2014 was a challenging year! But aren’t you thankful we have an awesome God we can lean upon? It melts my heart when I think of how God’s people have blessed and comforted our family over past few years. Today, I want to share a word of encouragement about weathering life’s storms.
Many have written, sharing how they are facing very difficult situations. When I read of your current storms, I hurt with you. Everything in me wants to get in and fix it – but I have learned through my own storms, that no person can “fix it”. That job belongs to God and Him alone.
You may be struggling right now in your finances, concerned for your children, without a job, in a health crisis or grieving the loss of a loved one. Don’t let the dark clouds of this present storm bring you down. The Lord recently said to me, “BLOW THE CLOUD AWAY!”
David was not a stranger to struggle. In the midst of his trials he asked himself, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:5, 42:11; 43:5 NIV). Here in Psalm 42 and 43 he pours out his soul. Then he asks himself three times, “David, why are you downcast?!” He knew there was no point in becoming depressed. He lifted his head and blew the cloud away so that he might see the Lord in the midst of the storm.
BLOW THE CLOUD AWAY and put your hope in God.
My daughters Shelby and Kelsey have experienced major trauma the past few years. They spent the majority of their teen and early adult years walking with their daddy through cancer. Then they lost their daddy and brother just a few months apart. Both of them had a choice. They could let the storm swallow them up. Or put their hope in God and trust Him to bring them through the storm. Kelsey recently wrote about her experience, offering a word of encouragement to others:
“2014 has been, by far, the most agonizing year of my life…but the most rewarding year. Every life-altering shift that occurs is an opportunity to form our character to be more like Jesus if we allow Him to have control. If I could give you advice for this upcoming year I would tell you to embrace change, let forgiveness and love be your heartbeat, and allow God to change your image to be more like His. If you seek and put your faith in ONLY Jesus during this year, even if it ends up being painful at times, you will look back on it and realize how indescribably beautiful it was.”
Shelby said it this way, “I will never fully understand the ‘whys’ or the ‘hows’, but I know God has a bigger plan and it will all come together in the end.”
Amen! The Lord never promises we won’t have storms. But He does promise to be with us and bring us through them. Are you going through a storm? Blow the cloud away and SEE HIM!
BLOW THE CLOUD AWAY and put your hope in His Word
We need the Word of God and the Spirit of God so that we can blow that cloud away. When everything around us seems dark and uncertain, His word remains true. You can encourage yourself with His promises and trust that He will bring you through.
Jeremiah 29:11 assures us, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I like what my son-in-law Aaron says, “God has ‘A’ PLAN for us! Jesus never gives us PLAN ‘B’.” How true!
BLOW THE CLOUD AWAY and give hope to others.
I find that helping others draw close to the Father brings great joy. That’s the heartbeat of God for all of us –– to be close to Him. You reap what you sow. When I help others find joy, I myself am filled with joy. If you need to be encouraged, find someone to encourage. If you need a miracle, pray for someone else to receive a miracle. If you want to find hope, offer someone else hope.
In the end you can trust that God is at work. We can rest assured knowing that all things work together for good to those who love God (Romans 8:28). He is at work for your good and His glory.
The storms of life come to all of us. But we are the ones who make the choice whether we will put this into practice and overcome the storm, or let the storm overcome us. So let’s BLOW THE CLOUD AWAY!