This is the audio from the March 1, 2020 sermon, “Finding CALM In the Midst of Chaos”, shared by Tom Lemler at the North Wayne Mennonite Church.
Text: Mark 1:29-45
Life has a way of being chaotic and full of trouble . . . and that’s just on the good days! As we finish out the first chapter of Mark, I find Jesus setting the example of finding calm in the midst of some very chaotic circumstances. I don’t believe the chaos of life will every disappear from this earth, but our response to it will greatly influence our effectiveness in sharing the good news of Christ with others during their chaos.
So, let’s take a look at what it takes to find CALM in the midst of chaos:
- Find Compassion:
- Mark 1:29-31, 40-41 — Our human nature is often quick to pass judgment when we see chaos in the lives of people . . . especially when that chaos spills over into our life. Whether in the chaos of a family dealing with illness or an individual living as an outcast, Jesus found compassion for people. As you read the gospels, it seems that the most common reaction of Jesus to crowds, the sick, the unstable, the lonely, the confused the harassed, the lost, the outcast, and nearly anyone else in the midst of chaos was to be filled with compassion for them. Finding, and living with, compassion for people will go a long ways toward filling you with calm in the midst of chaos.
- Find Authority:
- Mark 1:33-34 — Sometimes we exasperate the existing chaos by thinking it is ours to resolve or fix. Jesus could find calm in the midst of chaos because He knew that all authority belonged to His Father was His to use on earth as the Father’s representative. Jesus could approach every chaotic situation knowing the forces behind the chaos would never be greater than the authority of His Father. While Jesus was indeed more than a simple representative — He was God’s own Son — our pursuit of calm in the midst of chaos gains momentum when we acknowledge and live under the authority of God over us and over that which causes the chaos.
- Find Lessons:
- Mark 1:38-39 — God has a way of using everything for our good and sometimes we will not find the calm we seek until we look for, and discover, the lessons we need to learn. There is plenty of trouble in this world and sometimes it can be a challenge to discover whether the current lesson is one in perseverance or in moving on. Even as Jesus remained calm in the midst of chaos and helped to resolve the problems faced by those who would come to Him, one lesson He taught was that popularity wasn’t as important as obedience. When an entire town is looking for Him because He has healed their sick and cast out demons, His message to His disciples is that it is time to move on. Understanding the lessons to be learned through the chaos is best accomplished when we realize the next point is probably the primary key in finding the calm we seek.
- Find Moments:
- Mark 1:35, 45 — Trouble and chaos will always be with us which makes the practice of finding moments with God one of the most critically important things we can do. As Jesus dealt on a daily basis with the chaos of this world, He would often seek out the lonely and solitary places to spend time with His Father. It is the moments we spend with God in prayer and His Word that transforms our hearts into the compassionate heart that He desires. It is those same moments that bring us into a willing submission and obedience to His authority. It is only in having consistent time with God that we can discern the lessons we ought to be learning and how He would have us respond to the chaos. In fact, the moments we spend with God ought to be of both a continual nature and a deliberate nature. Every breath of our day ought to be taken with an awareness of God’s presence yet we still need times of deliberately drawing ourselves away from the distractions of life to just spend whatever moments we can enjoying the loving presence of our Father.
Finding CALM in the midst of the chaos of life will always take effort, but in Christ it is always possible!
It is my prayer that you pursue God in such a way that learn from Him the Compassion, Authority, Lessons, and Moments that will help you to be calm in the midst of chaos.