Saturday, September 17, 2016

Deep Inner Peace in the Storm

Happy Saturday!

I have included an excerpt below that may appear a bit lengthy at first but if you can power through it I believe you may find the message meaningful, powerful and hopefully helpful as life's inevitable storms rage on us all and we seek our own refuge and peace!

Stay Strong!

"Everyone is familiar with the fact that Christ "walked on water," but not everyone knows that one of the main purposes of the story is to teach people the true meaning of PEACE.

I'm going to quote the passage in full now, because it has such a direct bearing on some of the matters we've been discussing.

'When evening came, the disciples went down to the water. They got into a boat and started across the sea to Capernaum.

It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.

The sea rose because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the water and drawing near to the boat.19

They were terrified and said, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear.

But immediately he spoke to them, saying,

"Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid."

And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, tell me to come out to you on the sea."

And Jesus said, "Come."

So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.

But when he saw the wind he became afraid and started to sink; he cried out, "Lord, save me."

Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him.

"O man of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"

And when they got into the boat, the storm ceased, and those in the boat worshipped him.20'

Peter and the other disciples play an enormously important role here—they represent humanity.

All of us are being tossed about on a stormy sea, and all of us must face a good deal of suffering and anxiety in our life.

Yet, in the midst of the winds and the rain and the turmoil, God offers us something incredible—the gift of deep, inner peace.

When Peter stepped out of the boat and began to walk toward Christ, he was miraculously suspended over the water.

None of the elements had any power over him.

Despite the strength of the storm, he was untouchable.

However, Peter faltered for two reasons.

First, he stopped walking toward the Lord.

After getting out of the boat and advancing fearlessly for a few paces, he recognized where he was and came to a halt, petrified.

It was at that moment that he lost the ability to stay above the waves.

We do the same thing.

When faced with the problems of life—and the stress that comes with them—we try to "manufacture" our own peace and security.

Essentially, we stop moving toward God and try to "do it ourselves."

But, as we've already seen, God and peace are inseparable.

If you try to obtain one without the other, you're doomed to failure.

The one critical component to possessing deep, inner peace is being "right with God."

And that means trying to move toward him all the time, obeying him as best you can, and then repenting whenever you fall.

The second thing Peter did was to stop looking at the Lord.

Instead of placing his trust completely in God, he turned his attention instead to the wind and the waves.

That's when he panicked—and that's when he started to drown.

Again, we do the very same thing.

We can be sailing through life, relatively free from worry and pain, and then all of a sudden storm clouds gather and the downpour begins—and we're stuck right in the middle.

The wind blows against us and the sea rises around us and it can be pretty scary.

Unfortunately, there's very little that can be done to avoid such situations.

Suffering comes to everyone.

No matter how smart you are, no matter how rich you are, there's just no way to prevent "external" events from interfering with your plans.

That's why you can't ever allow your peace of mind to depend on EXTERNAL events.

When Peter focused all his attention on what was going on around him, he took his eyes off God.

He looked up, down, around, and sideways, and was quickly overwhelmed with terror.

How could he not be?

He was alone at sea in the middle of the night while a tempest was blowing.

He had no chance, and he knew it.

How often do we act in the same fashion?

How many times do we look at all the problems in our life and start to panic?

Even when we manage to keep our composure on the outside, stress is busy eating away at our insides.

It's impossible to be happy that way.

The only solution is to keep your eyes focused on God.

ONLY he knows your final destiny.

ONLY he can grant you eternal happiness in heaven, and ONLY he can give you true joy in this life.

Therefore the more you are able to give yourself over to his will and "cast your anxieties" onto him, the more you'll be able to experience true peace, despite what may be happening around you."

From " The 10 Prayers God Always Answers"

Stay Strong!

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