WHEN LIFE'S STORMS COME
We can be certain that during our journey through life, dark clouds bringing life’s storms will gather and overtake us. It could be said that throughout all our life either a new storm is looming on the horizon about to come upon us, or we are in the midst of a storm, or a storm has just passed over us.
Life’s storms can be in the form of financial, health, family, employment, accident, injury, disaster or any number of other minor and major issues that will occur during our lives. Even the simple stresses of daily living might qualify as a storm for some people. Sometimes pride will enter into our life as a type of storm, often without us realizing it, and manifest itself in many ways. However, the real question that must be asked is: ‘How do we handle the storms of life that we know will come our way?’
On the surface, people seem to cope with these storms in various ways. Some will just try to get through them the best way they can with much stress and heartache as the result. Others have lives that are constantly in such a state of chaos and disruption that they might not even recognize them as storms that must be dealt with rationally. However, the Bible believing Christian’s faith and trust must be in the Lord allowing Him to guide them through the storms. By the way, don’t think that Christians won’t have storms in their lives just because they are trusting in the Lord. They will have troubles too, perhaps even more of them. The big difference though is that when the storms come, they know they can lean on the One who can cause the mountains to bow down and the seas to roar just at the sound of His name. He alone has the power to calm the angry and raging storms just through the power of His spoken Word.
The Apostles learned that great lesson of faith and trust as found in Matt. 8, Mark 4 and also Luke 8. Jesus had been teaching to the multitudes along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. When evening came, Jesus and His disciples entered into a boat to cross over to the other side. During their journey, a great windstorm came upon them with waves breaking over the boat threatening their lives. The disciples became very much afraid and awoke Jesus who had been sleeping in the boat. They said to Him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ He rose from His sleep and commanded to the wind by saying, ‘Peace, be still!’ as recorded in Mark 4:39 (KJV). Immediately, the wind ceased its raging and the sea became calm.
Jesus then said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Do you have no faith?’ The disciples after being rebuked were fearful and said to one another, ‘Who can this be, that even the wind and sea obey Him!’ Although they had seen Jesus perform other miracles, now they had just witnessed His awesome power over nature and suddenly realized He was even greater than they had thought.
Just as the disciples were taught a valuable lesson in faith and trust, we too must learn to lean on Him, not only during the storms in our life, but in all things. We must remember that God is in complete control of everything, even those storms that we must face in life. We need to seek the Lord in prayer and search His Word not only during the storms, but also every day even when things seem to be calm.
Many scriptures speak of His awesome power; His comfort, care and help toward us in our times of trouble; our dependence on Him; and our never ending need for strength, faith and trust in Him and His Word. Also, many Christian hymns and gospel songs use portions of those same scriptures in their lyrics as well. Some of those scriptures read as follows:
Josh. 1:5 ….I will be with you; I will never fail you or forsake you.
Psm. 18:2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psm. 34:4 I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.
Psm. 107:28,29 (v28) Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distresses. (v29) He caused the storm to be still, so that the waves of the sea were hushed.
Psm. 121:1-2, 8 (v1) I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From whence shall my help come? (v2) My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. (v8) The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.
Isa. 25:4 For You have been a defense for the helpless, a defense for the needy in distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; For the breath of the ruthless is like a rain storm against a wall.
Isa. 40:31 But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
Isa. 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Jere. 33:3 Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.
Sometimes God allows things to happen in our lives to get our attention. If we truly belong to Him, we know from Heb. 12:6 that, ‘For whom the Lord loves He disciplines’. All true believers need, and will receive, reminders from God that prompt us to strengthen our faith and trust in Him. Those reminders might also mean we have un-confessed sin in our life; or perhaps we need to spend more time in prayer and in His Word; or we just need to be more dependent and draw closer to Him. Many times the storms of our life are trials or stumbling blocks God places in our path to test our faith. They can cause us to grow spiritually and reinforce our foundation in the Lord. Jesus said in Luke 11:28 that blessed are those who hear and keep the Word of God. We must also remember that 1 Thes. 5:18,19 tells us to pray without ceasing and give thanks for all things in Jesus’ Name.
