In The Eye Of The Storm


storms

Psalm 91:2

I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” 

My family moved to Jacksonville, Florida a little over a year ago. When we made the decision to move I never considered that we would deal with hurricanes. For the second time in as many months, a huge storm drew near to us. Herminie came through Jacksonville as a tropical storm, but Matthew passed dangerously close to our coast line as a category 4 hurricane.  Schools and businesses closed in preparation for the storm. Meteorologists warned of the danger of the storm and explained it could reshape parts of our coastline. We stocked up on supplies and water and made provisions if we lost power. Millions of people living right on the coast were evacuated. As the hurricane drew near to us the wind and rain became frightening, and lasted for hours. I made several Facebook posts with storm updates and asking for prayers. I felt those prayers. Our Heavenly Father saw us through the storm. As I type this blog the storm has passed. We are waiting for morning to survey the damage.

We also face many metaphorical storms in life; job loss, illnesses, infertility, not getting that promotion, betrayal, and death to name a few. We try to control these storms, but we cannot. In some cases we just prolong the pain. The storms we experience leave different kinds of marks on our lives. Some of these storms will change us forever. But the one thing that will never change is God’s love for us. He will see us through these storms; He is faithful and in control. Psalm 33:4 tells us, “For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.”

I don’t know what storm you are facing, or the severity. All I can tell you is to put your faith in God, and let Him have control of the winds and rain. Something beautiful awaits you on the other side of the storm. I’ve always experienced an unexpected blessing when the storm passes.

The events of the past few days remind me of the song “In The Eye of the Storm” recently released by Ryan Stevenson. May it bring you peace.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?hsimp=yhs-att_001&hspart=att&p=youtube+eye+of+the+storm+ryan+stevenson#id=4&vid=047eeca0aa8530c95519b676266aa85b&action=click

Psalm 107:29  He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.

Image: Artist Unknown – found on Facebook 10/7/2016

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Facing A Storm


storm

Have you ever had a crisis of faith? Was there an occasion you found yourself immersed in despair, or felt totally defeated and there seemed to be no way out of your situation? Perhaps you cried out to God, but He seemed silent, just when you needed Him the most.

The Prophet Elijah faced such a situation. First Kings 19 tells us about Elijah’s crisis of faith. The great prophet found himself in the midst of a raging storm. How did he hear from God? Let’s pick up the story at verse 9, where the prophet was hiding in cave.

The Lord Appears to Elijah

And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus.

The first lesson is God comes to us in a gentle whisper. When we face difficult trials and the storm is raging, we must listen for the voice of God. Psalm 46:10 tells us to “Be still and know that I am God.” It may seem counterintuitive to get quiet when you feel you should act, but we all need God’s guidance before we can respond correctly to any situation.

We learn our second lesson in verse 16. God told Elijah to go back the way he came. In other words Elijah was to go back and face the trial. How many times are we tempted to run from a horrible situation? Maybe we want to quit the job, end a friendship or just take an easier path. Facing the situation God’s way will result in God resolving the issue; God is the only one qualified to do so. God is strong, and God is love. He will fight for you.

Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”

 When I recite this verse I picture the sweetest, purest voice singing for me. The thought calms me and reminds me whose fight it really is – God’s.

Our Heavenly Father will not abandon you in your time of need. We need to learn to stop fighting the battle alone. Quiet your spirit before the Lord, listen for His instruction, and let Him calm the storm.

Blessings on your day.

Scripture: www.biblegateway.com

Image: http://www.googleimages.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Storms


jupiter

On the planet Jupiter there is a storm that has been raging for more than a century. The Great Red Spot is the most conspicuous feature of the planet. It’s reddish in color and approximately 12,400 miles by 7,500 miles wide – it’s huge!  It has been continuously observed since 1878. (Source: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/243638/Great-Red-Spot). Will this storm never end?

I’ve been going through a raging storm in my life for quite a while. The details are not important. We all go through storms in life that, while in the storm, seem to never end.

There are several things I am learning about the storm I am in.

  1. God always provides.
  2. He will quiet my spirit when I turn to Him.
  3. The storm is an opportunity for me to grow my faith.

We are never alone during our storms. God is with us through every storm we encounter. The Apostle Paul faced many storms in life. Here is one:

Acts 27:18-25

18 “We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. 19 On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.

 22 “But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.”

The reason Paul was on this ship was he was being transferred to Rome to stand trial.   How could Paul have remained so calm and faithful during these storms? I think the reason is he cultivated his relationship with God so that his faith would not sway during these violent storms. In fact, his faith grew even deeper. (Consider the letters he penned from his prison cell.)

The storms do not revolve around us. We just happen to be in the midst of the storms. What is important is how we react to the storm we are facing. If we look for opportunities to serve God even during the storms of life, our relationship with God will grow richer and fuller, and our faith will grow. The result? The storm will be calmer, despite how it seems to rage on.

Psalm 107:29

He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. 

Blessings on your day.

Image: Google Images

Scripture: http://www.biblegateway.com