FEATURE ARTICLE

Rev. Nelson IlunoMonday, June 5, 2017
nelsoniluno@gmail.com
Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria

PEACE AMIDST THE STORMS OF LIFE

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ife is full of challenges but we are safe and secure in Christ. Peace amidst storms means holding unto Christ in the times of trial and difficulties of life. The peace of God which passes all human understanding is what human heart, mind and body needs. Peace is an essential commodity in our world today (John 14: 27; 20: 26; Philippians 4: 7). Peace is good and needful, whether to an individual or to a society. The presence of peace is to be cherished above having riches without peace. It is also noted that life is full of challenges. In Mark 4: 35 - 41, Christ instructed His disciples to get into the ship and cross over to the other side. Midway into the journey, a great storm of wind,, and the waves arose threatening to sink their boat.

This great storm confronted the men upon whom the future of the church depended. It was not only a threat to their lives but also a threat to their destiny and assignment. The intervention of Jesus Christ brought calmness into the situation, as "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). "Peace be still" as Christ used it here means among all things calmness to "storms of life".

Storm according to Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary (7th edition) is a "very bad weather with strong winds and rain, and often thunder and lightning: fierce/heavy/violent storms". Also Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as "a disturbance of the atmosphere marked by winds and usually accomplished by rain, snow, hail sleet, thunder and lightening."

Significantly, a storm could be political, intellectual or mental, economic, financial, social to name but a few. The storms of life put men under intense pressure and have the capacity to toss them to and fro. Storms of life comes with natural disasters, sicknesses, bereavement, marital upheavals, unproductiveness, loss of jobs, academic failures, insurgencies, kidnapping, armed robbery, misunderstanding, leadership tussles, business crisis, sadness, fear, pains, and so on.

Christians are not exempted from "storms of life" (2 Tim. 3: 12; Psalm 34: 19), but we are safe and secured in Christ. Christ has the power to calm or stop any storm. The disciples had left everything to follow Jesus, yet a storm beat against their direction of progress. It is very dangerous to be caught by a storm on the sea of life without Jesus in the boat. The advantage the disciples had was that they had a relationship with the Lord. So when the storm arose against them, the Prince of Peace, the all-powerful and miracle working Lord was quick to intervene.

If the obedience of the disciples faced a storm on the sea, what is the hope of those on a journey of disobedience? Christ in you is the secret of living above the storms of life. When Jesus is reigning as the Lord and Saviour of your life, against all odds, you will surely get to your destination in life. Peace amidst storms means holding unto Christ in the times of trial and difficulties of life. Christ is the peace of the world; His absence means crisis. Seek Him today and experience peace ever in the most turbulent storms of your life. Know Christ, know peace. No Christ, no peace.

In Hebrew, "shalom" means peace, harmony, health, tranquillity, good condition, and comfort. In Greek language it is "eirene", which means a state of good health or wholeness, rest, progress and protection. In the context of Mark 4: 35 - 41, "Peace be still", could be interpreted and understood to mean complete quietness or calmness to "storms of life". When the storm threatened the disciples while in their voyage, the Prince of Peace brought peace to reign by silencing the boisterous sea. It is a common knowledge that our world is dire need of the peace of God. Jesus is the Prince of peace. Let us therefore give our all towards obtaining and sustaining this peace.

The highest level of peace a man needs to attain is peace with God. This is why no one boasts of security except by coming to Jesus. When you come to Jesus - the author of peace, He dwells in you with His peace. He will keep kidnappers, armed robbers and assassins away from you, thus making you dwell in peace. Your mind will be at peace also.

When God allows the "storms of life" to come upon His children, He desires to bring out the best in them. All we need to do is to trust Him, look up to Him and pray for His intervention. The Bible tells us that when we put our faith in Him, we need not fear the storms of life. "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock" (Matthew 7: 24 - 25).

Christ is our peace; He has reconciled us to God, in one body by the cross. We meet in His name, and share His peace. There nothing more important than that which endures for eternity - the work of Christ on the Cross that reaches across the centuries, demonstrating God's love for mankind. When we trust and obey God, we having nothing to lose - not even in a storm. May the peace of the Lord be with you.

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