It was a September day, and Sailor-Man and I were boating back from Campbell River, BC after attending a friend’s memorial service. And then it happened: the sky blackened. Ominous clouds rolled in. The wind picked up and began whipping waves into froth. Thankfully, we’d seen the storm coming and had time to prepare, but that’s not always been the case especially when talking about the storms of life. Often they hit us when we least expect. But here’s the good news—God has given us promises to help us survive and find hope when the storm strikes.
Promise #1 – God is with us.
One of my favorite names of God is “Immanuel,” meaning “God with us.” Imagine! The Creator of the universe became one of us to walk with us in our pain. He is never too distant to hear our cries or too busy to calm our fears. He’s with us when we wake in the morning, when we fall asleep at night, and every minute in between. We are never alone because He promised to never leave us, and He cannot lie.
When the storm strikes, let’s meditate on these words: “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) He is present and personal. Such a beautiful, life-giving promise, yes?
Promise #2 – God loves us.
When the storm strikes, our human tendency is to question God’s intent toward us and ask, “Why me?” Let’s reel in those doubts and focus instead on the truth about His love toward us.
The storm might bring winds of trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, or sword but none of these things can separate us from God’s love. (Romans 8:35) Suffering is guaranteed on this earth, but His love remaining true to us is also guaranteed. We might not understand what He’s doing, but we can rest assured that He is good and His intent toward us is nothing less.
Promise #3 – God is sovereign.
When the storm strikes, we might look around at the seeming destruction in its wake and wonder how anything good can come from it. Our human perspective sees only broken dreams and shattered expectations, but God sees things from a heavenly, eternal perspective. Nothing can thwart His purposes. Nothing.
When we trust Him with our deepest pain, He picks up those shards and turns them into a stained-glass masterpiece. We need to remember, though, that masterpieces take time. In reality, we might not live to see the finished product, but that doesn’t diminish the truth of God’s active involvement in every detail of our lives and His ability to bring beauty from ashes.
When the storm strikes, hang onto this familiar promise: “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). Here’s another one that’s been helpful to me lately: “The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.” (Psalm 37:23-24)
And so, my friend, be encouraged today.
Storms will come and go. Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to see them coming, but other times, not so much. Regardless, God’s promises help us navigate the wind and waves to a safe harbor. We can trust Him and not be afraid.
Do you have a favorite Scripture promise that helps you weather the storms of life? If so, what is it?
The song “Praise You in This Storm” by Casting Crowns came to mind as I wrote this blog, so I thought I’d share it with you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YUGwUgBvTU
If you’re needing encouragement in a storm right now, or you know someone who does, order a copy of my latest devotional, Keeping Hope Alive: Devotions for Strength in the Storm. I’ll autograph it and include a beautiful bookmark. BTW — this book just made the finalists’ list in the devotional book category! Winners will be announced on August 14th.