I LOVE the beach!  It’s my happy place where I take in the sounds of the ocean and enjoy the warm sun on my skin.  It’s been a couple of years since I have been.  The last time we were there we saw some mean clouds come in while we were on our balcony.  This storm came in from literally nowhere.  The sun had been out on us all afternoon without a cloud in the sky.  stormLife can be just like this sometimes.  We can be going along and then out of nowhere a storm is upon us.  What do we do and how do we respond when the storms of life come?

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.  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 winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this?  Even the winds and waves obey him!Matthew 8:23-27

Aren’t we just like the disciples?  We are gripped with fear and we cry out for Him to save us.  Here’s the good news…HE’S IN THE BOAT WITH US!  He knows how to calm the raging seas.  Let’s take a closer look at how Jesus responds to His disciples.  He says, “You of little faith, why are you afraid?”  Why do we not trust Him more?  Even the winds and waves obey Him!  When we look back over our lives we can see how He has carried us through our storms and brought us out of them.

A couple of years ago I was walking in the biggest storm of my life.  I was shaken with fear.  The Lord really pressed it upon my heart that I needed to grow my trust in Him.  He led me to Isaiah 55:8-9,

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.  As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” 

I learned during this season that God is Sovereign and in control.  His thoughts and ways are higher than ours which to me means that His way is the best way.  When we can surrender to this truth, we start finding that we let go of the way we had planned and we start desiring His plan above our own.  My prayer life started changing.  Instead of “Lord, save me” my prayer became, “Father, I don’t know what lies ahead of me, but I do know that you are with me, you are for me and your ways are better than mine so I trust you Lord.”  My perspective changed from it being about me to trusting Him.  This prayer has changed my outlook on life.  I find that the storms don’t cripple me as much as they used to.  Instead of huge raging seas the storms seem to look more like a thunderstorm.  They are still hard and I still cling to Him, but there is peace.  I know that I will be okay because I belong to Him.crown

I also found myself studying Ephesians 6: 10-18 and learning about “The Armor of God.”

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the spirits.”  

We have to be READY!  We have to stay ALERT and on guard at all times. We have to stay in His word.  The minute we let down our guard the enemy will come in and try to steal, kill and destroy.  He tries to whisper words of doubt and fear to us, he tries to make us take back the chains of guilt after we have been broken free.  He is the father of lies and deceit.  We do NOT fight against flesh and blood.  We don’t fight each other. We fight evil.  When we realize that our God died for each and everyone one of us and loves us all the same we stop fighting and we start loving.  We see each other differently.  Isn’t that amazing!   So who’s in with me?  Are you tired of fighting?  Would you rather love?  Then I invite you to join me as we put on The Armor of God and we TRUST our God that goes before us in the battle of evil.  He promise’s us it’s a battle that is already WON!

I don’t know what kind of storm you are in, but remember that you have the Savior of the world in your boat with you! You are never alone.  If your world is calm and at peace, PRAISE Him, and stand firm and on guard always ready and prepared for the battle.  Jesus himself tells us, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33 

Oh Father,

Thank you so much for overcoming this hard world.  At times it can leave us breathless and shaken to the core.  We are often afraid and we cry out to you to save us.  We are grateful that you keep saving us from our storms.  Thank you for never leaving us or forsaking us.  Father, help us to trust you more!  Help us to know that your way really is the best way and for us to surrender our control and rest in yours.  Help us to put on your armor and be ready and prepared for the battle of evil.  Give us a heart for your children Lord, help us to see them like you do.  You love us all and came to save us all!  Thank you Jesus!  Thank you for the cross! We love you too!  Amen