Christ and calamity go together. As Jesus said: “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, for I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). When calamity strikes, you need Jesus. God’s word and prayer are the means by which he sanctifies all things—even tribulation and distress.
In the dark valleys of life you don’t need platitudes. You need Jesus. With open ears and an open heart, you will find consolation, solace, and peace in him.
In times of calamity we need the unvarnished truth. Tribulation will occur in this world. Jesus said so. But it’s also true that he has overcome the
And in his cross and resurrection there’s hope for you.
Our fear, our faith
Private or public calamity always calls for faith—confident trust in God, despite our apprehensions.
St. Matthew records that Jesus’ disciples faced a test of their faith on the Sea of Galilee. In the middle of a stormy nighttime crossing the disciples were frightened when they spotted a ghostly figure walking toward their boat on the wind-tossed waves. But then they heard a familiar voice: “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid” (Matt 14:27). True to form, Peter impetuously challenged Jesus: “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” Upon Christ’s invitation, Peter took one step and then another on the waves, walking on the water. But when he saw the mighty wind, he began to sink and cried out in alarm for help. Jesus stretched out his hand and pulled him up, saying, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Peter doubted for the same reason you and I doubt when we’re faced with uncertainty and calamity. We wonder what’s to become of us. Sometimes our fear can be overwhelming. We’re fearful in the face of tragedy and the unknown because we’ve never passed this way before; the terrain is unfamiliar, and the perils are formidable.
Fear is a perfectly normal response in these situations. And truth be told, our faith isn’t as strong as it could be. Like the disciples in the middle of the storm and like Peter sinking in the waves, we are people of small faith.
But here’s the thing about faith. What matters isn’t the amount of faith we have; it’s the object of our faith. The Lord in whom we trust is what matters. When we call out to him, even in fear or doubt, he’s there to hear and to save—though it’s true that his remedy may not match our expectations. Think of Peter, out on the waves: Peter’s faith may have been small, but he had a great and mighty Lord. His faith may have been weak, but the hand of Jesus was strong to save.
He will save you, too. No matter how small your faith, you can count on him to hear your anguished cry and answer in his own time and way.
A Prayer in Time of Affliction
Call upon me in the day of trouble;Psalm 50:15
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.
Lord, you know the deep places through which our lives must go: Help us, when we enter them, to lift our hearts to you; help us to be patient when we are afflicted, to be humble when we are in distress; and grant that the hope of your mercy may never fail us, and the consciousness of your lovingkindness may never be clouded or hidden from our eyes; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.
This post is adapted from Christ and Calamity: Grace and Gratitude in the Darkest Valley by Harold L. Senkbeil (Lexham Press, 2020).