Someone once penned these words,
Out of the Darkness
Out of the dark forbidding soil
The pure white lilies grow.
Out of the black and murky clouds,
Descends the stainless snow.
Out of the crawling earth-bound worm
A butterfly is born.
Out of the somber shrouded night,
Behold! A golden morn!
Out of the pain and stress of life,
The peace of God pours down.
Out of the nails — the spear — the cross,
Redemption — and a crown!
The most important thing you need to know about the storm is that a storm will force you to walk your talk. Trials will put the strength of your faith to the test. How do you survive the storms? How do you rest on the strength of your faith in the midst of the storm? Let’s take a look at Psalm 107. David gives you three simple things you need to do when the storms of life are raging. First of all.
- Cry out to God.
In this Psalm David describes merchants experiencing the same kind of storm at sea that the disciples experienced. He says…
“…in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits’ end.” Psalm 107: 26-27
Have you ever been there at your wits’ end? The storm is so overwhelmingly destructive that you have run out of ideas? Maybe you’re there right now. Maybe you’ve done everything that you know to do and your marriage is still crumbling. Maybe you’ve done everything that you know to do and your children continue to struggle. You have been to every specialist, tried all kinds of treatments, and your health is deteriorating. After exhausting all your business knowledge, attending all kinds of seminars, borrowed against your home mortgage, you’ve done everything humanly possible yet your business is still failing.
If you are at your wits end in the midst of the storm, you have two options available. You can give up. You can throw in the belief towel and decide that Christianity doesn’t work. When my life is falling apart this God seems to be asleep on a pillow. Let’s just forget the whole thing. That’s one option. To be honest I don’t think that is your best option.
The alternative is to do what the disciples did in Mark 4. They seek out Jesus and wake him up, crying, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” Mark 4:38
Not the most articulate “prayer” in scripture, but it was effective. In the midst of your storm, you should follow that example: Cry out to God, and keep crying out to him until the storm has passed. Listen to what David wrote, (v. 28-29) Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.
When I hear people say, “I tried that. It didn’t work. I cried out to God for help, and nothing happened.” My question is always, “How long? How long did you cry out? For an hour? For a day? For a week?” God has His own pace, sometimes it takes longer. You need to pray as long as it takes to get an answer.
The results may not always be what we think we want, but we can be sure that the results will always work out for our good.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love God, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
In the midst of the storm, cry out to God, and keep crying out to him for as long as you have breath. He will hear you and he will bring you out of your distress.
- Let God Guide You.
There is an amazing principle in the Christian life that I have seen many people forget. The principle is this: If you ask for God’s guidance, he will give it to you.
When we seek God’s guidance, He guides us. When we seek His direction, He directs. When we place our future in God’s hands, He takes care of our future. Listen to what David wrote,
(v. 30) They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.
To their desired Haven. There’s a place where you want to be in your life, a place of peace, a place of security, a place of hope, and comfort, and rest. A place of joy, and love, and fulfillment. He can get you there, but you have to let him guide you. My problem has always been I don’t like that path God wants to take me on. I like shortcuts. However, the path that God leads me on has necessary potholes, trials, and lessons I need for the future leg of this journey. I just need to trust God to guide the way.
- Remember to Remember God’s Faithfulness.
I began this post series by saying that I have known some people over the years who stopped walking with the Lord. Some of these are people in ministry, people who had experienced his work in their lives. And yet, for whatever reason, they chose to forget about God’s past faithfulness in their lives. When the storms of life came, they didn’t remember God’s provision in the past, they didn’t see any hope in the future, so they gave up in the present.
Here’s my challenge to you. When you’re going through the storm, make an effort to remember all that God has done for you in the past.
David wrote Psalm 77 while he was going through a time of trial. Listen to his words…
Has his [God’s] unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion? Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Psalm 77:8-12
David says, “When I’m going through a time of trial, I will remember all that God has done in the past, and it will help me get through this.” He says something similar in Psalm 107: 31,
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.
David is saying, “Once you get through the storm, talk about it. Sing songs of thanksgiving to God, tell everyone you know about good God has been to you.”
God will get you through this storm like he has gotten you and so many others through the previous storms of life. When it happens, make sure that you remember to remember to thank him for his faithfulness.
The first post in this short series: