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Archive for December, 2016

Calm the Storm

Hawaiian Sunrise

Hawaiian Sunrise

“Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the wind and the waves and it was completely calm” (Matthew 8:24-26 NIV).

His disciples stood amazed. First of all, I believe that they were amazed that He could sleep through all of the chaos around them. Then, at the very last moment, knowing they were going down, they awoke Him. Jesus rebuked the storm and immediately it became calm. The disciples’ attitudes turned from paralyzing fear to astonishment!

They moved from astonishment to wonder. “Who is this man?” They knew that Jesus was a great teacher and a wise man who spoke with authority. They were dumbfounded when his very words were obeyed by nature. They kept asking each other, “How did He do that?” Sadly, they weren’t aware that Jesus is God, and the God of the universe calmed the storm for them. Isn’t it interesting that they didn’t turn to Him until the very last minute? Just as they thought the boat was about to capsize, in desperation, they reached out to Him. As soon as He spoke to the winds, they became calm.

In our daily lives we struggle with storms. Many times we see them on the horizon. We may even feel the earth tremble beneath our feet as the storm approaches. We don’t have to wait until the storm is about to crash all around us. We can have the trusting attitude that He can handle the storm before it gets to us. In fact, when we bathe a stormy situation in prayer, God can say, “Peace, be still.” It is not only nature that must obey Him, but human nature as well. He can open hearts and minds. He can heal the broken hearted. Beyond that, he controls everything in the universe and there is no situation beyond Him.

He does not always calm every storm. Scott Krippayne explains this in his wonderful song, Sometimes He Calms the Storm:

Verse 1
All who sail the sea of faith
Find out before too long
How quickly blue skies can grow dark
And gentle winds grow strong.
Suddenly fear is like white water
Pounding on the soul
Still we sail on knowing
That our God is in control.

Chorus:
Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered peace be still
He can settle any sea
But it doesn’t mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child.

And so we can truly trust Jesus and count ourselves blessed when He chooses to hold us close and let the wind and waves go wild. There is no better place to be ― storm or no storm ― than in the loving arms of Jesus.

You may find yourself in a stormy situation right now. You may think it’s more than you can take. And if you think that you can’t take one more disappointment or one more betrayal, or one more piece of bad news, it is never too late to call on the Lord. He is waiting for you to call on Him to calm the storm. Ask now!

There is a peace greater than any storm when we have the attitude of trusting God. Nothing is impossible with God!

Father God, I now put all my concerns and fears at Your feet right now. I know You are my God and King and You have a plan to resolve every storm. I am thankful to be in the family of God forever. Amen.

This is an excerpt from the forty-day devotional, “Attitude Matters”. Click here to order.

Click here to check out my website!

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Wars and Refugees

sunrise11

“But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them; that those who love your name may rejoice in you” (Psalm 5:11 NIV).

Our world is filled with conflict. Every time I turn on the TV, I hear of ‘wars and rumors of wars.’ It’s no surprise to me, but it is unsettling. God knew that we would face the fear of war, no matter what age we live in. I’m comforted that He warned me ahead of time in His word. Matthew 24:6 reassures us with these words: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.” And yet ISIS alarms all of us.

The Lord often repeats information to be sure that we understand its importance. In this case He repeats it in Mark 13:7, almost word for word, “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.”

Our generation sees so much misery and carnage happening everywhere through the eyes of brave reporters throughout the world. I cringe as I watch homeless refugees fleeing their homes, leaving all of their belongings and some of their families. They walk with hundreds of others, seeking a place of refuge. Some have packs on their backs and children in carriers slung across their parents’ chests. This breaks my heart.

As I write this devotion, pictures run through my head of starving children in Africa, riots in Europe, battles being fought in Asia, homeless people on the streets of America, and babies being aborted. My heart aches for each one of these suffering people. I remind myself that this misery happens in our world all because of sin. The evil one wants to kill and destroy. One of my greatest fears is that we who observe such carnage over TV and other media will grow insensitive to it. Oh, Lord, have mercy on this depraved world!

I can work myself into a state of fear when I meditate on such gruesome circumstances. I feel helpless because there is nothing I can do to change the catastrophes in this world. My fears increase until I run to the Lord for refuge. Only then can I truly sing for joy. He is in the midst of everything that is happening. Even Job’s trials were filtered through God’s loving fingers and had a redeeming purpose. Evil does not have free reign in this world. God has a plan for each of us and He loves us and promises to take care of those who believe in Him. He also promises to answer my prayers, as I pray for all of those suffering in this sinful world.

Jesus never intended for us to live with an attitude of fear so He tells us to take refuge in Him and change our attitude to rejoicing knowing God is in control.

Father, You are my strength and my refuge. You are my Strong Tower and I run to You for protection. I love Your name and I rejoice in You. You have a plan for the world; to save it and renew it. I am grateful for Your wisdom and Your loving kindness. Give me strength to be a witness to the generations. Amen.

This is an excerpt from the forty-day devotional, “Attitude Matters”. Click here to order.

Click here to check out my website!

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