Storms are fierce or strong winds, usually accompanied by rain, snow or hail, and lightning and thunder.  They blow everything blow able on their way and they can be very destructive.  In the last few years we’ve had storms that brought massive destructions to cities and countries.  With the storms came the floods.  After each storm has subsided untold heartaches and destructions were left behind.  Those affected are left to count their losses and things are never the same.

The stormy weather is likened to the storms we experience in life (Luke 6:46 -49).  Whatever name we choose to call the storms of life – challenges, obstacles, problems, issues, trials, afflictions, etc. – no one is exempted.  We are surely living in turbulent times; storms are raging on all sides, leaving no one untouched – Christians as well as non-Christians; young and old alike.  Everyone of us will face the storms of life at one time or the other in our lives.  They may come as marital, financial or health problems, spiritual challenges, family issues, bereavement, loss of properties, accidents, bankruptcy, injustice etc. 

Being storm beaten means being damaged by the storm.  Although God’s Word tells us that we would face trials, temptations and difficulties in this life, God does not want us to remain in a particular problem perpetually or to be damaged by it.  God’s desire for us is to overcome every trial and come out triumphantly.

How do we survive the storms of life?

Our wholeness after the storm is paramount.  Without healing and wholeness we would just be existing and not truly living. God does not only desire that we just survive the storms of life, but also that we possess His peace even in the midst of the storm , remain and walk in it   peace, and then to come through victoriously.  God wants us healed, renewed, restored and made whole after the storm is over.

The devil’s desire is to rob us of our peace of mind; to cause our minds to be troubled, remain broken, and angry.  Jesus called him, the thief who comes only to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10); these are his ultimate purposes.  The mental state of someone who lacks peace of mind is that of inner torment.  If the devil can succeed in robbing us of our peace of mind (inner peace), we are already threading the path of defeat.  We can, however, make a change of direction. 

The peace of God is a gift from Him: “My peace I give unto you” (John 14:27).  Peace, as a gift can be stolen, lost, neglected, disallowed or allowed to function in our lives. To overcome the storms of life we must maintain the peace of God in our hearts.   Colossians 3:15 tells us that it’s our responsibility to allow God’s peace to rule in our hearts: ‘’let the peace of God rule in your heart.’’

God has given us the gift of His peace to be the umpire of our souls.  The devil robs us of our peace of mind through worry/anxiety, unbelief, fear , lack of trust in God.  These tools, used  by the enemy  cause us to take our eyes away from the Lord.  Instead of looking at Jesus and seeing how powerful, loving, and kind our heavenly Father is we focus our minds and energies upon our problems, causing us mental agitation and agony until the peace of God is silenced or stolen away by the adversary.

Isaiah 26:3 tells us, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You.” To maintain our peace, overcome worry/anxiety we must focus our eyes and mind on Jesus, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb.12:2).  We must do what 1 Peter 5:7, Psalm 55:22 says, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.’

To cast your care or burden or anxiety on the Lord means to hand over our problems or whatever may be bothering us to Him.  We do this by pouring our hearts out to    Him in prayer and asking Him to help us.  We should then thank and praise Him for taking over our problems and working on them. When we have done this – that is handed over our problems or burdens to him – we must leave them in His hands.  When we begin to worry again about them, or speak unbelief and doubt we are taking back the problems from His hands. We must trust Him with our burdens.  

Sometimes God solves our problems dramatically and instantly, sometimes He doesn’t.  That is why we need to add patience to our faith (2 Peter 1:5 -7); Waiting patiently and trustingly while He works them out in His own way and timing.

God commands us severally not to fear nor worry (Deut.31:8, Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 43:1, Matt.6:34). Philippians 4:6 encourages and tells us what to do when worried. “ Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6-7 NKJV). 

 Any time you are tempted to worry and afraid : 1. Seek the Lord in prayer.  Talk to God about your fears and worries, committing everything into His hands.  ” I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears (Psalms 34:4 NKJV).

