“That day when evening came, He said to His disciples. ‘Let us go to the other side.’ Leaving the crowd behind, they took Him along just as He was, in the boat. There were other boats with Him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, don’t You care if we drown?’ He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the waves died down and it was completely calm. He then said to His disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’” (Mark 4:35-40)
There are at least two ways Jesus miraculously brings peace. In this story, He stood, rebuked the wind and said: “Peace! Be still!” The surrounding nature obeyed Him… bringing astonishment to the frightened disciples. “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!” (Mark 4:41)
God has ability to say: “Peace! Be still!” to any of our storms… tragedy, sickness, conflict, loss… I imagine we have all experienced God’s power to change circumstances and bring His ‘shalom.’ Like the disciples, we marvel and say: “Who is this with such authority? Thank You for Your mercy! Thank You for bringing peace!”
But there is another miracle Jesus often chooses. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27) Perhaps their lack of faith was a factor, but Jesus could have performed a different miracle on the Sea of Galilee.
Jesus had been sleeping during the storm. His heart was not troubled and He was not afraid when His friends woke Him. If God had willed, Jesus could have spoken to His disciples instead of the storm: “Here – receive My ‘shalom.’ Now, don’t let your hearts be troubled… and quit being afraid. We’ve got a busy day tomorrow… why don’t you lie down and get some sleep?”
I probably pray most for exterior peace… but Jesus also has authority over the interior. I would rather the storm calm and problems go away while Jesus knows His inner peace is more than sufficient to help me endure and conquer any chaos.
If Jesus gives me His peace, I need to obey His words: “Don’t let your heart be troubled and don’t be afraid.” Someone might say: “That is impossible!” True, by ourselves… but we’re talking about the supernatural. Jesus’ peace is not like the world’s… and it does not come from us. Jesus simply wants us to know He possesses this power. He wants us to receive His gift and live accordingly. With child-like faith and with His grace, we can do it.
“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7