FINDING PEACE IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Your Virtual Life Coach

Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23
  

Years ago, I was on a cruise ship that encountered a major storm in the North Atlantic. Huge waves rocked the ship and rose nearly to the top deck, leaving us passengers wondering if we would make it safely back to shore.

Perhaps never in my life up to that point had I felt so helpless. The ship’s crew kept reassuring us that the captain had everything under control, but from the looks of things, I wondered.

Well, by God’s grace, we did make it safely back to shore, but not without my learning a very valuable lesson.

As my life went on, I, like you, encountered other kinds of storms that threatened both to shake my equilibrium and to make me feel helpless–storms like broken relationships, financial problems, illness. But during each of those storms, I remembered another storm that took place while Jesus was on earth.

He and His disciples were in a boat making their way across the Sea of Galilee. Tired from ministering to the crowds, Jesus had fallen asleep.

Suddenly, a great storm arose that threatened to sink the boat. In a panic, the disciples awakened Jesus, crying out, “Master! Master! We’re going to drown!” (Luke 8:24). At the sound of their cry, Jesus got up, rebuked the storm, and it stopped. At His command, the raging wind ceased, and the churning sea grew calm.

Take heart! Jesus Christ is in the midst of your storm!

Then Jesus turned to His disciples and asked, “Where is your faith?” The disciples were filled with amazement and said, “Who is this man whom even the winds and the waves obey?”

Today, over 2000 years later, Jesus is still calming storms. Not only natural storms like the one I experienced while sailing the Atlantic Ocean, but emotional storms, relationship storms, financial storms, health storms, and spiritual storms. There is no storm too great or too severe for Jesus to calm. There is no storm violent enough to resist His power. At His command, every storm must cease.

What storm are you facing today? Is it the storm of divorce, bankruptcy, a wayward child? Is it the storm of illness, drug addiction, alcoholism? Is it the storm of depression, worry, or fear? Whatever it is, don’t panic. Jesus is in the midst of your storm!

Just as He was in that boat with the disciples during the storm they faced, so is He with you in the storm you are facing. Just as He saved them from disaster, so will He save you. All you have to do is cry out to Him. When you do, He will hear your cry and deliver you from the storm.

Like the disciples, you will watch in amazement as Jesus brings His peace into the midst of your personal storm. Like the disciples, you will marvel and rejoice at His power and might and, especially, at His great love for you.

If you’re facing a storm today, cry out to Jesus. Expect Him to hear you and to calm your storm. Then write to me and tell me of the wondrous thing He has done for you. ##

Now, it’s YOUR turn: How do you handle the storms in your life? Please comment in the box below.

TWEETABLE: “Finding Peace in the Midst of the Storm” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

RESOURCES TO HELP YOU FIND PEACE IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM:

Please check out two books I’ve written that will help you to find peace in the midst of the storm”


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Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

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Stress-Busters for the Stressed-Out

Tips for Staying Calm in the Midst of the Storm

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
_______________________________________

You just got home from a rough day at work. Just as you walk in the door, your spouse screams at you for being late, your youngest child is crying because her cat ran away, and your cell phone starts ringing. The only one who seems happy to see you is your dog.

lightstock_99422_medium_maryann_Photo by Shaun Menary. Lightstock.com Photo ID: 99422

By this time, you want to turn around and leave for some remote, uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific, taking only your dog with you. Only there, you conclude, can you be free from the stress that has you on the brink of a nervous breakdown.

Perhaps at no other time in history have human beings been so bombarded with such potentially stress-producing situations. Stress causes our brains to go on overload, our bodies to suffer, and our hearts to wither. But is there any way out of what seems like an endless treadmill of turmoil?

Yes, there is! As always, the way out is found in the Bible, God’s manual for man. God never intended for us to live in stress. In fact, God’s will is that we live in continual peace. But how, you ask, can I live in peace when, whichever way I turn, I’m bombarded with problems, conflicts, and tension?

Good question! You see, peace has nothing to do with our external circumstances. Peace, on the other hand, has everything to do with our internal circumstances. What do I mean by that? I mean the state or condition of the inner core of our being, also called our heart.

“Peace has nothing to do with our external circumstances. Peace has everything to do with our internal circumstances.”

Just think of the eye of a hurricane. While horrendous winds are raging all around it, the eye of a hurricane is quiet and peaceful. The same can be true of our hearts. In the midst of the worst kinds of crises, our hearts can be at perfect peace.

So how do we achieve this perfect peace on the inside? The Bible gives us the answer in Isaiah 26:3: “You (God) will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You.” Perfect peace comes from keeping our minds focused on God. When we do, we draw wisdom and strength from Him to deal with whatever problem we are facing.

Using the word “stress” as an acronym, let’s take a look at some practical steps we can take to develop inner peace:

1. Stay (fix) your mind on God. Keep Him continually in the center of your thoughts. You do this by talking with Him frequently during the day, by reading the Bible, and by praying.

2. Trust God. He is absolutely trustworthy and will never let you down.

3. Refuse to worry. Worry will always rob you of your peace. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

4. Establish your heart on God. This means build your life on God. Go to Him at the first sign of stress. Vent your frustrations on Him. He can handle it.

5. Sort out your priorities. We often get stressed out because we’re doing too much. Once when I was feeling particularly frazzled, I cried out to God in frustration. “Lord,” I said, “I just don’t have enough time to do everything I have to do!” Lovingly He replied, “You always have enough time to do what I have called you to do.” I realized then that I was doing some things that He had not called me to do, even though they were good things.

6. See life from God’s perspective. God’s perspective is eternal. He sees the big picture. We should do the same. When we do, those little irritations of daily life fade into insignificance.

So no matter what you’re facing today, remember that it’s temporary. As you focus on God, He’ll get you through every situation, no matter how serious. And as you focus on Him, you’ll have peace in the midst of every storm.

Guaranteed! 🙂

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In my newest work of fiction, SURRENDER TO LOVE, young widow and life coach, Dr. Teresa LopezPicMonkeyFINAL061815416pm Gonzalez, has no peace until she learns to keep her eyes focused on Jesus.

Available in Kindle and print versions.

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Tel. 856-488-3580
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Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Photo by Shaun Menary. Lightstock.com Photo ID: 99422

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Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below: