When It Rains Peace Pours Down: Acts 27

“and [angel] said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’” Acts 27:24

Acts 27:24

When it rains it pours, right?  At least that’s what it feels like some days.  And for Paul in Acts 27 it literally feels that way.  A storm was bombarding their ship on their way to Rome.  Everyone on board from the crew to the passengers were concerned for their lives.

Paul brought peace to everyone in sharing what the angel of God told him.  The angel, a messenger of God, shared with Paul that they will arrive safely to Rome.  They did not need to fear for their lives. God was protecting them through it all.  The storm was not going to win.

Storms in life arise unexpectedly. Loss of job. Family/friendship difficulties. Illness diagnosis. Financial problems. Loss of a dream.

It feels as though peace has packed its bags to go on a long vacation far away from where we are.  The feeling of being overwhelmed has taken up residence in its place. What can one do in that case?

Peace from God is available to you today.

As God was with Paul during the storm God is with you in whatever storm you are facing.  You are not alone.  Jesus stands beside you bringing peace to your heart. While the storm rages on know that Jesus gives you calm through it all. There is no need to worry about what is coming next. Jesus is seeing you through the storm.

So whenever you are in a storm turn to Jesus and ask Him for His peace to fill you completely.  Seek comfort in His arms knowing that:

  1. You are not alone 
  2. He is protecting you

The storm may remain but God is walking with you through it. 

Paul’s life and ministry serves as an encouragement to us today.  We learn how God calls & equips everyone to share their faith story. We grow in strength through adversity by fixing our eyes on Jesus instead of the world. We stand in peace through any storm of life with Jesus by our side. 

This Week’s Challenge:
On a notecard/post-it write down a storm in your life.  On the other side write a prayer to Jesus asking for His peace through it. Place it in a location where you see it to remind you of God’s peace.

Healing from the Inside

When reading the 8th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew one encounters two stories of Jesus healing people.  He was approached by two individuals who were not regarded ‘good’ by Jewish society as worthy of being around Jesus.  One was a leper who was perennially unclean and could not be around others lest they cause someone else to become unclean.  The other was a Roman centurion who was in a position of authority over the Jewish people and was seen as an enemy.

Each person, the leper and the centurion, understood who Jesus truly was, a gentle healer for all people.  They approached Jesus with humility to ask for healing for either themselves or for a loved one.  Jesus saw in these requests a faith that superseded anything else. Jesus offered healing because of their great trust in Him as the true Messiah.

In our lives today we face hardship and pain.  The loss of a loved one.  Difficulty in relationships. Struggles in professional lives. The pain is not always seen physically on the outside for others to see. It does sit deep in our souls where we try to cover it up and not let someone see it.

Jesus brings healing to everyone. Whether the pain is a disease or internal hurt His healing brings peace to our souls. This world is broken and not as God the Father intended at Creation.  So Jesus comes to us to heal us from the hurts of this world. 

We see His dedication in the parable of the lost sheep in Matthew 18:10-20. Here in this story we see the Great Shepherd leave the 99 sheep in their pen safe from harm and went out into the wilderness to find the 1 lost sheep.  He loves all of His sheep, children, so deeply that He will do what needs to be done to heal them.

Jesus brings His healing to you.  What pain are you holding onto from your past?  Where are you searching for peace from the brokenness of this world? 

Go before the Lord and give Him your hurt.  Tell Him where it hurts.  Let Him blanket you with peace to grow through the pain and become stronger in the Lord.  Grow in trust in the Healer God. 

As the leper said to Jesus, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean” (Matthew 8:2), say the same to Jesus. Watch the healing He brings you from the inside out.

This Week’s Challenge

Each day this week pray to Jesus the pain you feel deep in your soul.  Ask Him to bring healing to you and show you how He is healing. Memorize Matthew 8:2 as part of your prayer life this week.

Finding Shalom: Peace in the Midst of Anxiety

These are uneasy times. Lots of unknowns. There are more questions than answers. Each day I hear from another person how they are struggling with anxiety.

We all are searching for peace in a time of what feels like chaos.

We are not the first ones to have some doubts about the future. After Jesus’ resurrection there were some disciples who saw Him but still doubted.

“And when they saw him they worshipped him, but some doubted.”

Matthew 28:17

They did not know what was coming next. They knew Jesus was fully alive and returning to Heaven but what about them? What were they to do, or go?

Jesus’ response to those who doubted and to those who at the same time worshipped is what we now call the Great Commission:

“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20

He assured all of them they are not alone. They are given the duty to tell others the good news about Jesus and through  the Holy Spirit teach them how to be a follower of Jesus.

They had shalom with God, wholeness or oneness with God. Whether there was doubt or worship all were given God’s peace.

For us today we have shalom with God as well.  Jesus gives us His peace by the Holy Spirit to serve through our worship and our doubts.

The enemy tries to cause us to feel anxious because we can’t answer all the questions. We don’t need to answer them all. We only need to point back to Jesus.

Friends, have the peace of God in all things. 

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Philippians 4:6

Live in the Shalom of God today and everyday. Be one with God. Rest in His arms.

As you feel anxiety creep in, pray: “God, blanket me with Your peace right now. Help me have Shalom with You alone.”

Having doubts is not wrong. Staying in doubt is not growing in the Lord. Give your doubts to asking to trust once again. There you find true Shalom with God.

This Week’s Challenge

Pray the prayer about whenever you feel anxious or doubt this week.