Father, You said I should cast my burden upon You because You care for me. I have done that. It’s therefore no longer in my hands, but in Yours. I trust You Father. Thank You Lord, I know You are working on it. In Jesus name I pray.

 2.  Read and meditate on Scriptures that deals with fear.  Often times the Psalmist will speak to himself, reminding himself of God’s faithfulness, presence, love, protection, provisions.  You can resist or reject fear verbally like the Psalmist,

  “ The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalms 27:1 NKJV).

“ Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war should rise against me, In this I will be confident (Psalms 27:3NKJV).\

“ In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me? (Psalms 56:4NKJV).

“ For God has not given us (me) a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:7NKJV).

3. Don’t give yourself mental and emotional agony by trying to figure God or things out, rather, trust and lean on Him. He is faithful.   Rest in Him.

 Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.   (Psalms 56:4NKJV).

Fixing our minds on Jesus

For us to maintain the peace of God in our lives, our minds must be fixed upon Him trustingly.  “Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.” (Heb. 3:1).  For our minds to remain fixed on the Lord and for us to trust Him we must know Him.    If you don’t know Him you can’t trust Him and will therefore find it hard to keep your mind stayed on Him.  The Christian life is faith (trust) in God and His promises.  How can you trust someone you hardly know?   

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Wholehearted pursuit of God.

Spend time with God in prayer. Through prayer we invite God to intervene in our situations and lives, and receive abundant spiritual and physical blessings.  Prayer is communion with God.  It’s a heart to heart talk with your Heavenly Father, the One who loves you most in the whole wide world, who is never weary of you or your problems. He knows you by name and recognizes your voice whenever you call upon Him.  He is always ready to listen to you attentively.  Though there are different kinds of prayers, but most important to God is – the state/attitude of your mind and the motives of your heart when you pray.  The basic requirement is that you come before God in the name of Jesus, in sincerity of heart and reverential boldness and have an open hearted talk or conversation with your Heavenly Father.

 The Bible is God’s mind revealed to humanity.  In it His unchanging character and personality are revealed, and He communicates His heart to us.  The more you spend time studying, meditating on His word and in prayer the more you will come to know and understand His character and personality; and the more you will know Him by personal experience. 

Worshiping God with other believers as instructed in Hebrews 10:25 will also help you in knowing Him. God is the good shepherd and provider, the forgiving, compassionate, loving and caring Father, the all powerful, the Holy God, the jealous God and God of vengeance.  Make Him your Friend and Confidant. Make the time to seek and pursue Him whole heartedly.  Ask Him to reveal Himself to you; to show you His ways and teach you His paths (Psalm. 25:4).

If you have an intimate and personal walk  with  God  you  will  know Him more  and  be  able  to trust  and depend on Him at all times and in all situations; you will be able to fix your mind on Him and have and retain the gift of His peace even in the midst of the storm. 

 Fear is the opposite of faith.  Faith is easier when you know Him.  To overcome unbelief and walk in faith it is important that you know God. To really know God you must be willing to have an open hearted relationship with him – it’s a decision you must make. 

Until you are ready to have an honest relationship with Him, you are not yet ready to know Him and walk with Him.  Many are self deceived, but God cannot be deceived; He knows the heart of everyone.  Christianity is an intimate and personal relationship, a walk with the God and creator of the universe.

Knowing Him before the storm

Get to know God before the storm comes; it will help you to trust Him during the storm.  Many people start seeking God when the storms of life start raging but its far better to seek Him before the storms.  Someone said: The feet that know the way to God in the day time will find the way to Him even in the dark.

Why the storms?

 We live in a fallen world, ruled by God’s arch enemy – the devil (1John, John 10:10).  The devil does not only hate God, he also hates all human beings because they are created in God’s image.

God sometimes permits the storms even though He is not the originator and perpetrator of it (Job1:6-12). The storms of this life causes us to seek Him and to return to Him if we have forsaken him.

