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Monday, April 16, 2007

He's Our Comfort in the Storm

(I had a girls weekend with Mom and visited her church this week and saw several people baptized. It was the most precious thing! These people were so broken and you could see the effects of a hard life on many of them-but also a HOPE for a future that would be different. The joy in their faces after coming out of the water was the most beautiful thing. They were not taking this lightly, they were giving all they had to God.
Oh Lord please remind us of that joy we felt at the cleansing and renewing of baptism!)



Here is what I have on my heart this morning, for so many people I care about that are hurting:

John 16:33
“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.” NIV


Make no mistake about it, you will have trouble. If you are reading this, there is a good chance you are in the middle of a storm right now. God’s word tells us that we will have trials and then tells us to rejoice in them.

Rom 5:2-5
3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
NIV


I used to believe that God never wanted us to walk through anything hard and that if we did He would ‘rescue’ us if we prayed, rebuked, and confessed the Word enough. However, the truth is that He allows some storms and trials to develop perseverance, character and hope in us. Think about the three Hebrew children, I am sure they would rather have avoided the fiery furnace altogether, but if they had, they never would have walked together with the Son of God. And they came out…I love this…not even smelling like smoke!

What about Daniel? I am sure he was shaking in his boots just a little as he was thrown into a den filled with hungry lions! That is not my idea of a walk in the park-what happened to leading me to green pastures beside cool waters? After all, Daniel was doing the right thing! He did not deserve punishment like this. However, Daniel ends up making friends with the lions and hanging out with angels. God did not forget about him, God was right there with him protecting him the whole time.

Are you seeing a pattern here? God never leaves us.

When we feel pain, we assume that God must not be with us, because surely it would not hurt if He were here. We forget that He told us, “In this world you will have tribulation.”

Webster’s dictionary defines tribulation as: distress or suffering resulting from oppression or persecution. Tribulation is painful! So the promise that He is with us, is life changing!

We need to know that He is walking through every trial with us, and that His Word is more trusted than the words of our closest friends or enemies! He loves us infinitely more than we can imagine!

8 comments:

Jen said...

Sue

Great teaching...thank you for the reminder.
I choose to look (back) at the storms in my life, and be thankful, because they truly have made me who I am...and I like me.
When I am in the eye of one though....then I must remind myself of the very truths you have written about.

Thanks for the encouragement, and the comment on my (not so) babies...
How is your family adjusting to one of it's members heading out of the nest?

Naomi Dalton said...

This goes right along with what our Pastors wife preached yesterday, except She was talking about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. King Nebuchadnezzar had a ninety foot golden statue made and set it up in Babylon, He gathered everybody around and proclaimed when all the instruments played that all knees would bow and they would worship this golden image. If you were to refuse you would be cast into a fiery furnace. Three Jewish men refused to bow and word got back to the King, he flew into a fury and ordered that these three men be brought before him. He gave these men a second chance to compromise and allow them to bow before this image that he had built, He also used threatning words and intimidation to get them to change their minds. They refused and they Replied Daniel 3:16 O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you, 17. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power. Your Majesty. 18. But even if He doesnt, Your Majesty can be sure that we will never serve your gods and worship the gold statue you have set up.
The king was so furious that he became distorted with rage and commanded Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be tossed into the fiery furnace. They were bound from and fell down into the roaring flames.
By the way the soldiers that tossed the three of them in there were killed instantly by the flames.

After the King stood watching this he asked his advisers, Didnt we tie up threw men and throw them into the fire. They said ah Yes we did, and he proclaimed Look there are 4 men unbound walking around int he fire. They arent even hurt by the flames. And the fourth looks like the Son of God.

Then the King had to shout very loud for the 3 men to come out and they all noticed that the fire didnt even touch them, they didnt even smell of smoke.

The king made a new decree that whomever didnt worship the Living God would be thrown into the fire and he promoted the three men who didnt compromise their stand with God.

Isnt it just like the world to throw us in the fiery furnace for not compromising,not bowing to the images of this world, or Proclaiming that Jesus is the only way to Heaven and no will get to the Father except for Through Him. But when we are in the midst of all the fire and flames, Jesus is right there in the middle walking around with us telling us It will be okay. My Grace is suffient for Thee. I know that I am always praying Oh God deliver me from the fire, Please God no more trials, and Where are you Oh God, Just like the in the Story of Shadrach, Messach and Abednego, if we dont compromise our walk and we stay true and faithful to the one we serve, Jesus will be right there in the midst protecting us from the fire and the flames. We wont be burned, we wont even come out smelling like smoke. In fact, our enemies will call us out because they know they cannot defeat us.
God didnt say our walks as Christians would be easy but He did say that No weapon formed against us shall prosper, and If God is for us who can be against us. He also will give us Grace, Mercy, Longsuffering to endure, and His hedge of protection.

So count it all Joy and be blesed to know that We are victorious in Jesus, no matter what we are going through and we need to rejoice always.

Have a great day!!!!!!

Kelly Fisher said...

I am always amazed when I read someone's blog and they confirm what God is speaking to me in areas of my life!

I have come to learn that brokeness in our lives releases the power of God in ways we never dreamed and that grace is always at the depth of our need.

Thanks for the word!

Amy said...

Thanks Sue.
Beautiful. I will be sending my friend over to read this for some encouragement.

Joy said...

Hi Sue... I'm the friend! Lovely encouragement and I so appreciated it today. You have a great way of ministering. Thanks so much.

erin said...

this is a great reminder to me today. may our faces shine with the joy that comes by the hope only he offers. i am waiting expectantly to see his hand in the midst of my own storms today. thank you, sue, for speaking truth!!

love,
erin

Rhonda said...

You have written such truth. My husband and I have found that everytime there has been a spiritual advancement in our lives, we have just weathered a storm. And not without God. He allows us to lean fully on Him.

We had a baptismal service this Sunday at our church too. Our Senior Pastor has allowed my husband to baptize all the children for the past several years. Mark feels very honoured an privileged to take part in that process. (My husband is the Family Ministries pastor.) Our senior pastor (Shari's husband) is so great in allowing Mark and Todd (Tammy's husband) to baptize the ones that they personally have been leading.)

Thanks for sharing this awesome encouragement.

Ruth said...

amen sue!
when i have gone through reeeeeeally difficult seasons i have also tasted Gods grace and mercy in a way i never would have had i not gone through the pain.

shalom sister!

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