Can We Find Peace Within the Storm?
One person we learn about in the Bible, Paul the Apostle, saw some very high mountains and very low valleys during his lifetime. We see him originally highlighted as one of the greatest persecutors, then taken to the road to Damascus where he was saved, to the tremendous trials and persecution he faces as a Christian.
These peaks and valleys are things we can relate to. These are also the times where our faith is tested the most: in plenty and in want. Is it possible to feel peace and even joy in these times?
Paul is an example that many in the persecuted church look to. He never sugar-coats the struggle of persecution, though. He faced some harsh circumstances: he got arrested, was thrown in prison, stoned, shipwrecked and even killed for his faith.
When the gospel of Jesus Christ changes you into a new creation, the place where you get joy changes. Those without Jesus try to find joy in the things that shift in life, which is not secure and eternal. Paul’s anchor is in the finished work of Jesus, and this doesn’t change even in death: “For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.” [Phil. 1:21]
We also know that persecution and trials help develop a deeper faith because we’re at peace with God:
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…” Romans 5:1-4
While the world looks at eternal circumstances, Christians can find peace even within the storms of life because we have an eternal anchor in Christ that puts to shame the pleasures of this life. The gospel is our sure hope that no earthly power can take away. We also know that our trials can bring God glory and produce in us steadfastness and endurance. Join with the persecuted church to thank God for this hope today!
“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9