Everybody experiences calamity at some point in their lives. And, if you are one of those people who say that they have not ever had a real major calamity, then I suggest you get prepared because it is virtually impossible to go through an entire lifetime without ever experiencing some type of calamity. The death of a loved one; especially if it came as a result of a tragic situation. A house fire. An automobile accident. A disease or other major illness comes your way. The death of a child. How many more calamities can you think of that have impacted you? Trials, tribulations and tragedy is part of life. And, every such experience we encounter in this realm is caused by a singular factor. Sin. It is the sin of mankind from the Garden of Eden that brought sickness and death upon mankind. And the sin committed by other individuals has also contributed to the calamities that we experience in our lifetimes. A murderer kills. A thief steals. A drunk driver causes automobile accidents. And, some calamities cannot be traced to a specific sin committed by a specific person. Those calamities are still caused by sin in general, and they are just as devastating; sometimes even more so. Each time a sin is committed, someone else feels the sting of its consequences, even though the second person in this scenario is an innocent bystander. Sin itself is a robber and a thief, stealing people’s lives and damaging many others in its sphere of influence. So, calamity comes to us all at some point in our lifetime because of sin.
A false precept that took root in the Christian church for decades taught that, once a person accepted Christ as Savior, He would shield us from trouble and we would experience a good life because He lives inside us. Folks, that is a blatant lie. In fact, many times, the exact opposite is true. Satan is very unhappy that we make any progress in our relationship with Christ. The enemy of our soul is as a roaring lion, roaming about seeking whom he may devour….he wants to eat our lunch! And, if he can’t have us, he will go after our kids or our family! He is a vicious liar with a destructive bent against anybody who has Christ in their lives.
So, as Christians, how can we possibly live through a tragedy? How can we find true victory in the midst of trouble? How is it that a person who has experienced a tragic death can wake up the next morning and continue with their lives? How can we find calmness in the midst of calamity?
In seeking an answer to these questions, my mind immediately goes to Job. He was a wealthy man with a wonderful family. And he was a devout follower of Jehovah God. He was faithful. He was obedient to God. He loved his family. The Scriptures call Job an “upright” man. Life couldn’t get any better for Job, could it? Perhaps not, but it certainly could get worse. And, that it did.
The interesting thing is that Job’s calamity was not brought on by his own personal sin that resulted in the terrible things that happened to him. Yet, he lost everything. His children taken from him. His cattle and livestock killed. His wealth gone. His houses burned. His wife trying to convince him to “curse God and die…” His friends giving him terrible advice that all boiled down to virtually the same thing his wife had counseled him to do. Everything was now against Job. This was a “calamity of calamities,” indeed. Now, things seemingly couldn’t get worse. But, they did. His body was infected with a disease similar to leprosy, where oozing sores came up all over his body causing Job terrible pain. So, just when you think it can’t get worse, sometimes it does. All of this because of a discussion that God had with the devil about Job. You see, the devil wants to destroy each of us. And, sometimes, he wins a battle. The good news is that I’ve already read the back of the book and “we win.” So, there is victory THROUGH adversity by holding onto the wonderful Hand of our loving God.
The question today is this: When you are faced with calamity, how and where can you find the calmness that comes only from God? The kind of peace that the New Testament calls “Peace that Passes Understanding…” Where is the source of that kind of Peace and how do we go about locating it? Perhaps the outline from my sermon on this topic will answer that question and help us all to remember where the source of Peace is during our calamities. Here is that outline.
I. Worship God during your calamity.
a. Worship Him because He is still in control.
b. Worship Him because He has your best interest at heart.
c. Worship Him because He understands the whole picture, even though you only see a tiny part.
d. Worship Him because He is God.
e. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
f. He is Jehovah Raffa, our Healer.
g. He is El Shaddai, the Lord our God.
h. He is Jehovah Nissi, the Lord who smites our enemies.
i. He is Jehovah Shalom, the Lord of Hosts.
j. He is Jehovah Jirah, God our Provider.
k. He is Yashua Homashia, Jesus Christ the Righteous.
l. God calms our storms. Sometimes He lets the storm continue and calms me.
II. Humble Yourself before God. I Chronicles 7:14 is good for a nation. It is also good for a church, a family and an individual. We must humble ourselves before God if we are to find healing.
III. Spend time in silence before God. I’m reminded of Elijah, after his victory over the prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel. The wicked queen Jezebel had issued a death promise against Elijah, and this brave man of God ran and hid in a cave. There was a lot of noise; earthquakes, fires and such. But, it was the “still, small voice of God” that delivered Elijah. Spending silent time with God allows Him to speak to us as we read and meditate on His Word.
IV. Instead of kicking against the brick wall, learn to accept the situation. By accepting what has happened, we can understand that it is part of God’s BIGGER plan for our lives. It didn’t take Him by surprise. It didn’t cause God to say, “Oops. I didn’t mean to allow this to happen.” The truth is that God allowed man to have a free choice as to whether to serve Him or not. Along with that choice came the choice to commit sin, and along with the sin that is committed comes consequences of sin. The fact is that we live in a fallen and sinful world, and the consequences of sin will always be with us. But, the good news is that by accepting God’s will, we also can accept His Hand in ours as we work our way through the calamity.
Three ways to find Calm during Calamity:
1) Look up. We see God’s Sovereignty.
2) Look ahead. We see God’s Promises.
3) Look within. We will see Christ, if we have let Him in.
And, if we look within and don’t see Christ, now would be a good time to invite Him in. By doing so, we will find eternal life; and we will find His Hand in ours as we navigate the perilous journey that we call “life.”
I pray that each and every person reading this finds Christ, if you don’t already know Him. And, that each person reading herein who knows Christ as Savior finds true and lasting peace that passes understanding through Him.
You are loved with an everlasting Love. And, I love you, too.
In Our Master’s Joyful Service,