Still I Rise

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

The trials and adversities of life are never pleasant, but it is in them that we learn the secrets of dependence, of grace, of hope and of God’s presence. None of us wishes for trials or adversity, but it is through them that God refines the metal of our lives and mould us into His image. Just as metal is placed in a furnace and heated to a hot state so the dross can be removed, God allows us to enter the furnace of affliction so that He might refine and purify our lives.

God promised to be with us and take care of us; but God did not promise to keep trouble from coming our way. He did not promise to insulate the people of old from encountering life’s storms. This is the case in our lives, God’s presence doesn’t mean those who are bent on doing us harm won’t try. I will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5

He may not immediately still the storm in your life, but if He doesn’t it’s because He still has some lessons to teach you about hanging on through the stormy seas. “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge..” (Psalm 18:2-6)

Those who are determined to destroy our peace, to kill our joy, to walk all over us will continue to try. But we have the assurance from God to be with us and never leave us. Whatever we encounter, we will not face the challenge all by ourselves. God is present. God is watching.

If we stay close to God, develop our relationship with God, we have shelter in the time of storm, we have a solid rock in a weary land, a refuge, a covering, a hiding place in God. To get to us, the enemy will then have to go through God. “For they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles” Isaiah 40:31

God promises to be with us, protects us, tears down strongholds, break shackles that enslave us. God’s promise of protection keeps us from being consumed by the situations or circumstances in our lives.

The same GOD who parted the sea before the Israelites… the same GOD who kept the three Hebrew boys in the fire furnace…the same GOD who protected Daniel in the lion’s den…the same GOD who freed Paul and Silas from the jail… The same God who woke us up this morning in our right minds with a good portion of health; that same God promises to be with us always.  There is nothing too hard for God. There is no secret to what God can do. Do not live fearful. God promises to be with us and protect us. Jeremiah 32:17 “Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! There is nothing too difficult or too wonderful for You.

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