How to Find Peace When Life Brings Storms

The other day, I was watching The Good Wife (spoiler alert).

If you keep up with the show, you know that Will died, and it’s truly shaking Alicia (the Good Wife).

On the show, they suggest that she’s an atheist, though they don’t say it directly.  In sharp contrast, her daughter has become a Christian.

There’s a scene when Alicia is at home and has a brief encounter with her daughter.  Her daughter tries to give her some words of comfort and consolation about the situation.  She mentions how God is involved, which brings a puzzled look to Alicia’s face.  She questions it.  She said if God exists these bad things wouldn’t happen.

It made me pause for a second.  It made me think about the logic: If God exists, bad things wouldn’t happen.

As a Christian, it made me think, even in an atheist’s mind, there’s some expectation that the world is not operating as it should.  They too have the sense that things are not quite the way they should be.

I get that sense every day in reading the news.  In watching things around me.  In observing myself and my ways and habits and quirks that don’t make sense.

Things Just Aren’t What They Should Be

The older I’ve become, the more I’ve experienced life, the more I realize how this world isn’t the way God intended it.  With crime and poverty, homelessness and disease, it makes me think that things aren’t the way they should be.

Just this week, I’ve learned tragic news about a classmate of mine from University.  It’s shaking me, and I haven’t spoken to her since University.  I can only imagine how it’s affecting her family.

Life has many such storms.  I’m not sure what you’re experiencing in your life, but I imagine that there may be some storms.  We all experience them, even it it’s just the tragedy of watching the world crumble around us.

For this reason, to me, one of the most powerful evidences for God is this commonly held logic of bad things happening to good people.  People suggest that if God existed, all of these bad things wouldn’t happen.  However, in this logic, it supposes that if God exists, He must be good.  If there is a God, He must be a benevolent person.  They suggest that if He exists, then at His very core, He must be good.  And if that’s true, if the expectation is that God must be good, if He does exist, then something must be very bad and very wrong with our world.  To me, it suggests God exists and something has gone tragically wrong with our world.

A Very Powerful Story

Whether you believe in God or not, at the core of our life experience, we want to experience some sense of peace.

One of the most powerful pieces of scripture to me

about peace is in Mark 4:35-41:

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On that day, when evening came, He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.”

Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him.

And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up.

Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.

And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”

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Life Will Bring Storms

(Photo Credit: Jo Naylor, Flickr, http://bit.ly/1Apb3F8, License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

Life will bring storms.  It’s guaranteed, but who is this man that even the winds and the waves obey Him?  I want to ask you this question.  Who is this man that even the winds and the waves obey Him?

If you’ve grown up in the church, as I have, it might all sound cliché: God will supply all of your needs.  God is good (all the time).  And on and on.  Christians are notorious for coming up with clichés.  And if something is fresh, give Christians a couple of months and we’ll wear it out be saying it over and over again.  Sometimes it makes the most amazing things sound commonplace.  So if all of these words sound overly familiar, I’d challenge you even further.

Who is this man who calms storms?  Who is this man that promises peace that passes all understanding?  And what is peace that passes all understanding?

If we ask people how they are able to obtain a sense of calm, they might tell you yoga or a glass a wine or exercise.  However, God promises a peace that passes all of that.

In John 14:27, it says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

God Promises Peace that Passes all Understanding

There are so many ways to really communicate this idea of peace.  In Philippians 4:7, you can read the various translations of the way that God promises us peace.  There are many ways to find “peace” here on earth.  But God promises a peace that we can’t even understand.  Check out the way various versions translate it:

 Philippians 4:7

New International Version

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

New Living Translation

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

English Standard Version

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

New American Standard Bible

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

King James Bible

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Holman Christian Standard Bible

And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

International Standard Version

Then God’s peace, which goes far beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your hearts and minds in union with the Messiah Jesus.

NET Bible

And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English

And the peace of The God, Who is greater than every mind, will keep your hearts and your minds by Yeshua The Messiah.

GOD’S WORD® Translation

Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus.

Weymouth New Testament

And then the peace of God, which transcends all our powers of thought, will be a garrison to guard your hearts and minds in union with Christ Jesus.

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How Can We Get Peace?

Moses is a great example of a man who was experiencing some trouble.  He was on the brink of a very long and treacherous journey towards the promise land.  The people he was leading betrayed his trust.  He was in a hard situation.  He knew he had lots of potential enemies ahead of him.  If there was any person who wasn’t experiencing peace, in that moment, it was Moses.  So he goes to have a chat with God.  He was looking for a bit of direction and comfort, and God gave him words that guide us to this day.

How did he find peace?  Through God’s presence.

In Exodus 33:14 God says, “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.”

Life will bring storms, it’s guaranteed.  And in the midst of those storms, it may be hard to find peace.  So when you find yourself in the midst of the storm, and you don’t know what to say or to do, pray for God’s presence and He’ll give you rest!

(If your lack of peace comes from depression or long-term sadness, check out my blog post “5 Ways to Deal with Disappointment“)

(Photo “Large Advert Credit: J-Blue, Flickr, http://bit.ly/1pvrxTq, License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/)

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