by Jimmy Evans
The first time I began preaching about Bible prophecy was in 1982. I was speaking then about Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, in which he describes the end times like the “labor pains” a pregnant woman might experience. The closer you get to birth, the more frequent and intense the labor pains get.
I talked about what was happening in the culture at that time and made the statement “How could it get worse?”
That was four decades ago, and looking back, that statement seems so naive. Right now, in 2022, things are definitely worse than they were in 1982. From the pandemic to a looming famine to war in Ukraine to all the evils of our culture, we are facing countless societal storms. The labor pains are more intense than ever.
Honestly, I never thought it would get this bad. I never dreamed we would live in the kind of world we live in now. I never dreamed people would be under such delusion. There is such a clear division between light and darkness in our culture. Everything the Bible has said would characterize the last days is coming true before our very eyes.
And those are all bad things, so seeing it can leave you feeling beaten down and discouraged. But I’ve always said the reason I love teaching about the end times is to help people contextualize what is happening in the world right now. Not to make them fearful or anxious, but to encourage them. The Bible predicts the future, and the only One who can predict the future is the One who controls it.
Even so, we have stormy weeks and months ahead of us.
That’s why I want to talk about how Jesus gives us peace in the storms of life. A famous story from the Gospel of Mark illustrates this truth:
On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”—Mark 4:35-41
The disciples were in a storm and they were afraid they were about to die, even though Jesus was with them in the boat. Right now, our world is also going through an intense storm system—actually, a number of different storms. Our world has been through severe times before, but this tumultuous period is very different.
But regardless of the storms we endure, Jesus gives us peace. Here are four truths about the storms raging in our world right now.
Jesus is in the storm with us
The presence of Jesus in the boat with the disciples should have given them peace, but they were terrified. Fear is reality minus God. The devil wants you to forget that Jesus is with you.
Remember what David wrote in his most famous psalm:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
David didn’t deny that he was going through the valley of the shadow of death. But he knew that the Lord was with him. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you.”
Regarding the end times, Jesus said that men’s hearts would be failing them for fear and the expectation of things that were going to happen in the world. In other words, they were always waiting for the next shoe to drop. Maybe you feel that way, too: “What horrible thing is about to happen next?”
Well, that’s not the question. The question is, “What is God about to do?” Because Jesus is on the boat. Jesus is in this storm with us. And Jesus is with all of us individually in the storms that we’re facing in our lives.
Jesus cares about the storm
He isn’t just present in the storm, He actually cares about it. When the disciples woke Jesus up, they were frantic. “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” they asked.
They didn’t understand: Jesus wasn’t asleep because He didn’t care. Jesus was asleep because He wasn’t worried. The devil makes a different accusation, though. He tells us God doesn’t care: “If He cared, how could you end up in this situation?”
Remember what Hebrews 13 says:
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say:
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”
He won’t leave us and He won’t forsake us. “Leave” refers to physical distance. “Forsake” refers to emotional distance. God won’t do any of those things. He’ll never distance Himself from us or turn His heart away. When we pray to Him about the things that give us anxiety, He is always listening. He cares about the storms we are going through.
Jesus is past the storm
Time is a prison. When Adam and Eve sinned, God put limits on our lives. Time is meaningless in eternity and they would have lived forever, but sin has consequences. For us, one of the consequences of sin is that we no longer live in an eternal mindset. Because of sin, we are imprisoned by time.
But God is not in that prison. He doesn’t experience time the way we experience time. In other words, God is already standing in the future. He sees the past, present and future as a whole. We have Bible prophecy because God transcends time and knows the future.
During the storm that night, Jesus knew that they were going to be safely on shore the next day, beyond the storm, ministering to people. He knew they would reach the other side. It knew they would get through that circumstance. God stands in your future, looking back at you, and smiles and says, “Come on child. It is going to be okay.”
For us to be able to walk in peace through our storms, we have to believe that there is a greater purpose—that Jesus isn’t just going through it with us, but knows we are going to be better on the other side.
Jesus is greater than the storm
When the disciples woke Jesus up, He rose and said “peace be still” and the sea was still. He didn’t seem to be bothered at all by the situation. The disciples were full of fear and anxiety and the turbulent sea looked like their hearts. But Jesus got up from His position of peace and stood on the deck of the boat and said, “peace.” As soon as He did, the sea reflected His heart. He was full of peace. You can only give away what you have.
Though we may be surrounded by storms, God wants to establish His peace in our lives. He wants us to have peace in our marriage, peace in our family, peace in our relationships and peace in our finances. Your life is going to look like whatever your heart looks like. He calls us to be peacemakers, but we can’t be peacemakers if we are full of anxiety and fear.
We’re all going through a storm right now. Our world has never seen a storm season like this one, and it shows us that we are nearing the last of the last days. But even so, we can have peace in the midst of these storms if we just remember these things:
He is on the boat.
He knows about the future.
And He is absolutely greater than our storm.