And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Yesterday we looked at Paul and the terrible situation he faced as he was shipwrecked while travelling to Rome as a prisoner. We noted that we can face difficult storms even when we are doing the Lord’s work and will. Today we look at two further lessons we can learn as we face the storms of life.
Storms can be an opportunity for us to experience God’s presence in a special way. While the storms were raging, God was right there with Paul. Paul reports: ‘Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me…’ (Acts 27:23). Sometimes God allows storms into our lives so that we can experience his loving guidance and providence in a special way. Prayer is the key here. When faced with storms in our lives, we often have two options: either to draw closer to God in prayer or to give ourselves over to worry. The temptation to worry and feel anxiety is strong but if we choose instead, by faith, to spend our time in prayer, Scripture promises us that we will experience ‘the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding’ (Philippians 4:7).
Storms can also provide an opportunity for us to witness to unbelievers. After experiencing God’s reassurance of his presence with Paul, the apostle is then able to encourage his fellow travellers – most of whom were not Christians – with these words ‘So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me’ (Acts 27:25). Storms, then, can provide an opportunity for us to witness to unbelievers through our words and our display of faith in the midst of adversity. Some may even come to faith in Christ!
Wemimo Jaiesimi, a member in Lampeter Evangelical Church