To trust God regardless of your circumstances, remember this when you're caught in a storm: God's presence is with you, no matter how alone you may feel. He is always with you.
Mark wrote in his Gospel, "A great wind storm arose, and the waves splashed into the boat, so that it was now filling the boat" (Mark 4:37).
Notice this wasn't just a spring shower; it was almost too much for the small boat and the frightened disciples to handle. But even though the circumstances seemed too much to bear, the disciples were not alone. Mark states, "He [Jesus] was in the stern, asleep on a pillow (Mark 4:38a).
Again, so many people think they wouldn't be going through their struggles if God were really with them. But that's simply not the case. Having Jesus in the stern beside you doesn't mean the storm won't rock your boat. It just means the storm won't sink you. Never forget: He's with you in both a spring shower and in the worst tornado imaginable.
I've heard it said that the simple presence of anything living may help you to live a longer life. The presence of a spouse. Or of a child. A roommate. Even a dog, a bird, a rabbit, a hamster, a fish, a ferret, a fern, a hedgehog and possibly certain kinds of cats. (Just kidding. We all know nothing good comes from cats.)
The good news is that you don't have to depend on a pet or a houseplant. You have the Prince of Peace, the Lord of Hosts, the Divine Counselor, who will never leave you and never forsake you. Just as Jesus was with the disciples in the boat, He is with you in the storm. And because He is always good, you can trust Him.
When the storm hits and your faith remains strong, people will ask you all sorts of questions:
- "How are you holding up so well?"
- "Why are you not freaking out?"
- "How is it that your world is falling apart, but you're keeping it together?"
- "How do you have so much peace in the middle of all this chaos?"
And you can explain that you're not doing it by yourself. You have help others might not see. An invisible power gives you strength when you feel weak. You have God's grace, God's power, God's comfort and God's presence.
I love the comfort we find in so many of the psalms. "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble" (Ps. 46:1, NIV). He is ever-present, always with us, faithful to help in time of trouble. I also love David's rich perspective in the classic 23rd Psalm, where he wrote poetically, "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me" (v. 4, my emphasis).
The reason David had no fear is because he trusted the Good Shepherd. And just like David, I would rather walk through the valley of the shadow of death with Jesus than stroll on the mountaintops without him.
Excerpted from Divine Direction: 7 Decisions That Will Change Your Life by Craig Groeschel (Zondervan, part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, 2016).
New York Times best-selling author Craig Groeschel is the founding and senior pastor of Life.Church, a pacesetting multicampus church and creators of the popular and free YouVersion Bible App. He is the author of several books including Fight, Altar Ego, Soul Detox, WEIRD, The Christian Atheist and It.
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