Posted by: dailywordofdestiny | May 14, 2014

SURVIVING YOUR STORM


Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught at the voice of the enemy, at the stares of the wicked; for they bring down suffering upon me and revile me in their anger. My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. I said, ‘Oh that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest—I would flee far away and stay in the desert; I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and the storm'” (Psalm 55: 1-8).

I read this Psalm and thought about various times throughout my lifetime that I have been in the psalmist’s place. My heart has been in anguish and I have felt the kind of fear that has left me almost breathless. I have wanted to run away, to find a hiding place that was far away from the assault of the storm. Many of my storms occurred during a time when I was rebellious and immature; at a time I wanted to be free from the rules of parents, free to live any way I pleased. I was not walking in obedience to the LORD; in fact, through many of the storms, I was not walking with Him at all.

Today I look into two passages of Scripture that deal with storms in peoples’ lives. The first one talks about people who may not know the Lord as Savior; or perhaps they used to have a relationship with Christ, but the world has drawn their hearts and lives away from Him. The second one speaks more to those who may “think” they are spiritually strong. In the coming days, each of us must be ABSOLUTELY certain in whom and in what we have placed our trust. All of us need to be “up close and personal” with Jesus Christ as our Lord in order that we will be able to STAND firm in our faith in the storms about to converge throughout all countries of the world.

Jesus tells us a story of a young man and the storm he faced because of his life choices; perhaps you will recognize him. “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all that he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and he hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him in the field to feed the pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything” (Luke 15: 11-16).

The storm for this young man is through the very fact that he had to work among pigs. To protect themselves from defilement, Jews would not even touch pigs. For a Jew to stoop to feeding them was indeed a great humiliation, and for this man to have to eat food that the pigs had touched was to be degraded beyond belief! He had truly “hit bottom.” Have you ever been in a place where you once had everything but threw it away on an delusion that there was “something more” out there for you? I see many young and old who are in “escape mode” today; trying to run from the reality of their present life that began in an impulsive and poor choice. Husbands (fathers), wives (mothers), drugs, sex, rock andn roll for that single moment of “pleasure” have culminated in the tempest that is now raging about them (addictions, single parent families, in jail/out of jail, no income, abortion, pornography, child slavery, abuse in the worst imaginable forms, depression, anxiety, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, FEAR of rejection, abandonment, of being all alone, guilt, anger, homosexuality, hopelessness, and helplessness, etc.). Many of them have “hit their rock bottom.”

Mark 4 tells us of a storm in the lives of some of Christ’s disciples. “That day when the evening came, He said to His disciples, ‘Let us go over to the other side.’ Leaving the crowd behind, they took Him along, just as He was, in the boat. A furious squall came up and the waves broke over the boat so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern sleeping on a cushion” (vs. 35- 38). The disciples with Jesus that day were seasoned fishermen; they had fished on the Sea of Galilee many times and were aware that there were frequent, violent, and unexpected storms. The disciples panicked in this one because the storm threatened to destroy them all and Jesus seemed to be indifferent; He was actually asleep!

Have you been in situations in which you perceive your life, or the life of a loved one is being threatened? Have you felt PANIC? What am I going to do, where am I going to get help, why is this happening, etc. Have you ever said, “Where are You, God? Why haven’t You heard my cries for help; haven’t You seen my tears, my grief, my frustration, my fear?” The disciples lived with Jesus, but they underestimated Him because they didn’t know enough about Him at the time this storm occurred. We, on the other hand, have God’s complete Word which means that today we really have no excuse for our ignorance in who He is or in His ability.

I now draw your attention to the rest of the story. In the young man’s life we read, “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. …The father said to his servants, ‘Quick, bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found’…” (Luke 15: 17-24).

It often takes great sorrow or tragedy (a storm) to cause people to look to the only One who can help them. Our heavenly Father watches and waits for each of us to recognize our NEED for Him. God’s love is constant, it never varies (James 1: 16-18), it is patient and welcoming. He will search for us and bring about opportunities that give us the chance to respond and return to Him, but He will not force us. He just waits patiently for us to come to our senses. Hallelujah!

We left the disciples frantically bailing water out of their boat as Jesus slept peacefully on a cushion. “The disciples woke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, don’t You care if we drown?’ He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to His disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith’ (Mark 4: 38-40)?”

Unfortunately, we, like the disciples, often underestimate God’s power to handle the crises in our lives. Although we may not consciously do it, we tend to think that God has lost control and we’re at the mercy of the winds of fate. In reality, God IS sovereign; He controls the history of the world as well as our personal destinies. Whatever difficulty (storm) you may be facing at this time or in the future, you have two options: (1) you can worry and assume Jesus no longer cares or, (2) you can RESIST FEAR and put your TRUST IN HIM to look after you and all that concerns you. For God says in His Word, “For I know the plans I have for you; plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and PRAY to Me, and I WILL LISTEN to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I WILL BE FOUND by you,” declares the LORD, “and I will bring you back from captivity. …” (Jeremiah 29: 11- 13).

But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies,
And from those who persecute me.
Make Your face shine upon Your servant;
Save me for Your mercies’ sake.
Do not let me be ashamed, O LORD, for I have called upon You…
Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You.
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!
You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence
From the plots of man;
You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion
From the strife of tongues.
(Psalm 34: 14-20)

The LORD would say unto you…
“Be careful to obey what I have told you and shown you. To know what is wrong, you must first know what is right according to My truth. You must learn to focus your eyes on My Son and His way of life for in so doing you will not be distracted by the cares of this world. I have never left you alone to struggle in the storms of life; for I have only called you to come alongside Me and to participate with Me in what I am doing. My power is released into all things I know need to be accomplished in these days. Submit to My control and let Me work through you by the power of My Spirit. REST in My presence and Trust in Me to get you to the place where you are to be in this season and for this time in history.”


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