Master the Tempest is Raging


Peace be still(1)Master, the tempest is raging! The billows are tossing high!
The sky is o’ershadow with blackness, no shelter or help is nigh;
Carest Thou not that we perish? How canst Thou lie asleep,
When each moment so madly is threatening a grave in the angry deep?
The winds and the waves shall obey Thy will, Peace, be still!

Whether the wrath of the storm tossed sea,
Or demons or men, or whatever it be
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean, and earth, and skies;
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will,
Peace, be still! Peace, be still!
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will, Peace, peace, be still!

(2) Master, with anguish of spirit, I bow in my grief today;
The depths of my sad heart are troubled, oh, waken and save, I pray!
Torrents of sin and of anguish sweep o’er my sinking soul;
And I perish! I perish! dear Master
Oh, hasten, and take control.

The winds and the waves shall obey Thy will, Peace, be still!
Whether the wrath of the storm tossed sea,
Or demons or men, or whatever it be
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean, and earth, and skies;
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will,
Peace, be still! Peace, be still!
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will, Peace, peace, be still!

(3) Master, the terror is over, the elements sweetly rest;
Earth‘s sun in the calm lake is mirrored,
And heaven’s within my breast;
Linger, O blessed Redeemer! Leave me alone no more;
And with joy I shall make the blest harbor,
And rest on the blissful shore.

The winds and the waves shall obey Thy will, Peace, be still!
Whether the wrath of the storm tossed sea,
Or demons or men, or whatever it be
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean, and earth, and skies;
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will,
Peace, be still! Peace, be still!
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will, Peace, peace, be still!

Out of her own experience of tragedy Mary Ann Baker who lived in Chicago, and was an  active temperance movement member learned that oftentimes Christ stills the troubled heart rather than—or as much as—the troubled sea. And possibly the miracle of Jesus was in changing the frightened disciples, as much as changing the elements of nature.    During trouble times in 1874, Rev. H. R. Palmer asked her to write several songs on the Sunday School lessons for that particular year.  The theme for one of the Sundays was “Christ Stilling the Tempest.”  And out of it came this lovely hymn.

Life is a storm sometimes. I feel like I am going through a storm right now. This is the truth about our lives here on earth. Life can be tempestuous, tossing us with winds of misfortune, grief, shame, stress or struggle. Sometimes the storms of life that we face can last a long time and seem not to end that quickly and they often leave permanent scars and damage. None of us are exempt from today’s economy, from serious health problems, from family troubles, and from other woes. My storm may not be as tempestuous as the storms others face, but it is not the velocity of the storm that makes our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ willing to help us. It is our faith in Christ’s calming power and our hastening to call for His help that allows Him to calm our hearts during life’s storms.

Have you ever found yourself stuck in one of life’s storms, and no matter how hard you try, no matter what you do, it seems that you cannot make any headway? Well, we all have times like that! It may seem to you like the storm will never end and that there is no possible good that can come from what you are facing. Thankfully, however, there is some good news for us from the word of God. While the storms of life are never pleasant, they do produce certain benefits in our lives that we would do well to make note of. “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.: Heb 12:11.

Because of what my family is going through right now my devotional for the day is based on a hymn that reminds me of Jessie Dixon. It is a song that I haven’t heard sung for many years but it was a favourite when I was growing up. The song is based on the story in Mark of Jesus and his disciples caught in a fierce storm on the Sea of Galilee. But in the midst of the terror, “He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

“The author, Mary Ann Baker. and her only brother suffered from the same respiratory disease that had taken their parents’ lives He left their home in Chicago to find a warmer climate in the southern part of the United States. For a time he seemed to be improving, but then a sudden turn in his health came and he died almost immediately. Mary Ann and her sister were heartbroken. It only added to their deep grief that neither their own health nor their personal finances allowed them to claim their brother’s body or to finance its return to Chicago for burial. Mary’s trust in a loving God broke under the strain of her brother’s death and her own diminished circumstances. “God does not care for me or mine,” said Mary Ann. “This particular manifestation of what they call ‘divine providence’ is unworthy of a God of love.”

Have you ever thought the same thing? “I have always tried to believe on Christ and give the Master a consecrated life,” she said, “but this is more than I can bear. What have I done to deserve this? What have I left undone that God should wreak His vengeance upon me in this way?” But as the days and the weeks went by, the God of life and love began to calm the winds and the waves of what this young woman called “her unsanctified heart.” Her faith not only returned but it flourished, and she learned new things, things “too wonderful” to have known before her despair.

Later, in 1874, as something of a personal testimonial and caring very much for the faith of others who would also be tried by personal despair, she wrote the words of the hymn we are looking at today, “Master, the Tempest Is Raging.” Quoting from Mr. Ernest Emurian, “The author ‘grew in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’ until she could truthfully say, in vivid contrast to the bitterness of her rebellious years, ‘God’s way is the best.’”

Well friends, as you face your storms of life, remember that God does care about you and He alone can give you a peace that passeth understanding. I am experiencing that right now. Have you?

Jesus did not promise smooth sailing, but He did promise a safe passage. I would rather be in a storm with Jesus than anywhere else without Him. So, if you are in a storm of life, my advice to you is to remember that Jesus will “get you to the other side.” Trust Him. He will not abandon you or let you down. You have His Word on it. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

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