Calming the Storms of Life

The unexpected phone calls, health diagnosis, or broken relationships can cause our hearts to churn with turmoil and our minds to race with anxiety. Are you stuck in the middle of a mess and need help calming the storms of life? Are you looking for God in the middle of your storm and wondering if He is able to bring you through to the other side?

Storms. Either we have been in one, we’re currently going through one, or we’re going to be in one soon. We are human, and as humans we live in a world of pain that leaves us battered, bruised, and scarred. Are your storms caused by something you did or someone did to you? Are they simply a result of living in a broken and sinful world? Regardless of how the storm came about, the waves of pain come crashing in and life takes to the high seas in the form of seemingly insurmountable grief, deep anxiety, and unresolved conflict.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could see the end of our story and know that He will calm every storm? It would be wonderful to skip the anxiety of storms altogether, right?

Although it would be great to walk through this life with puppies, rainbows, and sprinkles–we can’t. Hardships and storms will either cause us to doubt God is good, or give us some of the sweetest moments of our lives as we learn to grow in relationship with our Savior. Joy, grief, victory, and defeat can coexist in the same storm at the same exact moment. Our hearts can be full of grief and still have an unexplainable joy. Our relationships and health can hit the rocks yet we can stay steady in our faith journey.

What does Scripture have to share with us about how to calm the storms of life? There are infinite examples of biblical characters who have been in rough waters. Paul was beaten, shipwrecked, and martyred. David was hunted by Saul, Eve ate the fruit, and Peter denied Jesus. But one story stands out in particular and reminds us of the heart of God towards His beloved people. The book of Matthew gives us a passage where we can find three precious principles to help us calm the storms of life and see God’s heart toward us.

1. He’s is Present in the Storm.  

In Matthew 14:22-33, the disciples were caught in a huge storm at sea. They were exhausted, scared senseless, and in desperate need of help. Because we can read the end of the story, we gloss over the small phrase “the disciples saw Him walking on the sea…” and jump straight to the part where the storm stops and all is well. It is easy to forget the drama in-between.

Hours of turmoil, fear, and trying to solve the problem on their own brought them to despair. It was only when they looked up and saw Jesus that their anxiety was met with redemption and their fear gave way to safety.

Jesus was walking toward their rescue.

He is walking towards ours as well.

Jesus got wet.

We can’t forget that Jesus was walking in the midst of a ferocious storm on a rescue mission. He experienced the same storm and conquered it. He wanted to meet His beloved disciples at the end of all their human efforts and extend His hand. The Calmer of the Storm came to calm the storms inside His beloved disciples.

He isn’t offended by our needs and He isn’t disgusted by our plight. Instead, He is drawn to us when we are at our weakest, because He wants to be our strength. He is ever present and our dire circumstances cause Him to reach out, take us by the hand, and lead us to safety.

Jesus had storms in His life, too. He had the entire Jewish leadership plotting his demise and trying to trip him up at every encounter. He was under constant suspicion by the majority, and eventually betrayed by his closest friend. As a man he faced rejection, ridicule, and persecution.

He came to identify with our suffering, calm our fear, and defeat every enemy.

2. Take Courage.

He sent His disciples into the boat and then He went up into the mountains to pray. I’m sure Jesus saw the storm rising and knew what was about to take place. Yet He didn’t prevent the storm or warn them as they set sail.

Sometimes God allows life storms to display His infinite power to those He loves the most. Because He loves us, He lets us wrestle with His sovereignty.

Jesus didn’t stop the boat from being battered and tossed by the waves. Instead, He spoke truth to the hearts of these fearful men. He asked them to have courage. Why? Because the Creator of heaven and earth was in control.

The Lord always addresses the issues of our hearts before He deals with the physical ones.

If Jesus would’ve instantly stopped the storm, the disciples would’ve never seen a miracle.

Desperate for His Master and needing conformation of His presence, Peter steps out of the boat. He wasn’t trying to be like Jesus or prove a point to the other disciples, he just needed Jesus in the storm.

Just like Peter, we desperately need Jesus to show up in our storm, too.

We need Him to hold us tightly and know He will not let us go. 

We need Him to heal, comfort, and make us whole.  

This requires courage on our part to co-labor with Him in the process of change. Will we cry out to Him and ask Him to give us courage to do hard things, step out in faith, and keep our eyes fixed on Christ.

