WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, May 23, 2022 - CALM IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STORM!
Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s reading is John 16:31-33. It begins with a question Jesus asks His disciples on the night he was betrayed.
“Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. 32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.
33 “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.”
CALM IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STORM!
Jesus here declares, “I have told you these things….take heart.” When a person lives life within Christ’s promises and from the perspective of faith, one can have calm in the midst of any storm. Why? Because Jesus literally shares God’s perspective on life with you and speaks God’s promises to you amidst the storms, and that makes all the difference.
To that end, I was reminded of a story. If you’ve ever flown through thunderstorms, it can be nerve racking to say the least. The clouds are ominous. The winds are dangerous. There’s even the chance of the plane being struck by lightning. I’ve had a few travel experiences when the turbulence shook me physically and emotionally. But, very often, right in the middle of the chaos, there was also that amazing moment, that incredible feeling when the plane breaks through that last cloud and the sun shines forth for as far as the eyes can see. Sunshine in the midst of the storm. Relief amidst fear.
A pastor shared a harrowing experience that happened to him and his daughter. They were flying through a severe thunderstorm in the Midwest and, just as things couldn’t seem to get worse, the pilot’s voice came over the intercom assuring the passengers that everything would be alright. Just then, the plane not only broke through the clouds, the plane hit calm air and every passenger was privileged to see a beautiful rainbow that extended from horizon to horizon in the sun-drenched skies. That’s when the man’s four-year-old daughter put everything in perspective and excitedly said, “Daddy! Daddy! Look, it’s a rainbow and we’re seeing it from the same side that God sees it!"
Seeing things from God’s perspective makes all the difference in our lives. In our lesson for today, Jesus speaks of troublesome “storm clouds” caused by the brokenness of the world all around us. Left to our own devices, all we would see are those thunderclouds, lightning strikes, wind, and rain, and we would be overwhelmed by them. But, even then, God is in our midst and God is at work to preserve this world and to save it, our very lives included. Jesus makes a bold promise amidst the storm clouds of life. In our reading, He says, “In me, you may have peace.” He provides peace amidst the storms, as well as the “rainbow promise” of His grace amidst the terrors of the moment.
So, as you dwell on your challenges and problems, take time this week to see your life from God’s perspective. Revel in His promise of life eternal for those who put their trust in Him. See your life as He sees it with sins forgiven by the blood of Christ. And then look for other “rainbows promises” of God as well. Jesus gives all of these:
- “Because I live, you will live also” (John 14:19).
- “I am the resurrection and the life; HE WHO BELIEVES IN ME SHALL LIVE EVEN IF HE DIES, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26a).
- “Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden, AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST” (Matthew 12:27).
- “Ask and IT SHALL BE GIVEN TO YOU; seek and YOU SHALL FIND; knock, AND IT SHALL BE OPENED TO YOU” (Matthew 7:8).
- “I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
That last one may be the greatest promise of all! In the middle of any of our storms, there can be real calm, real assurance, and real strength. Why? Because for the believer, Jesus Christ is there with you always.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, help us to see the uniqueness of Your love and the power of Your promises for every day of our lives. AMEN.
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