Michael Riggs used to work as a radio disc jockey, and he had a problem. While working at Christian radio station 91.3 WFIX in Florence, Alabama, he had to sometimes give reports on severe weather and tornados while on the air. At times storms were very close to the radio station in Florence. The problem was that Michael had a huge fear of storms.
He recounted his experience from over 20 years ago and told me he prayed and asked God to deliver him from the fear of bad weather, and God did just that. Michael has since left the world of radio for other ventures, but one thing he still does today – he prays against weather-related storms. He will soon be releasing a book he wrote titled, “Praying Against the Storm,” which includes testimonies of the power of God in the face of severe weather storms.
On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to the disciples, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” - Mark 4:35-41
Many people have labeled the coronavirus and its impact as a storm we are all going through. You may be freaked out along with others, you know, but as Christians, our guide on how to respond in times like this is very clear – SPEAK PEACE IN THE STORM. The Gospel writer Mark records the story of Jesus facing a storm in the passage above and how He lived out the way His people should respond in turbulent times.
- While everyone else in the boat panicked, Jesus remained calm and even slept through the storm. The way you live out your faith in the days ahead will speak volumes to those around you about your faith in Jesus. This week a lady told me a younger adult asked her how she could be so calm in the midst of all the fear and panic. It opened up a wonderful opportunity for her to share Jesus with the frightened man.
- The first thing the disciples did is accuse Jesus of not caring about the situation they were facing. Maybe you have been asking God where He is during the fear and panic over the coronavirus. The story of Job in the Old Testament teaches us that God never minds questions from honest seekers. So, where is God in all this? He is where He has always been, and that is seated on His throne watching over you and all His creation.
- Jesus asked the disciples why they were so afraid and where was their faith. They had already watched Him heal many people and do great miracles, yet they were scared that Jesus could not handle the storm. Today take a few moments to recall the great things God has done in your life, the difficult times he has brought you through, and even the miracles you have seen him perform. Remember what God has done in the past, and you will be confident he can handle any situation you face.
- Jesus simply said the words PEACE and BE STILL, and the storm stopped. Now you may not be able to speak to the storm of this virus and stop it immediately, but you can speak peace into the storm of fear going on in your life and the lives of others.
The thing people may remember the most about this current crisis in the years ahead will be the way Christians responded to what went on. You can experience peace and show others the path to peace by SPEAKING PEACE TO THE STORM.
YOUR ACTION PLAN TO HELP SPEAK PEACE TO THE STORM
1) Fill your soul with some great Christian songs on peace like “Praise You in the Storm” by Casting Crowns, “What Are You Afraid Of" by Kerrie Roberts, “Peace Be Still” by Hope Darst, “Fear Is a Liar” by Zach Williams, “You’ve Always Been” by Unspoken, “Still Rolling Stones” by Lauren Daigle, “Goodness of God” by Bethel Music, “Way Maker” by Leeland, “Faith” by Jordan Feliz, “Your Name is Power” by Rend Collective and “Alive & Breathing” by Matt Maher.
2) Fill your mind with great Bible passages on peace. Some verses include: Deuteronomy 31:6; Psalm 4:8 ; 23:4, 27:1, 29:11;46:1-3, 56:3; Isaiah 41:10; Jeremiah 32:17; John 14:27; 16:33 ; 20:19; Acts 10:36; Romans 14:17; Galatians 5:22; Philippians 4:7,9;
and 2 Timothy 1:7.
3) Pray for God to give you peace and pray for our country’s leaders during this time.
4) Speak peace and command your fears to BE STILL.
5) Look for ways for God to use you to minister and share the Gospel with others during this time when people are looking for a voice of calm and reason.
6) Expect your faith to be stronger and more mature as God takes you day by day and step by step through these difficult days.