It's been a stormy winter across much of America. As record snows continue to blanket the east, we are even experiencing severe weather in Southern California. A storm that blew through here the other night, spawned a few tornado's and left a swath of debris behind it -- including a massive tree that was uprooted, just a block from my house, flattening a passenger van.
As America has been getting hammered, weather-wise, it seems but a metaphor for the people that have been getting hammered by the terrible recession that we are mired in. It's been a "stormy winter" for a lot of people who have lost jobs, homes, income, etc. Unfortunately, many people feel that the prospects of coming out the storm are bleak. Things seem to be getting worse, not better and hope seems to be but a pipe-dream.
For Christians, however, we must be reminded whose we are. We are not "nobodies," but we are the people of God. It is He who has made us and it is He who will keep us. We need to understand that seasons come and seasons go, but the Word of the Lord stands forever. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
How to Swim, Not Sink -- In the Midst of the Storm
1) Live with God’s Kingdom as the priority – keep Christ first in your heart, home and finances. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things shall be added unto you"(Jesus in Matthew 6:33). What "things" you ask? Jesus was responding to those who were worried about their clothes, food, and provisions. His promise was that those who keep the kingdom a priority will be taken care of. What kingdom is a priority with you?
2) Live with confidence in God, not in fear of the circumstances around you.
“Don’t cast away your confidence which has great reward.” (Hebrews 10:35)
The writer had previously encouraged the Christian to “Hold fast to confidence” in Hebrews 3:6. In the 27th Psalm, David said; "The Lord is my light and my salvation... in this will I be confident." We have to live with the confidence that God is with us and that God is for us.
3) Live by faith. Don’t panic. Continue to do those things that are good, wise and right. Keep on keeping on. Paul told the Christians, “We walk by faith, and not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7). We are not to live according to what we see, but rather by what we believe. Don't allow your circumstances or surroundings dictate your actions -- let your actions follow your faith.
4) Live with the knowledge that this, too, shall pass. One of the most encouraging scriptures in the Bible; “it came to pass!” Tough times don’t last, tough people do. Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us; “To everything there is a season." Remember that storms are seasonal. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning!"
I do believe that our best days are still ahead of us. I am prayerful that our worst are behind us. One thing that I do know, is, that if God is for us, we will be victorious. Live mindful of David's attitude during a difficult time in his life. In Psalm 27:13-14, he proclaimed; “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Be strong, take heart, and wait for the Lord."
Make a faith-declaration like David did. The end-result for David? He realized what he had confidence in -- the salvation of the Lord. He did get to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living -- and so can you! Be a storm-survivor by trusting in the Savior.