And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith? (Mark 4:37-40)
God is a good Father, and He promises us He has good and beneficial plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11), an abundant life (John 10:10), and a Spirit-filled existence. But that doesn’t mean we won’t face challenges and uncertain circumstances. There will be times where we must remain steadfast in the midst of a storm.
Jesus stayed asleep even in raging seas, because He trusted His heavenly Father, and because He knew His identity and His authority. And He expected the same of His disciples: “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”, He questioned them. As believers in Christ, we can choose faith in trials, or we can choose fear, discouragement, or hopelessness. Like Jesus, you can also access peace in the storm of life’s challenges and uncertainties. Here are 3 practical keys to increase your faith and help you to remain grounded in peace and truth, for any season you may be in.
1.Identity: Know who you are
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:6-7)
When you know your identity, no circumstance or person on earth can threaten your character, beliefs, or purpose. God created you in His image so that you can access and imitate His perfect love and peace. He created you in His image, because He is your heavenly Father. And as a child of God, you have special access, significance, and favor with Him. You also have authority: authority to command the storm to be still, to decree peace just as Jesus did.
If you understand that you are a child of God, you can face any circumstance knowing that you are deeply loved, known, and can trust Him. He cares about the deepest places of your heart, and He has good plans for your life. He is truly a good Father!
2. Intimacy: stay close to the father
I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:20-21, emphasis added)
Intimacy with the Father is foundational to living a life that is firm and unshaken in Christ. God’s desire for us is to share oneness with Him just as Jesus did. When you received Jesus, you immediately became a child of God, and were given unhindered access to the Father through the blood of Jesus Christ. I call this positional intimacy. But our God is infinite and eternal, and there is always more to know and experience of Him—that is progressive intimacy. I encourage you to pursue the presence of God every single day, through coming to Him in prayer, thanksgiving, and worship. I ask every day for a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit, and He is faithful to encounter me!
When you come close to God, you continually renew your mind and perspective. This will increase your faith, strengthening you in the face of uncertainty. Faith comes from hearing (Romans 10:17). Spend time in the presence of God, listening for His voice, and you will hear His promises, His provision, and a way out: “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
3. Thanksgiving: Praise God for what He has done
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:2-5)
In order to remain anchored in the goodness of God, you need to continually remind yourself of what He has done in your life, and in the lives of others. Meditate on His love, His power, and His faithfulness, and you will gain a deep, unshakeable faith that God is good, in every circumstance. How has He encountered you? Healed you? Provided for you? Recount His blessings, and remember how God has been faithful to you!
Thanksgiving is the language of faith. When you give thanks to God, tell Him how kind, compassionate, loving, and powerful He is. By recounting that He is good in all circumstances and at all times, you give Him a sacrifice of praise that brings peace, joy, and deep trust, even in the greatest storms of life.
Here are some resources to help you renew your perspective, strengthen your faith, and remain grounded in Truth in every season.
- Overcoming Discouragement through Thanksgiving is a teaching series from HRock Church on the power of proclaiming praise. Full of life-changing truth!
- 31 Decrees of Blessing, by Patricia King, is a very practical guide that will inspire you to declare Truth daily and activate your faith to a deeper level.
- If you’ve never experienced true intimacy with your heavenly Father, I encourage you to read Close Encounters of the Divine Kind– a book I wrote on how I first encountered God, and how you too can experience relationship with your Creator.