Scripture Reference: Mark 4:35-41
Sometimes before you can put one problem to rest, you find yourself assaulted by another. I can tell you from my own experience that the problems of life can sometimes come upon us and before we can get one thing straightened out, we are bombarded with another. And no one can better testify to that fact than Job. Job as you may recall faced a series of problems that came one behind another.
Job was a great man of faith. He had not just gone through all the right motions. He had the right heart to go with his actions. He had been so faithful that he had been the subject of a conversation in heaven.
“Have you considered my servant Job?” God asked Satan. “There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” (Job 1:8)
But after the storm battered Job long enough, he had some serious questions about God. The combination of pain, of heartache and of unending agony shattered his impression of the God he had always known. The logic was impossible to miss, no matter how long Job tried to keep a good impression of his God. If God was in control of everything, why had God allowed such suffering? So often we can relate to Job’s concerns. If God noticed the faithfulness of one of his humans, why would God reward that faithfulness with such pain?
Make no mistake about it. Pain is an incredibly powerful tool of teaching. Great change has taken place when people connect with pain, even when the pain is in the life of someone else.
Like Job many of us have gone through and are going through a series of painful experiences. There are times when life feels like being on a tiny, dilapidated boat in a big ocean in the midst of a giant storm. This feeling can be terrifying, as if impending doom surrounds us.
But we are reminded in Isaiah 43:2, When thou passest through the water, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
Many persons are in a storm right now and it is not a storm that has been around just a little while, but you have been in that storm for a long time. And you hoped so much that it would soon pass over. But here it is still raging. In some of our lives rather than the storm getting better, in spite of all of our prayers, in spite of all that we have done, that storm is still raging and getting worse.
The storms of life are many and varied. Storms can affect our health, one bad report from the doctor can cause our life to end up in a storm. Sometimes they are named Ivan, Andrew, Gilbert or Matthew. Other times they come clothed in the loss of job, financial crisis or family problems. Storms can get into your homes and cause turbulence for you and your family.
In John 16:33, Jesus promises, “In this world you will have trouble.” He doesn’t say we might have trouble or that the possibility exists. Instead, He assures us that life will bring trouble. Thankfully, He doesn’t stop here. He continues, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
Sometimes the storms in our lives appear without warning. Jesus was in the boat with his disciples sleeping when ‘without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat’ (Matthew 8:24).
Presumably the disciples were used to storms on the Sea of Galilee; it was renowned for sudden flash storms, stirring the water into huge waves. However, this storm must have been a particularly serious one because his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish!’ Matthew 8:.25.
Sometimes it appears that Jesus is ‘sleeping’ and does not appear to be doing anything about our problems. Thankfully, like the disciples we can all cry out to him. Peace may not always come as it did that day, the storm may not be replaced by perfect calm. Instead the peace the Spirit brings is there pulling us THROUGH.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. Psalms 91:15
My brothers and sisters, in spite of the shaking, in spite of the thunder and the lightening; in spite of the waves, that seemingly will destroy the ship, hold on in the storm. Psalm 30:5 says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but JOY comes in the morning.
I can tell you this, many times you see me smiling but you don’t know what I am going through. You hear me telling people to hang in there but they don’t know what I am going through. You don’t know the hardships I may be going through; but God allows me to encourage others in spite of it; he allows me to pray for others in spite of it and He keeps me going in spite of.
The word of God declares in Ps 119:92 that “If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.”
Knowing that Heavenly Father is always there for me is one of the things that gets me up and willing to face another day. Whether it be a small thing or a big thing , I know that my Father is watching over me. When the tempests are raging in my life, when I don’t know who to trust or where to go for help, I know that He won’t abandon me. Bad things may happen, and dark times may come, but my Father loves me and cares about me.
In the storms, it is the word of God that gives us peace, hope, and assurance and that is why we need to trust the word of God. In the midst of the storms David says, ‘My shield is God Most High…I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High’ (Psalm 7:10, 17).
It is important to realize that we won’t be where we started when the storm ends. Just as the ark carried Noah to a new location to start again, we will be different and changed. Hopefully, we will feel that olive branch of peace in our own hands as we trust the One who works all things for our good. But certainly, if we keep looking up, we’ll notice our rainbow.
Our God is the God who parted the Red Sea, stilled the sun, raised people from the dead, healed the sick and control nature. This God is on our side! He is the captain in the storm; He has not stopped driving and is fully in control. The storm you are in is an opportunity to display the faith you say you have. Jesus is with you in the middle of the deepest storm.
No one enjoys suffering. But in the hands of almighty God, trials become tools. He uses hardship to shape believers into the people He intends them to be. Jesus allowed the disciples to experience the fear and anxiety of being in a boat on a raging sea. He permitted them to suffer because He had something far more important to teach them. He wanted the disciples to recognize their own helplessness, His sufficiency and their dependence on Him.
Are you facing a storm today? Are you being pounded by life’s rough waters? Are you facing some of the darkest days of your life right now. Let me remind you that our God is ever with you. For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee! Hebrews 13:5. Let me remind you that even in the darkest hours of life God is still God and He is still in control of your life. Even the darkest hours of life cannot hide you from the face of God. He is there even when you cannot see Him.
Regardless of what you are facing in life, remember that Jesus is greater than that storm you may be facing. If you will be patient and wait for Him, He will show up right on time. You will see that the storm was used by the Lord to make Himself clear to you. The very thing you fear will be the vehicle He uses to show up in your life. God can use the difficult days to teach us more about Himself and to help us grow in the Lord. He will use the storms to make you more like Him. As we look to the future, I urge you to stay in the boat through the roughest storms. For God is truly with us in the midst of the wind and waves.
(If this devotion was helpful to you please consider leaving your feedback in the comments section at the bottom. It would be a great encouragement to me personally)