IN THE STORM
In this life on earth we have not been promised as Christians to live without being in difficulties sometimes. That is like a film but not reality. Many times fruit can come out of difficulties.
When we are in difficulties we sometimes draw nearer to God and seek Him more then we would do otherwise. Sometimes in pain it forms us for a burden for things to do. Thoughts and visions, can also be born in pain. People who sing or write poems sometimes do so in the valley.
God also can use difficulties to form our character. We can learn things for help when we meet other people needing our counsel. If we have suffered in one way we can learn to see others who suffer in the same way and know how to meet them. In Isaiah 53:11 is written, "He shall see the labor of his soul and be satisfied.".
When Jesus suffered for us He saw fruit. When we have suffered we can see fruit that will be used in help for other people. Sometimes we can feel abandoned but we are not abandoned in difficulties. Our names are written in His hands and He is so close. God is a refuge and we are under His wings. When we feel alone we can seek the Lord more and learn to know Him more as our Friend. God can give back in relations about friendship.
We can read in Job that Job went through a test of his faith in the difficulties in Job 1. The devil wanted Job to leave God when he faced many trials but he refused. Job's wife wanted him to curse God in the difficulty. She said in Job 2:9 "Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!" But Job did not listen to her. In the end after the test he got back.
Joseph also suffered also very much. He was hated by his brothers, sold and in a prison, though innocent for years. But he never left God and God gave him back.
In Isaiah 61:7 we see, "Instead of your shame you will have double honor." We can get double back.
When we feel weak we can think about that God is our strength. In Ps 66: 10 is written about God testing us, "For you, O God have tested us, you have refined us as silver is refined" and in verse 12 "We went through fire and through water but You brought us out to rich fulfillment." God can bring us out of everything.
In Isaiah 43:2 we see "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. And through the rivers, they shall not owerflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned. Nor shall the flame scorch you." God protects you from getting drowned and burned in fire but also when you walk through difficulties. At times we can feel like a fire that we will go through, as did the Israelites also went through the sea and came to the other side. But God was with them and they survived.
We need to stand on God's promises in the Bible in different situations. It is written in Isaiah 54:10 "For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you. Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord who has mercy on you." It can feel like this for us in a difficulty, but then God is with us and His grace has not left us, but His covenant of peace shall not be moved, nor His mercy. He is with us and can help us.
David also went through different trials and not always an easy way. When he was with the sheep he could feel alone but he drew near to God and it was a strength to worship Him. He learned to take care of the sheep not just when it was easy but to protect them from animals who were dangerous. God prepared him for other things ahead of him and difficulties, too.
When we follow Christ we can meet persecution. In Luke is written "Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil for the Son of Man`s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets." We get a reward in heaven if we are persecuted for His name`s sake.
Rev. says "Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life." Paul went through many difficulties. He was beaten and stoned. He knew what it was to go through sufferings. We can also have spiritual attacks and pressure.
I think we are in a time where there can come more persecutions but also in a time when there will be more strong things from God. God as Person is most important and I think we will see more worship and more of His power. I think when we are in the storm we need to rejoice in the Lord. When it is tough we need to worship. Worship is a help when it is tough.
In Acts We can also see in the text that after this was an earthquake and the foundations of the prison were shaken. Spiritual things happen when we worship, when we lift up Jesus and He is in the center. we can read: "But at Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them." We understand that they were singing to Jesus when they were in prison. It was a strength.
I also have noticed that when you are in the storm that you feel better when you dance to Him. I love to dance to God and I think it is a help when it is tough. In Psalm 140:2 is written "Let Israel rejoice in their Maker. Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Let them praise His name with the dance." Here we can learn to rejoice in God. The text say that dance can be a way to praise God. It is worshiping God with the body.
When we are in storms in life it is important to read the Word, which is our daily Bread. We can stand on God's promises in His Word. His Word is steady, more than the mountains and strong like a fire. It is good to speak His Word loud in the "stormy weather." In the difficulties we need to take time with God. It is good to learn to know His voice and it needs time with Him. When we read the Word much and learn to know God more as a person that it is easier to hear His voice inside. God also speaks to us reading the Bible. There is also an audio Bible some listen to. We need the Word in difficulties.
There is also much comfort in the Bible and we need these words of comfort. In Ps 23:4 we read,
"Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me, Your rod and Your staff they comfort me." In 1 Cor:3 we also read that God is a God of comfort.
It is important to know that Jesus loves us so much in our different situations. His name means salvation. He can help us in difficulties. He who receives Jesus/Yeshua receives Him with a name who means salvation. It is salvation for eternity in His name. It means hope.
When we are in the valley it is good to read about Jesus' sufferings. It shows how much Jesus suffered for us because of His love. He also knows what it is to be badly treated. He was badly treated for us. He went through this suffering by free will for us. It is good when we suffer to know that Jesus was scourged for us because He loves us so much. He also was abandoned by people as we as human beings can experience. He suffered because of His love and felt the deepest pain of rejection at the cross for us. He loves us so much and this is important to know in the storm. He was crucified in deep pain because of His love to us.
He showed us how to show love for each other. John 15:12-13 "This is My commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this than to lay down one`s life for his friends." It is written in the Bible to carry each other's burdens. We need each other also in the stormy weather. Jesus is a Friend who is close in things. We read in Romans 8 that nothing can separate us from His love.
To believe in Jesus/Yeshua means hope in eternity for people. He is our hope.