They are glad because [the storms] are quiet; So He guides them to their desired haven. PSALM 107:30
God’s purposes in the storms you encounter are always to guide you to a haven. Think about it: we don’t just go out on the sea to sit there; we go for a purpose. If a storm interrupts that purpose, God will direct you through it, or He may change the purpose of your trip altogether. I have learned this about storms: the place you thought you wanted to go heading into the storm is not always the place you think you want to go coming out of the storm. Sometimes storms can change your mind about things you thought you wanted. The secret to experiencing these changes is starting the journey with a receptive heart. If you head into a storm saying, “Thy will be done,” then your will and God’s will become one. - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening
Every day now since this blog began, God has kept His promise to bring things for me to say, if I would keep my eyes on Him and write as He dictates. It's been amazing.
Not too unlike Dr. Jeremiah in what he wrote in today's devotional, I went out to sea with one idea of how it would be and God had other ideas.
My life since at least 2013 has been one unexpected storm after another. The end of 2012 things were looking good. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever consider what 2013 would do to me. Nor every year after that. 2013 in front of my eyes all that I had helped build in my job was decimated by extremely rough and destructive management. If that wasn't bad enough that management caused me to have a nervous breakdown. I had to leave the only job that I had known since 2000. The next 5+ years saw the waves of that sea take me from job to job. Learning different things, different ideas along the way. Then the entirely unexpected happened. I was coming back to where I had been for 13 years. But even that has been an unexpected set of challenges and circumstances.
Jesus in all of this has always been with me in my boat. Just as He was with the Disciples. There were times when it was me panicking and Him asleep on the boat, other times He was holding me because of rough waters.
I look back on things that we have made it through in my life, at least the things that I can remember, I am in awe of what Jesus has taken me through.
I am not by any stretch of the imagination living entirely as I ought to be in God intends for me to live. I falter and fall to temptation. I sin. It hasn't been nor should it be any utopia in this life after I came to Christ. Jesus saves, and tells you upfront that it's going to be rough waters ahead. He could have just as easily gotten into the boat with His Disciples, commanded peaceful waters and a speedy trip. But they would have learned nothing.
It's obvious throughout the centuries that we aren't learned people from either the spoken word or by the example of written word. We can see, can read, yet inevitably we still end up in the storms of life.
I was thinking of the rare few who died under the leadership of Joshua when he lead the people of Israel into battle. These would enter Sheole also known in the Bible as Abraham's bosom. They would talk of the great wonders and deliverance by the Lord. Those across that vast chasm in torment in Hell would hear of how God kept His promises. All those whom the Lord said would never see the promised land heard of how it could have been for them had they believed.
You and I are in the here and now. We will see, we will face peaceful times and we will see storms. How we react has everything to do with what our relationship with Jesus is like. His will is to make us more like Him after we come to Christ. It is not, nor will it ever be, for us to live like we want after coming to Christ. To be more like Christ means facing storms. It means the world hating us because it first hated Him. It means our priorities changing. It means tossing whatever is important to us overboard to survive the journey on the sea. It means letting go of all but Jesus. It means being still while He holds onto you.
Storms are inevitable.
Trials and tribulations, temptation is inevitable. We either face it in faith or in fear. The truth is that in Christ we are promised never to face it alone.
If you don't have Jesus, then, my Friend, you are certainly facing it alone. You have no faith to cling to. You have hands that are not strong enough to hold onto your boat. You are on your own, living a deceived life thinking that you're going to make it. But there's a significant problem to that thinking. Your boat, as well as mine, must eventually pull into port. We must end that journey in the boat docks. The bow tied to that dock. To disembark we need proof we are legally allowed on shore. Without Christ you cannot enter into Heaven. You cannot disembark for entry into the peace and rest promised to those who believe.
In Christ or without Jesus you WILL face the storms of life. Don't let the storm lie to you about your need for Jesus.
I am one hundred percent truthful here when I say that I have beyond lost track of how many storms almost killed me. Of how many times I should have blinked and found myself in the presence of Jesus. The expected times and the unexpected times.
My Friends, you do not know the day nor the hour of your death. You are on borrowed time. The lies of the future deceive you into believing that you have all the time in the world. The lies of Satan telling you that everything is ok. The lies saying you don't need a Savior. God grants you every breath you take. You will continue to receive every undeserved breath until you reach a point in your life of no return. When your stubborn heart will indeed refuse Jesus with no chance at you changing your mind. Then at any moment your number will be up and into Hell you will go. Only then will you finally believe, sadly too late, that all you were told while you lived was true.
Come to Christ today. Don't be in your boat alone. Let today be the day Salvation comes to you.
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