August 23, 2012 by Joseph Krohn
Every human being goes through dark clouded storms. In literal storms the lightening streaks through the sky and the thunder booms as the storm rages. In figurative storms it still feels like the lightening flashes and the thunder breaks the silence. Our storms may come in the forms of situations, circumstances, and physical problems that we face. Other storms come in the form of people- employers, acquaintances’, friends, and even family.
Whether the storm comes from a difficult situation or a difficult person there are unlimited resources that the Lord makes available to us when dealing with the trials of life. We just need to tap into those. Whether it is a literal raging storm or a quiet figurative storm as believers we know the one who sees the other side of the storm. Dorothy Patterson once wrote
- “In a sense, believers, can be happier, after their trials because the greatest joy is realized when you contrast that joy with great sorrow. No calm is greater that that which follows a storm. The sunshine that follows a dreary day is all the brighter. Even so, the peace that follows crisis and tragedy is sweet, deep, and wonderful beyond description.”
- “If you can sing in the dungeon of despair, as did the apostle Paul, can you imagine what melodious refrain you will waft in the heavenly portals? If you can praise the Lord in the midst of the fire, like the three Hebrew children, can you envision what glorious worship you will offer to Him when you reach the Heavenly throne?”
Accompanying your tears must be a determination to trust the Lord and believe that He is able to deliver you from any fiery furnace. Start tapping into God’s limitless resources for entering the storms of life and leaving them behind victoriously! The very first resource that we can dip into for an endless supply is the strength of our Heavenly Father.
- Let God be Your strength: Why try to carry the burden and sorrow of a storm alone when you can let God carry you and the situation in His strong arms? The presence of God will be your strength; His power will remind you of your insufficiency and His sufficiency. Jesus did not shut down His ministry when He went through personal attaches. He relied on the Father’s strength. Don’t waste your time and energy worrying about the things from the past that cannot be changed or dwell on the glories of the past instead keep your eyes focused on what the Lord has for you to do now. Yes, you can absolutely bare your soul before Him in prayer asking God why and what He will have you to learn form this storm. You cannot make a deadline on the timing of His answer or demand a certain answer. Remember His joy is an ever flowing stream and we must draw from its waters for our personal joy. Make sure you draw closer to God during the storms instead of drift away. Let God be your strength.
Psalm 46:1-5 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. 4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. 5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
- Never Doubt the Power of Prayer: We can discover that we can pour out our anger, our hurt, and frustration in His presence. He will listen and His presence can put everything into perspective. It is an absolute must when going through a storm and on every other day to kneel at the feet of Jesus in prayer. Pray for the needs of the situation. Pray for your needs and what God can teach you through this storm. If you are faced with a troublesome person pray for them in a redemptive way.
A genuine believer tries to reflect Christ in his behavior. To be converted is to be changed into the likeness of Jesus Christ. You cannot judge an individual’s heart; all you can do is inspect the fruit. If the fruit suggests an unbelieving heart, pray for their salvation.
If you can convinced this person is a believer, pray that he would be convicted to move to a mature faith and that he would turn and immerse himself in God’s word to enable the Holy spirit to guide him. God can speak to hearts when we cannot. Pray that God will speak to the individual in such a way that he cannot misunderstand and help him to find God’s purpose for him.
Determine to follow the Biblical mandate to love your enemies and pray for those who despitefully use you. Become proactive in expressing interest and concern for them and their family. Go out of your way to do special things for them. God can change the circumstances when we cannot. Never doubt the power of prayer.
James 5:16 16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
- Be Faithful to God’s Word: Daily immerse yourself in God’s word. Before a storm has ever hit you can have God’s promises hidden in your heart to help sustain you when the dark clouds are lingering above. When the storm hits immerse yourself even more in the Bible. God will speak to you through the verses of scripture that you read. He will comfort you, give you wisdom, and direction through His word. Don’t starve yourself from God’s word. Don’t miss out on the precious jewels of truth that God may wish to show you.
Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
- Praise God Anyway: Satan wants to steal your joy and your praise. One of the greatest ways to make it through a storm is to praise God anyways. Thank Him for how He has been faithful in the past and how He will be faithful right now and for His faithfulness in the future. You can start by defeating the enemy with your testimony. I learned that phrase from an elderly woman who led the Wed. night prayer meetings. She would ask for testimonies. Then she would ask if anyone needed to stand and defeat the enemy by declaring how good God is. Don’t let Satan take away your testimony.
Psalm 42:1-5 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
No matter what type of storm we may go through we don’t have to wait in anguish but in anticipation for what God will do. Stay on your knees in prayer and let the tears flow. Continue doing what you know pleases God.
A family was planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park. The excitement grew with the anticipation of the beautiful forest and luscious landscape that been viewed on previous trips. Their excitement was considerably damped upon arriving to the forest. Lightening had sparked forest fires and it had ravaged large sections of the beautiful forest. Once there had been lush vegetation, stately trees, and green mountain sides. Now this great park was marred with black earth, burned trees, and more devastation that the family could ever imagine. The famous wilderness lay in smoldering ruin.
However, God had not forsaken His vast creation. The ashes are nutrient rich and eventually provided the perfect fertilizer. It turned out that some of the burning and fire was necessary for continued growth and the health of the forest. Within a year, after the devastating fires, after the heavy winter snowfall, after a rain blessed spring, and after a generous outpouring of the creative handiwork of God the forest gave way to patches of green and wild flowers.
You will have sorrows, disappointments, and failures. They will appear as worthless ashes and refuse; but God will use the ashes as fertilizer for your spiritual growth. No tear or sorrow is ever wasted.
As you deal with the storms of life, remember that the Lord can indeed calm the storm. Sometimes He does just that. But as other times He lets the storm rage and simply calms you, His child. We can say with Nancy Davis, the missionary martyr:
“In the midst of the storm although battered and torn I can stand on the rock for I believe God.”
~Clarissa (Women’s Breakfast devotional)