Storms of the Heart and Soul
Shep Johnson
Sunday, October 9, 2016

It’s been quite a week here in Coffee County.  Hurricane Matthew has led to a mass evacuation of coastal areas throughout Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas.  As I write this article we really aren’t sure how much damage will be done by this powerful storm.  There has already been great loss of life and property in the Caribbean and the storm is now pummeling the Florida coast and headed up toward Georgia.  It will take a long time to rebuild and get back to normal.  But the actual storm will be gone in a matter of days.  The clouds will part, the sun will come out, and the waters will become calm again.  Earthly storms appear and disappear in a very short time.

But storms of the heart and soul can rage on for years.

The Bible says in Matthew 8:23-27 (NASB95) that one day Jesus got into a boat with His disciples to cross the Sea of Galilee.  The Bible says, “And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep.  And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, ‘Save us, Lord; we are perishing!’”

 “He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?’ Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.  The men were amazed, and said, ‘What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?’”

Did you notice that Jesus was sleeping at the height of the storm and the disciples actually had to awaken Him as water began filling the boat?  Jesus could rest in the midst of a storm because there was no storm raging within Him.  He was at perfect peace.  He had nothing to fear.

Wouldn’t it be good if we could be at such perfect peace that no storm could rage within us?  Perhaps you’re asking, “What storm?”  The storms that stir within us are the storms of doubt, fear, rejection, jealously, conflict, hardship, envy, broken relationships, worry, and failure. 

Did you know that over 60 million Americans are afflicted with some form of insomnia?  Millions of Americans use sleeping pills.  Others turn to some different form of artificial relief.  The storms that buffet us internally are stubborn and debilitating.  Yet Jesus told His own disciples, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?”

Perhaps the disciples had forgotten how much God loved them.  In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said in Matthew 6:25-33 (NASB95), “ ... do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?  And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?”

Jesus continued in Matthew 11:28 (NASB95), “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

When life’s storms rage, when conflict boils within, remember how precious you are in the sight of God.  You are His child.  You were created in His image.  He loves you so much.  No matter what has happened in your past.  No matter what is happening in your present.  God loves you.  Listen, John 3:16 (NASB95) says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  Jesus came so that you could have the assurance that you will not perish.  He will still the storm.  He will not leave your side.  He will see you through.  And He will give you life.  But first, you must trust Him in the midst of your storm.  You must trust that He will in His own way and in His own time still the storm that rages in your heart.  He will not fail you.

  Brother Shep