There is a storm blowing in right now as I am writing this. The clouds have gone all dark and gray and there’s a quietness in the air. Y'all here is a random fact about me. I love storms. Thunderstorms just quiet my soul and remind me of the power that our God possess. Scripture tells us there this crazy lightning & thunderstorm display happening around His thrown. I love that. Storms make me think of Heaven.
Now I know storms can quickly become scary. They can go from your average thunderstorm to something very destructive very quickly. These types of storms remind me of life. Life is full of ups and downs. There are moments where being joyful is so effortless it just pours from us. Then there are times where we find ourselves in a stormy season.
Jesus warned us in John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (ESV) Tribulation is defined as a pressing, anguish, distress, or trouble. Trouble is coming. As long as we walk this earth, we will have moments of pressing.
But don’t miss out on what the warning is sandwiched between!! Jesus wants us to have peace regardless of what's happening around us. He's given us peace. Peace is available. & He tells us how we get that peace. It’s in Him. He warns us trouble is coming but then He says, “Take heart! I have overcome the world!”
Jesus has overcome the world. He has defeated our enemy. I have been obsessed with Colossians lately specifically Colossians 2:9-15 which says,
“For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”
He has defeated death and the grave. He defeated them and then He put them to open shame. He won and because He won we are also victorious in Him. Life isn’t scary anymore. Difficult and tragic things may happen but we always know to whom we belong and so we always have hope.
In John 16:33 Jesus says “take heart.” That is a command. It means “be of good courage.” My husband was telling me this morning that everyone has the same number of muscles. That may seem crazy to you. By the looks of some people, they seem a little more “blessed”…or medicated in the muscle department. The truth is though that we all have the same number of muscles but some people just spend more time exercising and strengthening theirs. Here’s another fact for you: we all have the same amount of faith.
Faith is listed in Galatians an element of the fruit of the Spirit. You either have it or you don’t. If you are a born again child of God you have it. It may not be as big and impressive as some other peoples but that is because they exercise theirs more than you or they've been at it longer than you.
When storms come it’s time to start exercising that faith. When life starts pressing us from every side we have got to remember to look up. We have faith. We need to believe that and use it to look to Him. The author and finisher of our faith! We have to remember who He is and what He’s done and we have to cling to the truth.
Think of scripture as that door that Rose was clinging to in the Titanic! You have to hold on! Never let go! That's your lifeline! Life gets crazy, our ship starts to sink and so we throw our Bibles overboard to lighten the boat thinking that will somehow save us all the while we’re holding on to our fear, shame & pride. Pride will bring you down. Do you want to lighten your ship? Try throwing that heavy crap over. You hold on to scripture.
Think of prayer and meditation on scripture as your life vest or that floating life savor thing that lifeguards have! He won’t let you sink if you keep your eyes on Him.
One more random story. I do not like water. I am not a very good swimmer and I am a bit of a control freak so large bodies of water and I just don’t jive. I just panic and sink. That leads me to believe that drowning people are probably hard to save. At least ones like me. Imagine falling into crazy water and you can't swim so you’re just thrashing around wasting energy because you are understandably in total panic mode. Now imagine you're a great swimmer and you see this person. You swim over to help them but rather than accepting your help and chilling out they keep thrashing. You take an elbow to the face and some water in the windpipe.
What a mess. When life throws us challenges and crisis, we can’t panic and fall apart and start thrashing all over the place. God won’t let us be overtaken but that requires us to trust Him and let Him work. Don’t you want to be steady? Unshakeable? 1 Corinthians 15:58 says,
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
You can be. Stand firm! Remember who God is! Remember that clouds may make the sun hard to see but it is still shining. Remember that God is a safe place and that He invites us to come running to Him regardless of what is chasing us! I wrote a whole thing on that fact called How To Trust God More. Make sure to check that out!
This is not the post I sat down to write so I truly hope this helps someone. I know that just writing it has encouraged me. Crazy how that works. Make sure that you are a member of the Living For Love VIP Club to get more inspiration just like this straight to your inbox and to stay in the know with what’s happening around here.
If this helped you or encouraged you at all would you consider sharing it with your friends and followers? This is a message that needs to spread like wildfire through this suffering world.
Thank you guys for taking the time to read the things that the Lord gives me to share. I am thankful for each one of you!
See you soon!