have solid assurances of hope for a better tomorrow, no matter the present storms (Mark 4:35-41).
Now, because so many people are suffering both emotionally and economically today, it is understandable that some ask God the same question the disciples asked Jesus when they awakened Him in their tempestuous experience,“Master, carest thou not that we perish?” (Mark 4:38). In other words, they said: “Jesus, do you not care that things are falling apart? Do you not care that we are hurting?”
That appeared like an uncharitable question, but Jesus is still the answer to all questions! Hence, the answer to their question was right in the boat with them!
As Jesus slept, He was trying to show His disciples that regardless of how things looked, He was always in control, and He wanted them not to fear. Fear only plays into the hands of the enemy. Fear tells God we do not trust Him as we profess.
When everyone around us is fearful, God wants us to be of good cheer, and when people ask how we are coping with all these troubles, God desires that we seize the opportunity to share with them the message of His faithfulness and goodness.
Remembering God’s faithfulness in the storm brings us peace. Trusting in His unfailing love allows the peace of God to surround us and to fill us to the brim.
Our peace comes from Jesus, not our circumstances. Jesus assured us that His words would generate peace in the midst of tribulations (John 16:33). We should praise God in the storms because God is bigger than the storms.
You cannot buy peace. You cannot learn peace. You cannot even hope it finds you someday. Peace comes only because the Holy Spirit lives inside of you, and as you go through the storms of life with faith, that fruit of peace is being matured.
Making Room for Peace In Turbulent Times
Meanwhile, in order to make room for peace in a turbulent time such as this, we must basically know that our God is on top of all the uncertainties in our world. He is certainly bigger and more powerful than all our problems. He knows them, and He knows how to handle them.
Meanwhile, whatever happens today is in line with God’s Agenda for the ages, because God cannot contradict Himself and nothing can overrule His primordial passion. For the avoidance of doubt, God’s Agenda for the ages is very clear: to cover the earth with His glory (Habakkuk 2:14). Therefore, I firmly believe God that the gospel would yet grow, on the other side of these socio-security crises, like the world has never seen and like the Church has never experienced.
Certainly, God has a glorious end in view for all that He allows (Jeremiah 29:11). Yes, I know this may sound utterly senseless and preposterous, yet I believe this is the time for us to pray and plan ahead for a new glorious era that is coming upon the believers. And, I believe in God that we will be alive long enough to be able to say: “we never had it so good!”
It is not uncommon to find many people expressing profound worries regarding the future of the Church of Jesus Christ in this precarious climate. Let us rather learn to cast our cares upon the Lord, through our prayers and confidence in Him.
Anyhow, the important thing to remember is that the Church of Jesus Christ is God’s idea, and it is His work in the world today (Matthew 16:18). He is certainly able to take care of His Church and help her in all the circumstances that life may throw at her.
Friends and brethren, in whatever conditions we find ourselves today, we must learn to live with God in the picture. All things work together for good to them that love God.
Not all enemies are enemies after all! Some are unofficial coaches assigned to get you into the true shape of your destiny. Let us truly bond together, repent, pray and tell the Master of the present stormy experiences. Sooner than later, the storms will make room for our evergreen testimonies, in Jesus Name. Amen. Happy Sunday!
- Bishop Taiwo Akinola,
Rhema Christian Church,
Otta, Ogun State, Nigeria.
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