Surviving Life's Tsunamis

It seemed like a regular day at the beach. When the blasts of billions of tons of water wrecked the coasts of more than a dozen Asian nations on Dec. 26, 2004, most of the people on the beaches were totally unaware of the looming danger. In its wake the massive tsunami claimed more than 200,000 lives in 14 countries and left millions homeless. It was one of the largest natural disasters in history.

Life can be like that. Suddenly, without warning, you're hit with a torrent of trouble. Like the psalmist, you cry, "All Your waves and billows have gone over me" (Ps. 42:7, NKJV). Some of life's "tsunamis" literally hit home. Sudden shock waves jar us, pulling us against our will into a sea of trouble. Suddenly we feel overwhelmed with horrible circumstances. The tranquility of life is disrupted and we wonder if things will ever be the same as they were.

Calamities prompt us to ask, "Why?" There are no pat answers. Yet there are answers for how we can survive these sudden tsunamis. It's important that we anchor our attitudes in Scripture. Here are several heart attitudes we should maintain when faced with the floodtides of trouble that sometimes invade our lives without warning.

1. Be sure your "house" is built on the rock of faith and obedience to Jesus Christ. Jesus warned that waves of trouble would come. But you can prepare by securing your life to Christ, the solid rock. Jesus said, "Whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock" (Matt. 7:24-25).

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2. Anchor to what doesn't move. God promised, "Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven." He guarantees "the removal of those things that are being shaken" in order that "the things which cannot be shaken may remain." We have embraced an unshakeable kingdom, therefore "let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire" (Heb. 12:26-29, NIV).

3. Remember that your Christ is greater than your crisis. You may feel completely overwhelmed. Right now you may identify with this lament that perfectly describes life's tsunamis: "The seas have lifted up, O Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves" (Ps. 93:3). 

No matter how massive the waves may be, let your heart cling to the next verse. It's the master key to surviving life's tsunamis: "The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, than the mighty waves of the sea" (Ps. 93:4, NKJV).

Christ is still in control. His single command of "Peace, be still!" will calm the most violent storms of your life. So live in His peace. Jesus said: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you. ... Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled. ... Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" (Ps. 46:1-2, 10).

About the author: David Shibley is the founder and president of Global Advance (, an international training ministry that equips tens of thousands of church and business leaders every year in many of the world's neediest areas. David has ministered throughout America and in more than 50 other nations. He is the author of numerous articles and author or co-author of more than 20 books, including Living as if Heaven Matters (Charisma House).

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