  He allows it to develop us, to make us learn to depend upon Him. Without trials we will remain self-confident, not needing God in our lives.  Trials make us to learn to depend upon Him.  It makes us see our insufficiency without God and therefore look up to Him instead of ourselves (2 Cor.1:8 -11; Luke 22:31 -32).

 We can also experience a storm as a result of our own disobedience, negligence and hardness of heart (Jonah).

  The poor and bad choices we make in life’s decisions can also bring a storm into our lives.

  Sometimes the carelessness, mistakes and evil intentions of others can also cause us pain.

   There are some things we may never learn in life except through painful trials.

Until you are ready to have an openhearted

and honest relationship with God,

you are not yet ready to know and walk with Him.

God alone has the perfect answers

When we are passing through the most trying times, it is human to seek answers to the questions passing through our minds. The answers that people may give us may not really satisfy our hearts or heal our broken hearts.  Our knowledge of spiritual things are limited.  Only God has perfect knowledge of all things (Job 37:16b; Deut. 29:29). 

Perhaps in the not too distant future, in this life, God will allow us to know the reason why He sometimes allows us to pass through some fiery fires and turbulent waters.  And maybe we will never know until we cross over to the other side of eternity. Many of the answers to our questions will only be answered in eternity.  Job could not understand and why he was going through all the attacks he experienced, it was hidden from him. Amidst Job’s complaints and guesses God asked him: “Who is this that darkens my counsel without knowledge?”(Job 38:1). 

If we have made God our refuge He will speak to us even from the midst of the storm, like He did to Job: “Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm.”(Job 39:1).  God will speak comfort to us; He will heal us; He will reveal His presence to us; strengthen us, bring us hope and restoration.  No storm lasts forever.  

If Christ is your anchor He will give you peace.  He alone can restore to you what the devil has stolen or the storms of life have battered – in the way only He can.  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble (Psalm 46:1).  God will send people to us in times of trouble to comfort, encourage, counsel, pray with us, give us needed help and stand by us (2 Cor.7:5 -7).  They are His messengers to us at those peculiar times.  We should recognize them and not push them away.  However, we must discern them from the miserable comforters, pretenders and mockers whom we should not confide in.

  Hold unto Him

Hold on to God.  Don’t let go of His hands.  Don’t pull your hands out of His hands.  Remain in Him, in His love. Trials should not take us away from God’s presence, tossing us to and fro, away from Him; rather they should drive us into His presence.

 Perhaps 10/15 years have gone by and you are still trusting God for children of your own or for a spouse or for a wayward child to return, perhaps its an health issue or a financial trial. Whatever the trial may be don’t give up on God.  Don’t push Him away or forsake Him.  Embrace Him and remain in Him.  Ask Him to pour His love afresh into your heart in this time of trial.  Don’t go and seek help from the kingdom of darkness, don’t acquire a strange fire (Isaiah 50:10-11).  Wait for God (Psalm 62:5-6). 

As children of God we must come to a place where in our lives we will say like the three Hebrew children “My God will deliver me, but if He chooses not to, I will yet serve Him.” And like Job:”I will wait till my change comes.” God is faithful; wait for Him.  Whenever you feel tired or weak and you think that you can no longer go on talk to Him, “Father I feel weak and tired, I feel like I can’t go on any longer.  Please help my weakness.  I need your comfort, your strength and help.” Acknowledging one’s weaknesses and helplessness to God is not lack of faith, rather it shows one’s dependence upon Him.  Faith is dependence on and trust in God.  Be honest and open hearted with Your Heavenly Father.

God knows you by name and

recognizes your voice

Whenever you call upon Him.

My prayer is that  when the storms of life come starring us in the face we will  not be destroyed or overcome  by them, but we will come out gloriously, triumphantly and even though we may have been hurt by it we would allow God to heal our wounds and bring restoration back into our lives.  And God can only heal and restore us when and if we allow Him – by accepting His Son, His love, His comfort and help.                  

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