Recently I heard a meteorologist on the Weather Channel say something profound—No one knows when, or where the next devastating storm will come. But we do know this; there will be another storm."
Sounds a lot like life, doesn't it?
It has been said that we are either in a storm, coming out of a storm, or about to enter a storm.
Is this just a fatalistic attitude, or is it the reality of living in a fallen world?
Remember what Jesus said? "In the world you will have tribulation." (John 16:33). The Greek word for "tribulation" literally means affliction, trouble, anguish, persecution and burdens.
Paul tells us that Satan is the "prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2) and the ruler of "the cosmic powers over this present darkness ... the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12).
When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, authority and power were given over to Satan.
No wonder we face so many storms in life!
Some of these are: the loss of a child, depression, anxiety, a doctor's unwanted diagnosis, a loveless, lifeless marriage, prodigal children, and financial difficulties. The list goes on and on—from one storm to another.
We too often desperately struggle to find relief and wonder how to survive—mentally, physically, and especially spiritually.
It is interesting to see the statements Jesus precedes, and then follows his "tribulation" statement with—all in the same verse. He begins with "In me you may have peace" (John 16:33). He finishes with "but take heart; I have overcome the world."
Jesus tells us that life will be full of storms. But the storms are sandwiched between His peace and His overcoming power. These are two powerful truths that give us a new perspective on the daily struggles of life.
Perhaps that is what John meant when he declared " ... for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."(1 John 4:4).
While we live in a fallen world which is for now under the authority of the evil one, Someone greater—all powerful—almighty—everlasting in love—eternal—allows us to run to Him in the midst of the storm, and experience His peace ... and His overcoming power.
King David understood this all too well. At one point, trying to avoid death at the hand of Saul, he found himself hiding in a cave. His words ring true even today—" Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me! For my soul seeks refuge in You; in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until the ruinous storm passes by" (Psalm 57:1, MEV)
"Until the hurricane blows over." I don't know about you, but more than once life has felt like a category 5 hurricane—complete with 155 mph winds, rain blowing sideways and an 18 foot ocean surge with lightning and thunder all around.
During these times—and we all have them—remember that the storm is wedged in between the peace of Jesus ... and His overcoming power.
Take heart. Those two divine, eternal truths won't remove you from the storm—but they will change your perspective and you will overcome.
Prayer Power for the Week of March 6, 2016
This week thank God for His overcoming power and that His peace can sustain and carry you through any storm you have to face. Thank Him that He is faithful to His promise to never ever leave or forsake you. Allow His Spirit to produce His fruit of righteousness in you so that you can continually walk in joy, peace and all the other fruit of the Spirit. Continue to pray for our spiritual and government leaders, for worldwide revival, the expansion of God's kingdom, and the persecuted church. Pray that Israel fulfill God's purpose in this hour. Lift up our military and their families. Pray for the upcoming elections (John 16:33; Gal. 5:22-26; Matt. 9:38).
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