And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” (Mark 4:41)
The disciples panicked when the storm on the sea of Galilee threatened their lives. In fear, they asked their sleeping Master if He did not care that they perished. Then, Jesus arose from His sleep and rebuked the wind and the waves, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!”. And there suddenly came a great calm. Witnessing His supernatural power over nature, the disciples responded in fear, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, “Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of his servant!” (Ps 35:27, ESV)
The Hebrew word for welfare in this verse, shalom, also refers to completeness, peace, tranquility, and contentment. Many seek after these things in life, and we often think that it is for our own good. But it turns out that God is also delighted when we are well and at peace.
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. (Eph 5:18,19)
It may be odd that the apostle Paul contrasts being drunk with wine to being filled with the Spirit. Perhaps one of the similarities between them is for seeking joy and comfort. In days of stress or gloom, people may have a drink to soothe or forget about their problems. However, it can be harmful when we are dependent on alcohol for our inner peace. Drunkenness leads to ruin. As believers in the living God, we can find joy, peace, and comfort by being filled with the Spirit.
A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones. (Prov 14:30)
In this modern age, life moves at a fast pace and can be fairly stressful. We often say, “I’m stressed out!” Physical stress and fatigue are easier to manage. A good night sleep usually helps. It is the emotional stress that keeps us restless throughout the night. Emotional stress comes from our negative feelings: anger, worry, fear, jealousy, and sorrow. Emotional stress can be destructive with the consequences of: broken relationships, physical illnesses, the inability to keep a job or to work with others, and violence.
Stress is a part of life. Stress becomes anxiety when stress gets inside us. Anxiety can dominate our lives, steal our joy, and cripple our ability to function. A calm heart, a heart at peace, is thus precious. Continue reading →