You lose your job. You’re failing a class. You find yourself without friends. You’re stripped of someone you love.
In stormy seasons like these, it can be hard to maintain hope.
We see this in the bible when Jesus and His disciples sail across the Sea of Galilee in Mark 4:35-41. Jesus was resting on the stern of the boat when a sudden storm erupted, pounding the boat with waves and nearly flooding everything inside. Terrified, the disciples ran to Jesus and hastily asked why He wasn’t doing anything to help; He responded by simply getting up, rebuking the winds, and demanding that the waves come to a stop. With the storm at a standstill, He then turned back to His disciples and asked the following:
Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?
Like the disciples, we often become so blinded by the storms in our lives that we forget the power and the love of the God we serve. Our present circumstances take our attention away from His eternal promises – His promises to provide for us, to strengthen us, to sustain us until the end. We wind up running to him in a panic, begging for Him to do something, when in fact He’s been faithfully by our side all along.
So how can we better trust God through the storm?
Turn to scripture for His promises.When life seems to be spiraling out of control, let God’s Word be the thing that anchors you in place. Mine the bible for His promises to you and let these words become the very foundation of your days. When things get darker or more chaotic, repeat these scriptures to yourself to remind yourself of the reality of the situation and see things from His perspective. Remember that:
He is in control and is stronger than your problems
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
He loves you and has plans to prosper you
“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.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
He works all things together for good in your life, including what you’re going through now
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
He will give you the strength you need to get through the storm
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
His timing is perfect
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
He never leaves your side
“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.” (Psalm 145: 18-19)
Take everything to prayerRather than letting yourself sink deeper into fear or pain, pray. Pour out your heart to God from the moment you start your day to the moment you go to bed. Tell Him what’s worrying you and ask Him to bring you peace. Reaffirm your trust in Him and speak His scriptures back to Him. Remember the promise of Philippians 4:6-7:
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Keep your gaze aboveAfter searching scripture for His promises and praying for peace, don’t just return to life as it was before. Let these two things form the foundation of your days as you aim to keep your eyes upon God at all times. The storm may get fierce, but He will always be fiercer. 2 Corinthians 4:18 is great encouragement for staying focused on eternity:
“So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
Find purpose in the trials and praise Him
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-3)
It seems counterintuitive to praise God for the struggles in your life. But as James 1:2-3 explains, God puts these hardships into your life for a reason. He uses them to shape you and mold you and refine you into the person He wants you to be. He uses them to teach you trust and perseverance, to mature you and show you what dependence really means. So in the midst of your battles, focus your eyes above and thank God for the opportunity to grow and be shaped in His image. Trust that everything, even the lowest of lows, will serve to better you as a person and strengthen you as a follower of Christ.