A Survival Guide to the Storms of life

“Make haste, O God, to deliver me!  Make haste to help me, O Lord!  Let them be ashamed and confounded who seek my life; Let them be turned back and confused who desire my hurt.  Let them be turned back because of their shame…” -Psalm 70:1-3

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Is there a storm brewing?

Do you have burdens?

Are you going through a storm right now?

How do we get through these situations?  How do we overcome them, when possible? These are difficult questions and unfortunately there aren’t any easy answers here.  But what I do know and what others know is that going through the storms and surviving requires a supernatural power to journey with us.

Cue Bob Marley and his song “Don’t Worry About a thing – three little birds.”  We need to understand that when we are aligned with God’s will and his power that our burdens and our problems become His burdens and his problems.  That makes it so much more clearer then when we read what Jesus said about our burdens and his burdens:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV) 

What Jesus is essentially saying is that though burdens exist, though we face them, that if we allow him access to them and surrender them we will experience a lightening of our load and our worry.  We were never meant to carry these things on our own.

Here are three prescriptions that will help us when we face and weather the storms of life.  If we adhere to these prescriptions we will survive and even thrive!

1) Prayer!

Don’t think for a minute that prayer is a last resort or that prayer is like casting out wishes into the universe and hoping that someone will hear you.  It is not like being on a deserted island and throwing a message in a bottle out into the sea hoping someone will find it…no!  Prayer is so much more powerful than that!  Prayer isn’t just hoping someone will hear you utter some desperate words, prayer is knowing we aren’t alone and that God’s power is accessible through all of life’s situations and mysteriously and amazingly they transcend time and space.  Meaning if there was one thing that could penetrate the science realm of space and time prayer is it.  God doesn’t work the way we do via a linear approach, God is outside of time and space and will intercede and protect us even before we utter the prayers that keep us connected to him.  When we pray, make sure it’s not just prayers in crisis…but pray to Him as a daily, even minute by minute conversation.  As difficult as this may sound, communing and conversing with him can lift many a burden before the storms arrive.  Do not underestimate prayer and its essential nature, nor its power.

2) Intercessory Prayer & the Fellowship of the Believers:

We are not alone in this world…so why do we continually think that we cannot share our burdens with other Christ followers in whom we trust?  Do we fear ridicule?  Do we fear being vulnerable before others?  We need the body of Christ more than just in the storms of life, but we ought to recognize that if the early church and its Apostles needed support then who are we to assume that we do not need help?  The fellowship of believers is vital to our continuation in the faith and another prescription by which we can weather the storms.  Galatians 6:2 says, Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”  It’s pretty clear isn’t it?  We are in this together and so we should be there for one another through thick and thin.  Do you have a home church?  Do you trust other believers within your church to help you?  If you don’t have a church or a fellowship in which you belong you are missing out on the amazing support and care that comes with the connected body of Christ.

3) Service

I know, it sounds strange.  How can we serve when we are riding each ebb and flow of this present storm surge?  The answer is faith.  If we have this continued prayer conversation with our Lord, and we have or are continually surrendering our burdens to him in the midst of the storm then what service does is put feet to our faith.  What we are essentially saying is that despite the storms we will serve the Lord.  We can’t stay stuck or static in the process of the tumult.  We have to get on with it and serve him the best that we can.  Service in the storm is two fold: a) We let his praises be glorified despite our circumstances and we acknowledge that it’s not about us but it’s about him.  b) We will be so immersed in serving God that there will be times that we will forget about our present storms.  This isn’t to say that they will go away if we ignore them, but rather when we are serving him, we are fulfilling the Lord’s prayer when we say the words ‘your will be done’…we are living it in this manner.

These are just three prescriptions to help us amidst the storms of life.  There might be more helps along the journey, but these are central to our victories through the power of the storm tamer – Jesus Christ.

Here’s to survival and to thriving in the midst of our burdens and storms:

2 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV)
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in (victory) triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.

 

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