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.
“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