Wednesday, April 29, 2020
You are my refuge in the day of disaster. Jeremiah 17:17 ESV
The path of the Christian is not always bright with sunshine. We have our seasons of darkness and storm. True, it is written in God’s Word that “her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace” (Proverbs 3:17 ESV), and it is a great truth that religion is designed to give people happiness on earth as well as bliss above. But experience tells us that if the course of righteous people is “like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day” (Proverbs 4:18), sometimes that light is eclipsed. At certain times, clouds cover the believer’s sun—he or she walks in darkness and sees no light. There are many who have rejoiced in God’s presence for a while; they have basked in the sunshine in the early stages of their Christian lives; they have walked along the “green pastures” by the side of the “still waters” . . . but they suddenly find the glorious sky is clouded over. Instead of the prosperous land of Goshen they have to travel a sandy desert; in the place of sweet waters, they find troubled streams, bitter to the taste. They say, “Surely, if I were a child of God, this would not happen.” Oh, don’t say that, you who walk in the darkness. The best of God’s saints must drink the bitter water; the dearest of His children must bear the cross. No Christian has enjoyed perpetual prosperity; no believer can always keep his harp from the willows (see Psalm 137:1–2). Perhaps the Lord originally gave you a smooth, unclouded path because you were weak and fearful. He moderated the wind that blew on a newly-sheared lamb—but now that you are stronger in the spiritual life, you must enter the rougher experience of God’s full-grown children. We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten limbs of self-dependence and root us more firmly in Christ. The day of disaster reveals to us the value of our glorious hope. C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening
My friend, in all truth, we are not adequate to live this life, regardless of the time in history in which we live, apart from Christ.
The Disciples lived many years right along side of Jesus yet had to be repeatedly shown the same lessons. There was indeed a lot of groundwork to be laid before they had the Holy Spirit.
We really aren't much different. We had to live this life without Christ to learn we need Christ. We have to leave the shoreline of comfort to be in the boat. At risk from the weather of life that would reach our little part on the waters.
Our feeble oars we often try to put in the water to give ourselves direction often do not work.
To be lead by the Spirit often requires we keep them in the boat. Reminds me of fake accessories such as plastic shutters on my house. Look nice but don't do anything.
What direction was the boat going when we read of Jesus being asleep on it? Where were the Disciples and He going?
When the weather changed all that didn't matter. It must have been a good sized boat for Jesus to have a place to sleep.
Storms don't bother God. Storms obey God.
We are like the Disciples in our reaction to the crashing waves. The turmoil of the political landscape. The turmoil of a physical thing such as this virus. The boat of life we are in is being tossed around.
But we are in Christ, those who are saved that is, so why are we stressing and troubled? Isn't the God that is with us in the calmest times of our lives the same God in the midst of the storm?
Did somehow God change His character or His attitude towards us during the storm?
He promised never to leave us nor forsake us. Is His granting of a storm in our life evidence that we must stand up and fight to handle the storm or is it something else?
It's something else. That same God in the peaceful times is the same God in the storm. He says of Himself in the Scriptures that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Do you truly believe this?
Or are you becoming panicky because of what your eyes see but your soul does not? Don't trust your physical eyes in a storm. They can deceive you.
Scripture says that in everything give thanks.
Scripture says for us not to grumble.
Scripture says to put on the full armor of God.
Scripture tells us what to tell the storm.
That GOD is God of the storm.
A group called Casting Crowns has a song called "Praise You in the Storm". Listen to it.
The Apostles had far greater storms to deal with than we do in our lives. Chained to a wall feet off the ground stretched out on that wall. In a dungeon. The conditions there were not the 5 star hotels of today. Yet they broke out in song. Singing praises to God in that storm. What happened? God brought the jailer and his family into the Kingdom.
We do a tremendous disservice to our Creator when we allow our circumstances to overshadow what He is doing.
I am easily guilty of this. I see the situation and react in a physical way, not in the Spiritual way I ought.
Jesus tells storms what to do and where to go. They don't tell Him.
We who are in Christ have an obligation to live as the Bible says. In obedience, not obstructing, the work of Jesus in this world. Is our rights more important than leading someone to Christ? Those in the jail that day had given up all their rights in faith to find a family who needed Jesus.
What did Jesus say? There is no one who gives up or loses what they have in this world for the sake of the Kingdom that won't receive back much more in this life and the life to come in Heaven.
I have a quirky disposition concerning storms. Thunderstorms. I enjoy them.
My ideal thing would be a wide porch and a comfortable chair to sit in while it rages and I fall into a peaceful sleep. Watching the power of God in the moments that I am awake through them.
Take time today to be thankful for your storms. Yes, be thankful. Be grateful for the things you go through for God.
Set aside your personal take on things and remember that we are not to be grumblers.
Rejoice always in Christ. Praise Him in the storm.