Praise God in the Calm & Storm

 

BoatMany of us can identify with David’s suffering at some point in our Christian lives. His brothers and others did not understand his zeal for God so they mocked and insulted him. He had countless enemies (Ps.69:4) who in effect were the enemies of the LORD. He was often wounded emotionally due to rejection and also suffered loneliness.

 “..For I endure insults for your sake; humiliation is written all over my face. Even my own brothers pretend they don’t know me; they treat me like a stranger.Passion for your house has consumed me,  and the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me. 10 When I weep and fast,  they scoff at me. 11 When I dress in burlap to show sorrow,  they make fun of me. 12 I am the favorite topic of town gossip,   and all the drunks sing about me. (Ps. 69:7-12 NLT)

He described his troubles as mire which he sinks in deeper and deeper and floodwaters which overwhelm him:

Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can’t find a foothold. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me. I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched” (Ps. 69:2-3 NLT).

As we have noted in David’s psalms, he also expresses his dependency on God as deliverer even while pouring out his problems. If that isn’t keeping our focus on God, believing that His silence does not mean He is not attentive, then I don’t know what is!

“But I keep praying to you, Lord, hoping this time you will show me favor. In your unfailing love, O God, answer my prayer with your sure salvation. 14 Rescue me from the mud; don’t let me sink any deeper! Save me from those who hate me, and pull me from these deep waters. 15 Don’t let the floods overwhelm me, or the deep waters swallow me, or the pit of death devour me.16 Answer my prayers, O Lord, for your unfailing love is wonderful. Take care of me, for your mercy is so plentiful. 17 Don’t hide from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in deep trouble! 18 Come and redeem me; free me from my enemies” (Ps. 69:13-18 NLT).

Oh! That we would always be like David!

Brethren, our God does not sleep, He may be silent at times and deliberately so because that is how He tests and tries His children. In His silence He is watching to see whether we will overcome fear, decide to trust and obey  him or take that step of faith He is prompting us to take.

The incident in which Jesus was sleeping in the boat with his disciples present also speaks to us (Mark 4:35-41). The disciples were not bothered that Jesus was sleeping when the lake was calm, but when a fierce storm raged  they were upset because they thought that  their lives were in danger and

“woke him up, shouting “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” (Mark 4:38 NLT).

It is so typical of human beings as a whole that when we think all is well, we are less inclined to seek God for help. We can also behave in this manner when we come to Christ, but as we mature in faith we become more like David; whatever the ‘weather’, we recognize God as our help and stay close to Him praising Him in all circumstances.

Many believers in Jesus came to faith when they experienced problems in their lives for suddenly they recognized the futility of life without faith in God.  They may have tried other religions and still felt the void within, desiring the one and only true God who sent Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. It is actually God giving them the desire to search for Him through Jesus Christ for He is ever ready to make a way of escape for every human being through His only begotten Son (John 3:16).

There is therefore a “True God void” in every human being until they find the one and only true God of our Lord Jesus Christ. The knowledge that this void is there comes with the desire to reconcile with God and is a sign of an awakening to God’s means of escape which is the promise in Genesis 3:15 to Adam (and so his descendants), that the seed of the woman (Jesus) will crush the seed of the serpent (Satan).

God is always in the “boat of life”, meaning He is omnipresent and in the person of Jesus active in the lives of true believers. Sadly it is the “storms of life”, often fierce ones which create fear and stops people from either ignoring or taking God or Christ for granted as in the case of Jesus’ disciples (Mark 4:35-41). Does Jesus’ question to his disciples apply to you (after he calmed the storm):

“Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40).

Do you know people God may want you to minister to and encourage to stay in the place of faith and attentiveness to God in times of “storm” as well as calmness? If so please do not hesitate for you may be their only hope of salvation or God wants to use you as a vessel to bring them back into the sheepfold.

There is a storm called “Storm Desmond” raging in the north of England. In some parts of the south of England, gusty winds and heavy consistent rains are being experienced. Sadly yesterday in north London a 90 year old man lost his life when he was pushed into the path of a bus by strong winds. These natural storms are a picture of the spiritual ones that rage in our lives and bring destruction and can even keep believers in Jesus in a state of spiritual death.

In our modern times, nations of the world have been through storms of conflict between factions within them and from external terrorist groups. This is happening now and fulfils Jesus’ own words:

“…You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:6-7 KJV).

Jesus also prophecies (Matt. 24) of many deceptions and afflictions Christians will endure  in the last days and we are seeing them all happen and increasingly so.

The storms raged in David’s life for many years after he was anointed king of Israel and during the process leading to his mounting on the throne. What a life! But as we know God allowed it all and through it David, (and us who believe and read his testimony) gained the privilege of knowing not only the acts but ways (i.e wisdom, principles) of this awesome God we serve.

The process of sanctification so as to be more like Jesus with its trials and tribulations is where we draw closer to God, know who He is to us and who we are in Him. As long as we depend on God through Christ, we will overcome the storms because we are awakened to or reminded of our authority in Christ and able to exercise it effectively.

We are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us (Romans 8:37).

Brothers and sisters, let us be reminded this day that as a rescue team is mobilised for the sake of those in natural floods and storms, so God mobilizes Himself and His Heavenly Hosts or Armies (angels) for us, our families, communities and nations during spiritual floods or storms whether great or small. He is Jehovah Sabaoth, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.

Is.59: 18-19 (NLT)
He will repay his enemies for their evil deeds. His fury will fall on his foes. He will pay them back even to the ends of the earth. 19 In the west, people will respect the name of the Lord;  in the east, they will glorify him. For he will come like a raging flood tide driven by the breath of the Lord
Psalm 46 (NLT)
God is our refuge and strength,  always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come  and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam.  Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High. God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed. From the very break of day, God will protect it. The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble! God’s voice thunders, and the earth melts! The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.
Come, see the glorious works of the Lord: See how he brings destruction upon the world. He causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear; he burns the shields with fire.10 “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honoured by every nation. I will be honoured throughout the world.”11 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress

You are blessed, determine to stay blessed.

Deborah Esther
©Deborah E. Nyamekye 8/12/2015

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