How You Can Have Peace in the Midst of Chaos

By Page Vandiver

“I hear the tumult of the raging seas
as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.
But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
    and through each night I sing his songs,
    praying to God who gives me life.”

Psalm 42:7, NLT

His love pours over us without measure. It’s a bottomless ocean, an unending sea, perpetually engulfing us even as we walk through uncharted lands, beyond our boundaries, or against some very challenging odds.

When chaos & circumstances toss us around, His love remains steady. When our earth moves and shakes, shouting testimonies of fear – when our “enemies” taunt us, hurling insults and mockery, nothing can shake or break the power of His love – the truth about the power of His love in us. Who He is, who He has made us to be, and what He has won for us are permanent. Secure. Forever.

In fact, it’s our circumstances and “enemies” should be shaking when we step onto the scene.

I’ve spent more than fifteen years working in communications, I’ve lived overseas, travelled fairly extensively and own a design company now. If I’ve learned anything, it’s this: Communication is contextual.

One word in one culture does NOT mean the same thing that it means in another. It doesn’t even mean the same exact thing to two different people in the same culture in the same era. (This is why marriage counseling and websites like engrish.com even exist.) When we apply this to reading the Bible – it’s not just what the words mean to us now, but what things meant when Jesus was doing them…What He was saying in that culture at that time adds a whole new level of understanding…

The Greeks believed that there were gods who controlled the wind, sea and storm. This herd of alleged powers – along with hundreds of others (just google “Greek Mythology” to see the list) – were the authorities that caused the seasons, spurred natural disasters, and explained all rare & unexplainable phenomenon in the known world. Cultures around the sea believed these gods to be powerful and took them very seriously. (So seriously, in fact, that when God manifested His power through Paul & Barnabas in Acts 14 the crowd in Lystra called them Zeus & Hermes.)

So when the original Creator – the true Being who made day and night, who kindled mankind and guarded all of creation – showed up, He proved that the forces people *believed* were in power – were nothing at all. When Jesus walked upon the water and calmed the storm, He wasn’t putting on a show. He wasn’t doing something weird and unexplainable.

He was actually declaring His deity & supreme power in a physical act. It was a good old-fashioned show-down with the so-called “gods” of the day. He won. By calming the storm and walking on water, Jesus literally demonstrated that His power, grace and mercy were unmatched. They were more powerful than any so-called force that existed or that humanity could name.

And now the same power that conquered the grave lives in us. The same God who calms the waves resides and dwells in our hearts like a home – perfectly suited for His stability, constantly wired to experience His power and grace….even in the midst of what seems like a deluge from hades.

I love the Jamieson Faussett Brown commentary notes on Psalm 42:7-8:

      “7. The roar of successive billows, responding to that of floods of rain, represented the heavy waves of sorrow which overwhelmed him.

      8. Still he relies on as constant a flow of divine mercy which will elicit his praise and encourage his prayer to God.”

It’s the same with our lives.

We are eternal.  Our situation is temporary. His Divine flood – without end – consumes us. He’s not disappointed. He’s not mad. He’s not angry. He’s just as faithful to His promise as the day He made the earth, breathed into us, and surrendered His Son. His Spirit lives inside of us, calls out to us, fills us with unyielding, ever-bubbling living water, reminding us who He is…and who we are. Hallelujah.

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