Taking the MRT during the peak hour can be quite a stressful situation. It is certainly not a comfortable situation to have so many commuters squeezing with us in the stations and trains. Furthermore, we may encounter inconsiderate commuters who cut our queue or push us. In such situations, it is easy for us to get stressed up and angry. In life, there are many other situations that may cause us to lose our cool, panic, or be angry. However, Jesus calls us to have peace in our hearts. In Mark 4:36-41, we learn a lesson from Jesus about how we can have peace, and be still.
The Great Storm
Jesus and his disciples experienced a storm while on a boat on the Sea of Galilee. The storm was besieging the boat; waves beat into the ship; water was filling the boat. The disciples were afraid for their lives! They woke Jesus up and asked “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” In life, we may face storms as well. As Job wrote, life is short and full of trouble (Job 14:1). Troubles besiege us like waves from every side (2 Cor. 4:8-9); sometimes, we feel like we are drowning in our problems (2 Cor. 7:5). Perhaps at times we think it’s time to die.
When we face such storms, we may feel that Jesus is far from us. The disciples even thought that Jesus would let them die on the boat! The Israelites, having seen God deliver them from the bondage of Egypt, thought that God would allow them to starve to death in the wilderness (Exodus 16:2-3). When some face troubles, instead of turning to God for help, they run away from God (Matthew 13:20-21). What is our response when we face troubles in life?
The Great Calm
When the disciples thought they were going to die, Jesus rose up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still.” There was a great calm. What a calm that was! This miracle of Jesus proves His power over the elements. As the Creator of this world, Jesus has the power to control the elements at will. Furthermore, if Jesus is able to stop the tempestuous wind and sea, how much more will He be able to stop any storm in our life, and bring a great calm?
Prior to Jesus rebuking the wind and sea, it is interesting to note that while the disciples were panicking amidst the storm, Jesus was fast asleep. It’s no easy feat to sleep in the middle of a great storm! Peace is to be at rest even when troubles surround us. We think of Paul and Silas, who sang hymns even though they had just been beaten and thrown into prison (Acts 16:23-25). Jesus Himself, despite being scourged, mocked, reviled and spat upon, did not so much as say a word in return (1 Peter 2:22-23). Christians are called to be like Jesus: to be peaceful people even if others hurt us, and even when troubles hit us. Can we be at rest when we face troubles? Or do we panic like Jesus’ disciples?
The Great Jesus
True peace is found in Jesus Christ. Some think they can find peace in life by their recreational activities. After Jonah took a vacation from God, he thought he could sleep well (Jonah 1:1-6). However, only Jesus can turn all our storms into a great calm. This does not mean that we will not experience troubles (2 Timothy 3:12). However, in Jesus we can find peace (Luke 2:14). The peace that Jesus gives is unlike anything that the world can give (John 14:27). Jesus can give us such a peace because He has overcome the world (John 16:33).
In order to access this peace, we need to have faith in Jesus. Jesus rebuked the panicking disciples “Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?” Did they not trust that Jesus would save them from the storm? We need to have trusting faith in Jesus (Proverbs 3:5-6). Jesus has promised to take care of our needs (Matthew 6:30). Instead of worrying, we need to instead let our requests be made known to God, and “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Furthermore, we need to have an obedient faith in Jesus. Jonah couldn’t find true peace because he disobeyed God by running away. Faith in Jesus is a faith that is accompanied by works of obedience (James 2:14-26). When we seek spiritual things first in our lives, we can find life and peace (Romans 8:6).
In order to grow in faith, we need to continue to meditate upon the word of God (Romans 10:17). We need to seek the mutual encouragement of the saints (Hebrews 3:12-13). As we grow and mature in faith, we can find peace, which is one part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). As we grow in trusting and obedient faith in Jesus, we can find peace in our hearts and lives, and “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”