Peace in the Storms
Some people are terrified of storms, and other people not so much. I fall into the "not so much" category.
As long as I know I am sheltered, I find it peaceful to watch a thunderstorm or snowstorm. Perhaps it is the contrast between the wildness of what I see and the protection of my house.
However, I have never been through a tornado or hurricane that devastated the sheltered place from which I was watching the storm. In those instances, it is advisable to evacuate the area early in the case of a hurricane, or find shelter in a basement or storm cellar in the case of a tornado.
One of the pieces of armor identified by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6 is the shoes of the Gospel of peace.
Shoes provide protection for our feet. Shoes provide grip so we do not slip and fall. Shoes help us to stand firm.
The shoes identified by Paul are shoes of the Gospel. The word gospel is a Greek word that means "good news." The Good News of the Bible is the coming of Jesus of Nazareth, who is God in flesh-and-blood, to teach us the heart of God and to make redemption for the human race.
We need redemption because we sin. In Romans 3:23, Paul writes, "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Paul is onto something. We all disobey God. We all live for ourselves rather than living for God. We all sin. And sinners need redemption.
You see Paul also wrote in Romans 6:23, "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Sin leads to death. Sin brought physical death into human experience with the original sinners, Adam and Eve. And sin brings spiritual death into all our lives. We need to be raised from the dead. Who can make that happen?
Jesus was crucified to pay the price for the sins of humanity, including mine and yours. Then God raised Him from the dead to conquer death so we could be given resurrection. Jesus did what needed to be done and what we cannot do for ourselves to pay the price for sin and to break the power of death!
How do we get this redemption? By grace, through faith in God's Son. In Ephesians 2:8-9, the apostle Paul says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." We are redeemed by grace through faith, not by our own works.
This redemption is a gift from God we don't deserve and cannot earn. It is a result of God's extravagant, unconditional love for us. We do not earn it, we receive it. And that is Good News, indeed!
Here's the thing. Having experienced the reality of this Good News by placing my own faith in Jesus Christ, I have peace with God that results in peace in life's storms. I know the storm will not last and cannot destroy me, because I am a redeemed child of God who is sheltered by the grace of Jesus. The old cliche is simply true. I do not know what the future holds, but I do know Who holds the future. And that is enough.
Storms come. God calms some storms and allows others to rage on. We cannot control the storms or wish them away. It's a fallen world and unfair things happen. Bad things happen to good people. But the storms will not last, and there is One who holds us in the midst of them. His name is Jesus.
John H. Groberg has said, "Sometimes God calms the storm. And sometimes He lets the storm rage, and calms His child." Sometimes the storms of life are attacks from the enemy of our soul. A Biblical worldview includes the reality of an ongoing, invisible spiritual war raging around us.
Against such attacks, we have the armor of God to protect and to fight back. We have the belt of truth. We have the breastplate of righteousness. We have our feet shod with the Gospel of peace. We have the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
We are not defenseless victims. We are armed combatants. And the Captain who commands us also protects us from destruction. Whatever the future holds, I am His. And that is enough.