Speaking of storms, do you know for certain where you will spend eternity? Five million years from today we will all be somewhere. The question is where? It is certain we won’t just simply ‘cease to be’ in some non-existent ‘never-never’ land, because the Bible tells us the soul will never die. There are only two possible places where we will spend all of eternity.
If you don’t know Jesus, and if you’ve never trusted Him, and if you’ve never invited Him into your heart as your Lord and Savior, then you can expect a coming storm that defies all imagination. That storm is on the horizon for you if you have chosen to reject Jesus and His message of salvation during this life. This storm will never go away because it will continue on forever and ever, and it could begin for you tomorrow. It will be dark because Jesus who is the light of the world will not be there. You will not be able to call on God for help and comfort either. He will never hear you since you chose not to accept Him and follow Him while you had the chance in this life. Along with the never-ending torment, demons, unquenchable fire, darkness, screams of despair and indescribable evil, you just don’t want to be caught in that storm. But sadly, many will choose to go there because they did not choose Jesus. God does not send us there, because it’s clearly a choice we make of our own free will. Also, no one can ever be ‘good enough’ by the things they do, or by being the kind of person they are, or by living a good life, to avoid the horrors of Hell. Many good, loving, caring, upstanding, and yes, even church-going people who claim to be Christians will be there. Soccer moms will be there, dads who would live and die for their families will be there, caring grandparents will be there too – all because they didn’t really know Jesus.
How can we really and truly know Him? Just simply knowing about Him or just believing that He exists is not the answer. How do we avoid that horrible final storm? How can we know that we will spend all of eternity enjoying the splendors of Heaven on the Hills of Glory?
The Bible teaches that we are all born in sin. Also, it teaches that the wages of that sin is eternal separation from God. He hates sin and cannot look upon it. However, He loves us so much He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross in our place to carry the sin burden of the entire world on His shoulders. That also includes you and me. He only requires that we repent, confess our sins to Him and put our faith and trust in Him. That is the way we are ‘born again’. If anyone tries to tell you there are other ways to Heaven, don’t believe it because many will try to deceive you. Scripture is very clear about that.
We must be convicted of our hopeless condition and that we are worthy of death in His eyes. We need to sincerely humble ourselves before Him and cry out, ‘Oh God help me! I am a lost sinner! I am lost without you! I can’t go through these storms alone any longer! I need you in my life! Oh God help me now!’
Then, our sins must be confessed to God for Him to forgive them as He has promised to do. We need to repent or turn away from our old sinful life. He will help you do that if you just ask Him. As you talk with Him and pray, just imagine that He is sitting next to you holding your hand or that He has His strong arms around you. He is that close to you, just the two of you there wherever you are. It’s just awesome that we can be talking with the Creator of all that exists in this personal and emotional way. There are no ‘proper’ words to say, just say them from your heart and He will hear you. Don’t be afraid of tears because He will wipe them all away.
Tell Him you believe that Jesus came to die for you, to shed His blood for you and then, invite Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior. Just say, ‘I believe what you did for me and I invite you into my heart now, today. Forgive my sins and wash me whiter than snow’. Then just thank Him and praise Him for saving you in Jesus’ name.
If you just gave your heart to the Lord, your life will never be the same. You will have the comfort, strength and assurance that only He can provide. The storms of this life can be given to Him in prayer. He will truly be your friend as well as your provider and protector. You will learn to pray and find guidance and comfort through His written Word in your daily life. Just live for Him with all that is within you. The rewards are out of this world and for all eternity. As for that final storm we talked about earlier, well, now you will never experience that one. Instead you will spend all of eternity in a much better place that He is preparing for His own. Praise God!
The words of the songwriter say it all much better than I can possibly do it.
WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS
What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry; everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful; who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear.
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer,
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.
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