It take courage to believe in a sovereign, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God. It takes boldness to come face to face with things we can’t control and surrender to the One who is in control. It takes humility to grasp the hand of Jesus, admit we are weak, and let Him pull us to safety.

3. Shift Your Perspective.

Jesus needed the disciples to get to the other side of the lake and He allowed them to go through hard things to get there. Why? Why would God allow the fear, anxiety, and the hopelessness to rage in the heart of those He loved? Because He has a different perspective on trials.

Only God knows what it will take to wake up the prodigal, to heal the leper, and open the eyes of the blind. He is trustworthy, faithful, and able to finish what He started.

We are safer in a raging storm that the Lord allows than resting in false peace from our enemy.

In God’s economy, pain always has a purpose and His word will always be truthful. In His infinite wisdom, there are lessons to be learned and wisdom to be gained in the midst of every battle. His goal isn’t our happiness, it is our holiness. And in His plan for our holiness we must submit to the pruning. It’s the only way for us to know Him intimately and for the Holy Spirit to give us His fruits.

Our perspective needs to shift in order to face the storm head on. Why do we beg for God to take away every trial when He is trying to bless us with perseverance, faith, and wisdom? He desires for us to be built like warriors and not spiritual wimps. With every trial we are building spiritual muscles that will defeat darkness, tear down strongholds, and make the enemy wish he hadn’t messed with us in the first place. God’s goal is different than ours.

He sees us as we will be one day in His presence and He knows what it will take for us to be formed into the image of Christ. He will speak to any storm that He knows will not produce His glory in us.

How would we know God as our Healer, unless we are wounded?

Would we know God as our Provider, unless we’ve had deep needs?

How could we learn to trust Him as our Hope and Peace, unless we have weathered the storms and found Him faithful?

Would we trust in prayer if we never were driven to our knees?

There’s a point in every trial when it isn’t about the outcome anymore; it’s about the process of getting to an end goal. As we desperately pray for breakthrough, justice, or mercy, God is up to a million other things to get that exact prayer answered in His timing.

Jesus might not miraculously bail us out from our issues and problems, but he will bind us to Himself and walk with us through it.

Jesus reaches out.

His love protects us from our own will and prevents us from total shipwreck. His power helps us to let go of our control and reveals His ability to work beyond time and space. We serve an amazing God who works even the worst disasters for good with His time and presence.

Somehow when the bottom drops out of our lives it brings us back to the basics. It forces us to take inventory of what our core beliefs are, helps us focus on what really matters, and all of the small stuff becomes unimportant. 

Storms causes us to cry out and seek God.

Our suffering leads us to The Great Physician, The Comforter, The Counselor, and The Rock.  Oh, to have eyes to see that God is on the Throne!  When we see what God has to say about Himself in His word, we can see our sufferings through His eyes. It’s a beautiful place to be surrendered to a God whose goal is to rescue, restore, and redeem us.

The Anchor of your soul is walking toward you with rescue on His mind.

I’m reminded of the lyrics from an old song by Downhere titled “Calmer of the Storm”

” Teach me Lord to have faith in what Your bringing me

will change my life and bring you glory.

There on the storm, I am learning to let go

of the will that I so long to control.

There may I be in your arms eternally.

I thank you Lord, You are the

Calmer of the Storm.”

Lord, You are the calm in the midst of my storm. I trust You are at work and walking toward my rescue. There is no storm that You are not fully in control of and I can trust the outcome will be for Your glory and my good. Lord, teach me to have faith you are bringing me through to the other side with greater wisdom. Give me strength to endure and patience as the waves crash over me. You are my protector. Help me shift my perspective and bring you glory as you heal my pain. I am reaching out-Lord, take my hand. Give me the humility to surrender and the grace to grow in intimacy with You. You are forever faithful! I will trust your grace is sufficient even this trial. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

5 Bible Verses for Calming The Storms of Life

  • Psalm 61:2: “When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.”
  • Psalm 46:1-4: ” God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; Though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.”
  • Psalm 31:24: ” Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD.”
  • Romans 5:3-5: “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
Meet the author

Sheryl Aeschliman

Sheryl Aeschliman loves being a Midwest farmer’s wife, mom, and grandma. As an author, teacher, and leader in women’s ministry, she draws from over thirty years of experience in helping women of all ages discover Biblical truth. Her calling and passion to equip Christian women led her to create Simply Scripture to help others find their identity in Christ. Sheryl writes and teaches online Bible studies designed to guide women into the grace that is only found in Jesus.

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