Monday, September 18, 2017

Stormy Forecast

Lately storms have been a hot topic.  Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have left destruction, devastation and death in their wake.  Storms shake us up in many ways.  They bring changes to the atmosphere, the environment, our plans, and many times they change our lives forever.  They bring out the best and worst in people.  We have seen evidence of the best where people are helping in any way they can, from donating food, to taking vacation time to physically go and help clean up the devastation, to taking their boats so they can help rescue flood victims.  Sadly, the worst is also made evident with people looting businesses and taking advantage of victims in any way they can.  God never wastes a minute of our lives.  Everything serves a purpose and believe it or not, storms teach us many things. 
Storms teach us we are not in control of life.
The experiences of recent days of devastating storms which have cost lives and destroyed the homes and property of thousands causes us to reflect on how we respond to such disastrous events.  Questions flood our minds…
  • Why did this happen?
  • What could they have done?
  • And the big ones…Where was God?  Why did He allow this?
Storms reveal the soundness of our life theories and the depth of our personal theology.
In the aftermath of the storm, we search for answers.  The most common approach is laid out in the questions above, such as why did this even happen, but we need to instead ask:
  • What can I learn from this?
  • What is God teaching me?
  • How can I help others through my experience?
Storms of life reveal things about us:
  • The nature of our faith
  • The strength of our commitment
  • The level of our spiritual maturity
  • The limits of our trust
  • The courage of our spirit
Storms Serve to Turn Us to Jesus
When the storm comes in our lives, the Savior is looking for us to look to him.  We can be so caught up in everything else in life that God is moved into the edges of our existence. It doesn’t happen quickly. But gradually the joy of knowing and serving him evaporates from our lives.  Then the sudden storm hits. Before the storm, we had forgotten what God looks like and now, in the storm, we turn to see him again.
Storms Force Us to Choose; Fear or Faith
Fear can replace faith if we are not careful, and sometimes it does for a while until we see that fear will not get us through the storm.  Only faith will sustain us above the waves.  God’s plan and purpose for our lives are not subject to accidents, circumstances, illnesses, and evil. God works through these to bring about his will.  We have to choose to believe in the assurance that He is in control when the storm rages as well as when it does not. 
Scripture to Claim:
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah 43:1–3

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