Sleep through the Storm

storm-2

What storm are you in today that keeps you awake most of the time? I don’t think we understand the importance of our storms, and how they work for our good (Romans 8:28). They are truly for our benefit to educate, strengthen and allow our weak selves to be wholly dependent on a strong Father who knows what we can and can’t handle. I’ve been in situations where I thought I’d be able to handle issues, but came to realize that it was not the case; I was weak and needed someone stronger.

When reading the story about Jesus sleeping through the storm, it gets me so excited! How can Jesus sleep through a heavy storm, whilst His disciples are worried trying to find a solution. Why did Jesus remain so calm despite the storm? Because He knew who He was, and He also knew how capable His Father was. So instead of Him allowing the storm to attack Him, He used the strength of His Father to attack the storm. From my own perspective, I see it as Jesus teaching His disciples about the importance of rest and seeking Peace in times of distress and storms. When last did you take rest in your chaos, r were you too busy trying to sort it in your own strength?

To reiterate the scripture is taken in Matthew 8:23-27 which says “Then He got into the boat and his disciples followed Him (24) Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. (25) The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” (26) He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. (27) The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

storm

This is one of my best scriptures and gives me reassurance that when you place your burdens into God’s hands, you will truly experience His rest. You may have bills to pay or you may be in a huge debt, but when you choose to put God first and trust Him with your issues, He will cause you to be at rest. Be intentional about your freedom and allow Him to take over. When strange thoughts start penetrating my mind, I choose to stay calm because I know once I offer my mind the opportunity of wandering, it will be difficult to get out of that situation. Our minds are so precious that whatever you feed it is what will give itself back to you. As I keep saying, your pain is for a purpose, not just for you alone. We are meant to share what we are facing with others who are also in different seasons.

When last have you been able to rest peacefully in the storm? Ask yourself this question and be sincere about it. A lot of us today wake up tired and sleep tired, worrying about so much that will not add any value to our lives. Learn to cultivate Jesus’ character where He was able to sleep through the storm. In other words, it is about building your Faith levels up so that you won’t give an opportunity for fear to enter. Our lives are transformed by the renewing of our minds, and when we learn this, we won’t give ourselves into fear. Instead, we will rest in His arms knowing that He is in control of every aspect of our lives. I challenge you: CONTINUE TO PRAISE HIM DESPITE THE STORM!

(Only you know what your storm is, but how you deal with it will shape you for the rest of your life)

Truly speaking, the disciples were on the brink of death because the waves were too high and the wind too strong. For this reason, that is why they were so fearful. But let us be real if you were in that situation where there was no exit, you were in a boat, the water gradually getting steeper and steeper, an element of fear would start. The reason for their fear was that the assessment of their situation was based on logic and not faith and that was the problem! When we face difficult circumstances such as the loss of a job, the death of a child, or a terminal disease, rational and false assumptions can produce fear because our minds are naturally set to discouragement when we encounter a problem. It is not human logic to smile when a wave is about to take your life; no, your first reaction would be how to get yourself out of that situation.

From this, we learn that our situations tell us that the way out of fear is to stop relying on our limited senses and limited thinking and start turning to the One who knows how to calm the storm. To back this up, let’s focus on Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts”. This is my reassuring spot, to understand that my thinking is certainly not His thinking and that I don’t need to worry about anything.

The issues we encounter today is a lesson that we use towards our future, that when we were in distress, God rescued us, and now when we encounter more tribulations, we use our past as a lesson and reflect on how God delivered us then, and how He will do it now and for the future. Learn to rest in the storms of life, don’t allow your situation to take over your thought life. Be intentional about what you feed your mind with, and learn to see beauty in every aspect of pain because pain teaches us greater lessons and is good experience to grow maturely.

The disciples had no guarantee that they would survive the storm, BUT they could be absolutely sure that God controlled the storm and controlled their lives. They could be absolutely sure that as fierce as the storm raged, God’s love for them raged even more fiercely. No storm could ever blow them out of God’s mighty hand. Whether they lived or died, God’s will remains perfect; and in that they could find peace instead of fear.


I know I tend to feel somehow obligated to be stressed or afraid when I do not know the end of a particular situation. It seems almost irresponsible to let it go and trust God. But when I remember that I am COMMANDED to live free of fear, it is much easier to reach out to God in faith and have rest within the storm.”

