I'm sure you'll agree that it is one hundred times easier to praise God and trust His ways when our lives are sunny and bright, when everything is going right in our eyes. But what about when the waves come crashing, lightening strikes, thunder roars and rain pours? How easy is it to say, "I trust you, God" then?
In my experience, it's not easy. When things haven't gone my way and have been more difficult than ever expected, it's been really hard to say, "I trust that God is in this". I know it to be true in my head, for I've been taught that since I was little and in Sunday School. But how true do I believe it in my heart?
Recent experiences have really taught me how to trust God is in the storm, and I'd like to share that with you today.
1. WORSHIP IS A WEAPON
I see worship as a very powerful weapon. I was taught about a year ago something that has changed the way I worship: the devil hasn't always been the devil - first he was an angel. What do angels do? They worship God and know the power of worship. Therefore, the devil knows exactly what worship does and the power it has. I find sung worship incredibly powerful, even if I don't believe the words I'm singing with my whole heart. It's difficult, and it's something that takes a lot in you to do, but there's something very powerful in singing, "You are my Rock in times of trouble" even if right now it doesn't feel that way. Use worship as your weapon.
Who knows what you are going through more than God? Who can change how you're feeling more than God? Who in the Bible was the one to calm the storm just by speaking to it?
I love the way the James 4:7 in the Message Version talks about surrendering to God,
"so let God work his will in you. Yell a loud 'no' to the devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet 'yes' to God and He'll be there in no time... get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get back on your feet"
I love the imagery in this verse; watching the Enemy run away with one word, and the image of God coming to your side "in no time" when you're down on your knees.
3. FOOT PRINTS IN THE SAND
When ever I consider, "is God really here?" I am always reminded of the Foot Print in the Sand poem, pictured below.
There is never a time in your life when God isn't there. If you don't see another set of footprints walking alongside you, perhaps it's because God is carrying you.
4. TURN TO SCRIPTURE
When you don't know whether God is in your storm, turn to the scripture for encouragement and truth. Has there ever been a person in the Bible that was led by God into a storm, and was left there? No.
As I was writing this blog post, I went online to Bible Gateway, and the verse of the day was Proverbs 29:25, which says,
"the fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe"
It's easy to read these verses and think, "easier said than done". It's true, it is so much easier to say, "I trust in the Lord, I am safe, I do not fear" than to actually trust in The Lord, feel safe and not fear. But, like with worship, I think there's something powerful in praying that and declaring that over yourself, and leaning on these verses for encouragement. Likewise with Deuteronomy 31:6, which says,
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, for the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you"
Again, easier said than done to be strong, courageous and fearless, and to trust that God will never leave you. However, if you do believe this truth, and you start living in this storm as if it is a truth, then just think how life changing that can be. Leaning on the Word and trusting that God will never leave you or forsake you, will perhaps be what gets you through the storm.
5. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH CHEERLEADERS
Paul was a great cheerleader. A lot of his letters are cheering people and churches on. He came alongside his friends like Timothy to encourage them and teach them.
Through a storm, cheerleaders like Paul are exactly what you need.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Paul encourages us to encourage others. He writes,
"therefore encourage one another and build each other up"
Surround yourself with people who will encourage you and build you up. Surround yourself with people who will challenge you, put things in perspective, offer solutions, and tell you that they believe in you and you will make it through. Sometimes just having a new and brighter perspective can make the storm feel less rocky, and certainly a lot less lonely!
I hope this blog post has been in some way encouraging!