Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Perfect Storm


We all need an encouraging word as storms come our way.  Let's get this out of the way first, it does no good to point fingers at who's fault life's storms are. It's just a fact of life that our days are full of "stormy days".  And pointing the finger of blame doesn't really help us at all, it just shames us into not talking about them.

We just need a big 'ole heap of courage and bravery every day because it seems the Christian life is full of storms of all kinds.  These days of faith are full of them, all sizes, shapes, colors, at any time and with much intensity.

I haven't always said this about those stormy days but God has personally taught me His faithfulness in many family storms.  And it's on the other side of those past life storms, I am comforted for the next one around the bend.  I am thankful God has such a personal way that He draws us unto Himself through the lessons of perseverance that He teaches in each squall.  If it weren't for them, I believe I wouldn't know God like I do today. 

Each passing storm gives me an opportunity to trust God in new and deeper ways.  

About 17 years ago, cancer was a daily part of our lives.  Those days were some of worst days of our lives.  But there was a purpose in the cancer, surgery, financial crisis, and the now pain filled days.  Our family has seen many dark and dim-lit days in the physical realm. 

When my husband was facing cancer, God comforted us with Proverbs 3:5-6 when it felt like we were on a bobsled to the unknown.  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."  I used to question God in the whys of reality until the one day He spoke directly to me saying..."Yours is not to question but to know that I will get you through this, you are not alone."

I go back to that comfort verse many days.  It reassures me that God knows what He is doing and is always trustworthy.  These life verses are my anchor in any stormy day.  As God teaches us in our storms, His Presence is known and His purpose is revealed. 

I don't know what kind of storm you are weathering right now, but know that God's truth remains something to cling to in both our calm and chaotic days.  God doesn't leave us in the middle of this life alone.  The storms we face are another opportunity to experience God's Presence in our daily lives.  A promotion of faith that we wouldn't be able to experience had it not been for those storms.

It's always amazing to me that God doesn't fail in sending or revealing His anchors of hope to get us through.  He is always ready to help in our rescue even when we want to give up ourselves.  He is always ready....to help us to mature us and promote us in our deeper faith journey.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." 
James 1:2-4

He freely sends hope as our lifeline in the midst of our stormy life to rescue us and draw us near to teach us about His character.  I am grateful for His hope that continues to be my anchor, because it is the only thing I can cling to in these days of faith.

Stormy or not.  Through the good days and not so good days, God is faithful and is my hope.  

No matter what storm you are going through, God is with you. He IS our Emmanuel.
No matter what you lack, God knows your needs. He IS our Shepherd.
No matter what you feel in your faith, you have not been forgotten about, overlooked, or put to the side. God is the great I AM.

No matter what storm comes knocking on your life's door, remember God is with us always and we are never alone. His will for our lives is for His kingdom to prevail. He goes before us and never leaves us, we can rest in the peace knowing that no matter what life brews as the current or next storm, that nothing can separate us from His mighty and endless Love.

If you’re in the midst of a trial, be encouraged, sweet friend.  God promises to mature and complete you through it. He also promises that you will be more than a conqueror through Christ who loves you. Pay attention to those words. Not a mere conqueror…but more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37).

I'm letting God’s promises seep deep into my heart. Our trials have a purpose. It forces dependence on God. It tests us. It molds us, eventually creating us into overcomers, and God is working our trial or storm for good, for His purpose and for our perfection of faith.

I call that a Perfect storm.   

Share about a storm you've endured. How did you see Jesus’ presence and purpose in midst of this storm?

What steps do you need to take to fully anchor your soul in the Lord and not in fear?
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