Discovering Spiritual Truths & Celebrating God's Grace in the Every Day Happenings of Life.
Sometimes we may think that when we’re following Jesus, it will be smooth sailing. But many times it is just the opposite. Doors slam in our faces. Obstacles appear in our paths. Storms arise that threaten to drive us off course. This was just as true for Jesus’ initial disciples as it is for us. Do you remember the account of the disciples caught in the storm? Peter and his fellow seasoned fishermen would be accustomed to the rocking rhythm of a boat on rough waters. But this was no ordinary storm. This was bad. Really bad. So bad that the disciples were sacred, literally, to death. “Aren’t you concerned we will die? We’re going to drown!”
Jesus immediately rises and calms the storm. “Where is your faith?” he asks in the sudden silence. What about us? It is easy to have faith when all is well, but what about when the storms come? What about when we are embattled by the waves of turmoil, chaos, and discord? Despite the steady, record-setting rain that came down over the past 24 hours, I'm not talking about the aftermath of storm Ida—though that has left such fear and destruction in so many places down south. Now it has impacted our area with flooding and power outages. The world we live in regularly bares testimony to the brokenness of creation—wild fires, pandemic, hurricanes, flooding, terror and war. Still, I’m talking about things much closer to home, more personal. Often when a hard time hits, when a crisis hits, when a tragedy hits, we want out. When we encounter storms in life—like a serious diagnosis, the death of a friend, or the abandonment of a loved one—it can feel like we’re going to drown. The pain is threatening to take us under and we doubt we’ll survive that rip tide. We ask God for an airlift out of our problems. But perhaps there are lessons to be learned while in the midst of them. Romans 8:35–37 says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Notice the phrase, “in all these things.” It isn’t saying we won’t face some of these things. But it says that in them we are more than conquerors. God is with us. If you are seeking to obey the Lord, expect opposition. Expect obstacles. Expect difficulties. But also expect God to see you through. Just as Jesus proved He was in control of the wind and waves that night, He’s in control of your storm, too. The pain won’t last forever and the skies will clear again. God is holding onto you today.
This week's devotional was inspired by other online articles/devotions I have been able to read over the past several days, although I now cannot find them again to give proper reference to. My apologies.
Pastor Steve Vera