Peace, be still

A meditation by Pastor David McFarland on Mark 4:39-41.


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. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”


Circumstances make waves in our lives. Waves make us uncomfortable, hinder our vision and cause us to have doubts. It is impossible to be still in a storm – unless we hear Jesus saying “Peace, be still”. Sometimes He stills the waves, changes the circumstances and works a miracle. But other times He demonstrates the mighty power of His grace that stills our hearts in the midst of the storm.

When the danger comes, sometimes we want to run but He says “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today.” Exodus 14:13 NKJV.

When faced with uncertainty, sometimes we want to rush but He says “Sit still, my (child), until you know how the matter will turn out.” Ruth 3:18 NKJV

When things don’t appear to be changing, we want to resist but He says “Be still (lit. take your hands off), and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10.

How wonderful to know that we have an ever present help in trouble. Because He is there in our storm, we can be still. “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Ps 46:2-3. What a storm! What a peace!

The disciples were slow to learn that when Jesus was on board, no storm was too great to go through. Their faith faltered and they needed His rebuke. “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”

“Lord, remove my fear of the storm. Teach me to trust You. Keep repeating to me “Peace, be still” and maybe one day You will want to still the waves for me too.”


“Be Still, My Soul” by Catharina von Schlegel, 1697-? Translated by Jane Borthwick, 1813-1897

  1. Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;

Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;

Leave to thy God to order and provide;

In every change He faithful will remain.

Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend

Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.


  1. Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake

To guide the future as He has the past.

Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;

All now mysterious shall be bright at last.

Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know

His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.


  1. Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart

And all is darkened in the vale of tears;

Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,

Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.

Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay

From His own fulness all He takes away.


  1. Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on

When we shall be forever with the Lord,

When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,

Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.

Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,

All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.