“And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:37-41 ESV)
Have you ever been in a crisis situation and felt like God was finally going to add a loss to his flawless winning streak? Well today I would like to encourage you by letting you know that even when we go through storms God is still with us and if we will be willing to stand in faith we will ultimately see the victory in that situation. I know many people reading this may find themselves in such a place right now, but you should know that God’s faithfulness does not cease just because the severity of our situations increases without warning. Remember James’ encouragement to the believers within his fellowship, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4 ESV)." Always look at your trials as an opportunity to build your faith in God not an opportunity to experience defeat.
Storms aren’t desirable, but if you are prepared to go through them then you can minimize if not avoid the damage that often comes with them. Jesus taught us to prepare when he teaches, “Anyone who hears and obeys these teachings of mine is like a wise person who built a house on solid rock. Rain poured down, rivers flooded, and winds beat against that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on solid rock (Matthew 7:24-25 CEV)." On the contrary he tells us what happens to the one who doesn’t prepare, “Anyone who hears my teachings and doesn’t obey them is like a foolish person who built a house on sand. The rain poured down, the rivers flooded, and the winds blew and beat against that house. Finally, it fell with a crash (Matthew 7:26-27 CEV)." Jesus was a very practical teacher of the Word who wanted people to have the ability to still be left standing after their storms were over. Preparation is so easy, too. All we have to do is to apply what God say to our lives instead of disregarding it as just religious jargon with no practical benefit.
Prior to Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection he again states the importance of taking his teachings beyond just hearing, but to the next step of life application when he declares, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] (John 16:33 AMP)." Storms will come, but if you prepare through practical application of the Word of God to your life then you’re guaranteed to make it in life. The psalmist declares, “The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble. The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him (Psalm 37:39-40 ESV)." Let's look at Nahum, I know many don’t ever preach from Nahum let alone know where to find it in the bible, but he affirmed the psalmist’s declaration of faith when he says, “The LORD is good. He protects those who trust him in times of trouble (Nahum 1:7 CEV)." So today no matter what it is that you are facing right now or in the future you can be confident that you’ll make it through alright. God comforts us with the same words spoken to Jacob when he said, “Wherever you go, I will watch over you, then later I will bring you back to this land. I won’t leave you–I will do all I have promised (Genesis 28:15 CEV)."
Steve Tolbert is an emerging revivalist who is passionate about drawing people closer to God.