Joelle Heilemann

storm-1

 

Advertisements

The Father’s Friendship

friedship-1

How much of a privilege it is to be a friend of God. I am not ashamed of being a Christian because the benefits are far beyond human comprehension. In Jeremiah 1:5 it says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you”. This is so powerful. Our Father already knew us even before He created us. I cannot emphasize to you enough how Faithful God is and how much He desires for an intimate relationship with each of us all around the world. God does not show favoritism. He loves us all the same, and His friendship is so precious that nothing can ever be above Him.

When I ponder of my friendship with the Father, it is speechless. The other day I was reflecting on all He has done for me. I felt like I was losing my mind because I was filled with Awe about His authentic and selfless love. He cares so much that my words could not even express how grateful I was for who He is. There were blessings that I did not pray twice as hard for and still received it. What did I do to deserve such favor? God is so gentle that no matter how many times you fall, He is always there willing and waiting for you to run to Him. He wants to speak to you each blessed day when you wake up until the time you lay your head to rest.

The Father’s friendship is better than your best friend’s friendship. Believe me when I say that! No human being on earth should ever take God’s place; God first and everyone else behind. No one can love, care, embrace, forgive, bless and favor like God can. Money can’t do it, sex can’t do it, fame and fortune can’t do it; God is the real deal, and I strongly guarantee you today that if you allow Him into your heart, see how your life will dramatically change. Now remember that life won’t always be what you desire it to me, and it does not equate to the absence of God. When we encounter issues, we are quick to assume and say where were you, God, but all along He was there. God is not just with you in the good times, He is also there in the difficult times.

In the midst of silence and pain, the friendship of God comes alive; it is a shining light that brightens the day and makes your path straight. God’s friendship is overwhelming in that it does not have a limit. When I think about the goodness of God and what He has done for me, there are simply no words to thank Him. Some people are thankful that they found a parking space, some are happy that they bought their first car, others are happy because they bought the latest Gucci, bag.

But guess why I am happy? Because I am alive and well today, that the enemy did not try to steal my joy or peace, that the enemies I see today, I shall see them no more; all the people who wished for my downfall are nowhere to be found. And even though we live in the world full or different people –  good and bad, what truly matters to me is that the Father’s friendship surpasses them all. No matter what anyone may plan against me, it shall never prosper. (Isaiah 54:17).

Look back over your life and see how far God has brought you. I used to take insignificant issues to heart, but I’ve gained strength and wisdom on how to handle them. He taught me how to fight, how to stand on my own two feet, how to not rely on people, how to be solely stable in Him, and more importantly to TRUST HIM. When you trust God, He reveals the unique plans for our lives. He shares secrets with those who put Him at the forefront. He doesn’t want second place, He deserves FIRST PLACE. God should be in the center of our hearts and in every situation. We are all relational beings and God Himself desires to have that intimacy. It is an opportunity for you to take and utilize it to your own advantage.

His friendship is expensive, so please do not take it for granted or put it on hold; show your keen interest. He will surprise you because that is what He is good at. Who are we that He is always mindful of us? He has our best interest at heart and shows it all the time. Whether it is through your quiet time with Him or going on the train to work, you will notice that each time God speaks in the most subtle way. He is not into giving us too much detail, however, He is always in the process of blessing His children because that is His nature.

Whether you are lacking intimacy with the Father, know that His arms are opened wide for you to run to. When we are stuck and run out of words, it is an opportunity for you to allow God to step in and take over. It is not an opportunity to run to your friends who are as broken and empty as you are, trying to get them to fill your void when they are looking for someone else to fill theirs. A deep level or intimacy should enable us to bold come into His Presence until His desire is granted.

Think of the last thing you prayed about – were you devoted to your desire or to God? Was your determination to get some gift of the Spirit for yourself or to get to God? “For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8). The reason for asking is so you may get to know God better. “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). We should keep praying to get a perfect understanding of His friendship and God Himself. Take His friendship with you wherever you go, and don’t let Him go. Keep the Father so close to your heart so that whenever an attack occurs, or you feel weak in Spirit, know that His Presence is with you. He longs to have a strong friendship and relationship with you so don’t take it for granted because some have missed the opportunity.

Refuse to be content with just the ‘knowledge’ of God, but ‘insist’ on experiencing His Friendship! 

friendship