Sunday, July 1, 2018

Trusting God, Knowing Calm.

When I think about being calm, I imagine lounging on a cabin porch, with hot coffee, looking across a beautiful lake. But more often than not, when I speak about being calm, I’m usually talking to a hormonal child or a mid-tantrum toddler. And I am not generally very calm about it myself.

Thankfully, there is a calm that can penetrate every kind of circumstance. It is the same calm that allowed Jesus to sleep on a boat while the disciples were freaking out, fearing drowning and death.

It is the calm of completely trusting the will of God.

Photo by Jorge Vasconez

Matthew 8:23-27 and Mark 4:35-41 show us the disciples’ reactions to Jesus sleeping while being tossed about and their shock and awe regarding Jesus’ power over the wind and seas. The disciples saw what surrounded them and feared the possible outcome. But Jesus knew their circumstance on the boat was temporary. He knew it was only a situation they were in and He completely trusted God to bring them through it.

Is that how I see my daily chaos? As temporary? Is that how I view trials and circumstances that bring me to the end of myself?

Now, you might be tempted to think it was easier for Jesus because He knew He would live long enough to continue preaching the gospel... and then later die, be raised from the dead, and ascend into Heaven. Piece of cake, right?

Jesus trusted He would live long enough to fulfill God’s call on His life and we can trust the same thing.

We may not know the way Jesus did or when that call will be finished, but we can trust that God goes before us, preparing our works and putting us in circumstances that accomplish every last item on His agenda (Ephesians 2:10).

Jesus knew that storm was a passing circumstance while we tend to get too caught up in what might happen and forget who is really in control.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop

The way we allow calm to rule in our circumstances is to willingly trust the will of God for our lives.

Maybe you feel like you don’t know what God’s will is. Sure, I don’t know what His will is one year from now, or really, even next week! But, we can know His will for today. It’s nicely tucked into the beginning of 1 Thessalonians 4:3…

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification…”

I know, it doesn’t seem like the exciting or important “will of God” we often desire. But if we keep our sanctification in the forefront of our minds, we can see the will of God happening every day of our lives, in every circumstance we encounter. During storms, summer vacations, seasons of trouble, or trials by fire, God’s will can be accomplished in our lives.

Invite the same calm Jesus had into your own life by being confident of this very thing… that “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

Friend, you are being sanctified in your temporary trials, in your daily struggles, and in every storm that threatens to pull you under. None of it can defeat you! See yourself in that boat with Jesus. Be as confident as He was, sleeping though death was at the door. Remember that no stormy sea can overpower the plans God has for your life.

God, help us to trust you with our days. Help us to remember that You know what is best. Guide us through our circumstances with the continual reminder of your will for our lives: sanctification. Help us to set our minds on the life we gain in Christ and help us to value it above all else. Give us hearts that are filled with the calm, joy-inducing confidence only available through Jesus and His work on the cross. Thank you for the life you give and may our calm-ridden lives be a testimony of your goodness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


  1. Thanks for sharing this outstanding article. Such a good reminder. And it fits so well with the message we just heard at Sellwood Church on July 1, realizing the most important will of God is revealed to us clearly in God's Word: to rejoice in everything, thank God in everything, and pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). God is clearly working in you Joellen and syncing things nicely.

    1. Thank you so much Beth. You are a continual voice of encouragement for me!