Scripture tells us that trials will come. Whether it’s depression we are facing, or cancer, financial crisis, or any other “storm,” we have a choice to make on where to give our focus so that we can find peace in the storm.
“I just need to get away and find some quiet with Him. The noise of the world is clamoring in, making it hard to hear His still small voice—the only voice that makes the real difference. The only voice that brings peace in the midst of the storm.”
That was the message I sent to a friend during a difficult trial in my life. She meant well. She offered to call, to talk, even to pray. But my heart longed to be still, to be quiet, and to just listen to Him.
Just moments before I had messaged her, asking for prayer: “I just got hit with a tidal wave of…I guess overwhelm. The car hunt is not going well. We really need a car by this week. School starts for the kids on Monday. We will spend all day Monday and Wednesday at the hospital while my husband has surgery with a PET scan in-between, I’ll work Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. I have three guest blog posts that are due and the words escape me, I have to prep for my Tuesday night teaching, and my neck is in spasm. What I need is quiet. What I need is rest. What I need is time with Him.”
I knew the prescription. I had given it many times before. I had written about it in my book, “Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression.” Whether it’s depression we are facing, or cancer, financial crisis, or any other “storm,” time in His presence must always be a priority.
Scripture tells us that trials will come, but thankfully, it also tells us that He has already overcome those trials. It’s in the midst of those trials that we have a choice to make. We must choose where to give our focus: either on the trial, or on the One who will get us through the trial.
What the Bible says about peace in your storm
In the midst of life’s storms, and I’ve had my share of them, I take comfort from the passage in Matthew 14:
“Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, ‘It’s a ghost!’ But Jesus spoke to them at once. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ he said. ‘Take courage. I am here!’ Then Peter called to him, ‘Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.’ ‘Yes, come,’ Jesus said.” (Matthew 14:24-29).
Whenever I’ve heard a sermon preached on this passage, the emphasis is always on Peter getting out of the boat and walking on the water. Then the story is told of how his faith gets weak and he begins to sink until he returns his eyes to Jesus. But I think a very important part of the story is missed: the earlier part of the story where in the midst of the storm Jesus is waiting and tells Peter, “Yes, come.” Jesus was already waiting for Peter, and He is already waiting for us too.
The answer to finding peace in your storm
How often do we go about the busyness of our day, or get stuck in the middle of our storm and frantically search for answers, when all along the very best answer rests in getting away, answering His call to “come,” and spending a few minutes in His presence.
No, it doesn’t take the problem away, but it shifts the perspective from the problem to the problem solver.
God’s peace is not the calm after the storm. It is the steadfastness during it. It is in His presence that we can find peace in the midst of the storm.
In the midst of your trial, will you take Him up on His invitation to come and find peace in Him?
Depression doesn’t have to become a permanent part of life.
There is hope.
Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression and the companion Hope Prevails Bible Study help the reader understand how depression comes to be, recover their joy, reclaim their peace, and re-establish their true identity, while knowing their worth, remembering their secure destiny, and being confident that nothing separates them from God’s love.
Hope Prevails and the Hope Prevails Bible Study are must-reads for anyone suffering from depression or knows someone suffering from depression.
“As a counselor, I have read many books on depression, but I have never read a book that deals with the spiritual aspect of healing as thoroughly as does Hope Prevails. Dr. Bengtson draws from her own personal journey as well as her professional experience. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has tasted the pain of depression or knows a friend who is depressed.” ~ Gary Chapman, Ph.D., Author of The 5 Love Languages
“God’s peace is not the calm after the storm. It is the steadfastness during it. It is in His presence that we can find peace in the midst of the storm.”
Oh, Amen and Amen!
Isn’t that reassuring? And it’s that reassurance that gives us the hope that prevails. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Oh you are so right!! I know this, I crave this. And yet in the practical busy-ness of life, I sometimes simply do not know HOW to accomplish it. Do I not look after children? Do I not work? Do I not cook or clean? It is so hard to carve out that time, especially, as you wrote, during caregiving or motherhood! So prayers for the ability to seek out private time with God. Not just the need, but the ability to do so.
Stopping by from InspireMeMonday
Hi, from your neighbor at RaRa link up. Yes, His peace is in His presence, and we find that when our eyes focus on Him instead of the stormy circumstances we are living in. Thank you for the great reminder!
This is a beautifully written post. To me, the wonder of connecting with God through prayer and reflection is that He is always there, guiding us and waiting to hear from us. Reaching out to Him during difficult times as well as the calm and happy times, too, helps us to become more centered, balancing our challenges with our blessings, to go forward with the knowledge that we are never alone.
Michele, your book is so filled with truth and hope! I heard a quote from a local counselor on the radio…Any amount of depression or anxiety is not acceptable to live with, and God is the answer for all of it.
It’s so easy to turn to the friend, the book, the article, the music – anything! But not Jesus! He needs to be our first call for help, though. I am so thankful He is there waiting and is ever so patient with me!
Thanks for sharing your words of hope at #MomentsofHope!
Blessings and smiles,
So many wonderful truths packed into this blog post.
I too have always focused on Peter walking on water, but not the fact that Jesus beckoned Peter to come, in the waves. Oh what encouragement that brings!! He has already been there and will bring us through!
Thank you so much for sharing. You have blessed me!
What a beautiful reminder about Jesus already waiting for Peter! I absolutely needed this. I get so consumed in the madness that I forget how to find peace. It takes a concerted effort on our part. We have to just do it!
Amen to all of this, Michelle. I am excited to read your book I just received. I, too suffered depression and torment, …and I want to share Hope that I found! Your neighbor @ Barbie’s place
I like the distinction you made… God’s peace is not AFTER the storm. God’s peace is IN the storm. I think that’s a really good reminder b/c we often associate peace only with calm circumstances. But the peace of God is tranquility even as the storm rages on. Thanks!
A wonderful post! Thanks so much for sharing it at the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!
The calm in the storm. The steadfast love and peace of the Lord. Many years ago, my hubby was very ill and in the hospital a couple of times after two surgeries and he had to stay about a week. I remember getting him settled and going down the hall to the restroom in a quiet area of the floor. In that small room, I was consumed with the peace of Jesus, steadfast, calm, secure. I would breathe deep, close my eyes, pray for strength and peace and receive that infilling of the Spirit so I could go back to my hubby’s room and care for him. Thank you, Michelle, for this beautiful message that brought so many memories to surface and the memory of that peace knowing the Lord was there with me and caring for both of us is so precious to m