Posted by: glorifyhim1 | September 10, 2017

When Storm Clouds Gather

When Storm Clouds Gather

 

Last week many of us sat glued to our television screens watching the unbelievable devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Initial estimates recorded that over 30,000 people had filled Houston shelters with innumerable others displaced or seeking refuge in other areas. We watched as countless people, people who had lost everything, were rescued from flood waters that continued to rise. There were so many stories, so many wearied souls, so many tears.

 

This week it is Hurricane Irma marching onto the scene leaving a path of destruction across the Caribbean, Cuba, and now Florida and the southeastern United States. On the heels of Harvey and touted as one of the initially strongest storms seen, it is probably just a matter of time until more stories of destruction and devastation begin to unfold.

 

As I watch and listen to news reports, I truly find it difficult to wrap my mind around such devastation and loss. How do you deal with it? How do you pick up the pieces and move forward?

 

At one time or another, we all face storms of some kind. It may not be a hurricane. It may be another natural disaster such as a tornado, a fire, or blistering heat and drought. Sometimes unexpected storms may come in the form of a serious illness, a debilitating accident, loss of a loved one, desertion, financial loss, or in some other way.

 

When storm clouds gather in your life, what can you do? Here are a few thoughts that have helped me during storm-ridden times. Maybe they can help you, too.

 

  1. Turn to God.

 

So many times we want to blame God for our difficulties. Yet how could the same God who sent His Son to die for us desire to hurt or destroy us? The Bible tells us that God created a good world (see Genesis 1). Yet, through deceit and disobedience sin entered and corrupted God’s perfect creation. Today, we shudder over the stories of hate, abuse, and evil that people commit toward one another. This is not the world that God created. This is the result of the choices we make to sin and do evil.

 

Likewise, the natural disasters we experience are the result of our fallen world. Romans 8:22 states: “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” Even our natural world is eagerly waiting to be delivered.

 

Storms that enter our lives, whether through human choices or natural disasters, are the result of our fallen world. Jesus Himself, told His disciples: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

 

  1. Trust God.

 

Major storms in our lives will inevitably cause us to ask: “Why?” “Why me, God?” Even when we realize that our problems are the result of living in a fallen world, we struggle with why an all-powerful, sovereign God would allow whatever storm we’re facing to come into our lives. Why does He choose to divinely intervene in one situation, but remain strangely silent in another one? The answer is always the same – we don’t know.

 

We cannot know the mind of God. Yet countless Scriptures affirm that our  God is a good God. David exclaimed: “The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works” (Psalm 145:9). The prophet Nahum declared: “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him” (Nahum 1:7). Even Jesus responded to the rich young ruler: “Why do you call me good? No one is good, but One, that is,  God.” (Mark 10:18). We can trust a good God who loves and cares for us.  

 

Even in the sufferings and trials a believer may endure, the Bible assures us of an important truth: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).  God is not blind-sided by the bad things that happen to us. Yet He can take all things, both the good and bad, and work them together for good. So the struggles and heartaches, yes, even the bad things we endure, are handled carefully by a loving God who works to redeem even those things for our good.

 

When we come to God, turn everything over to Him, all our hurt, questions, and sometimes even our anger, He hears us. The Psalms are filled with songs and prayers of people who discovered the peace, the joy, and the absolute wonder of a God who was always with them even during the hard times. They rejoiced in a God who was their shield (3:3), refuge (9:9), strength (18:1), support (18:18), shepherd (23:1), light and salvation (27:1),  helper (30:10), deliverer (40:17), guide (48:14), defense (58:9), shelter (61:3), among many, many other things. When we place our faith and trust in our Sovereign God, even in the midst of our questions and need, He meets us right where we are and blesses us with His Presence and gives us His peace.

 

  1. Claim Victory in Christ.

 

When we question the why behind storms we face, rarely will we receive an answer. I think that’s because God gave His ultimate answer when He sent Jesus to be our Savior. 1 John 4:9-10 tells us: “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” God did for us what we could never do for ourselves.

 

If God had not sent His Son, we would be dead in our trespasses and sins. However, Jesus paid the penalty for our sin when He died on the cross. Jesus, Himself, stated: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26). When we believe and accept what Christ has done for us, we become victors through Jesus Christ. Nothing on earth can separate us from the His love. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:35, 37).

 

No matter what storms we face or go through here on earth, we already have victory in Christ. And one day God will make all things right. Revelation 21:4 states: “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” We will be forever home with the One who loves us and made a way for us to be with Him forever.

 

Yes, we will have troubles in this world – and, yes, even more, as the day draws near for Christ to return. As the storm clouds gather and as evil triumphs, I find myself growing more and more homesick. This world is really not my home. I am yearning for my forever home when God makes all things new. Until then, I am reminded that Jesus told His disciples that in Him they would have peace, and to be of good cheer (see John 16:33). So, whatever comes, I pray I will turn to God, trust Him in all things, and cheerfully claim the victory that I have through Christ Jesus. I remember Peter’s reply when other disciples were turning away from Him. Jesus asked his disciples: “Do you also want to go away?” Peter replied: “Lord, to whom should we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6: 67-69). Amen and Amen.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: