Surviving The Storms Of Life

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

facing the storm
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy." - James 1:2 (New Living Translation)

Storms come and go. Many of them are just mere annoyances, but some can be devastating and turn life upside down. Notice that James encourages us to consider it all joy when troubles come your way, not if. The point James is making is that we have to have a proper perspective about storms if we are going to successfully navigate our way through them. James paints an interesting word picture with the word consider. The word counter comes from the root meaning of consider. It is a boxing term which literally means to act in opposition to; to meet attacks or arguments with defensive or retaliatory steps. Another way to put it is to counter punch. As you can see, to consider does not mean to just think about it or just think happy thoughts to make the problem go away. Having the right perspective puts us on the offense rather than merely trying to defend ourselves against the trials of life. This is what Paul meant in Romans 8:1 when he said we are more than conquerors. The enemy of our souls understands far too well this concept. His strategy is to get your perspective turned upside down so that you become helpless when facing your problems. There are three things he wants you to believe that are not true.

The first lie Satan wants you to believe is that the storm you are facing is permanent. When you are in the middle of a hurricane it is easy to think that it will never end. Once we start to think this way we lose hope and give up. Don't let yourself believe this. Yes, storms are a fact of life, but another fact of life is that they always pass. Just remember that not too far over the horizon is blue sky. Hang in there and you will soon find calm waters once again.

The second lie he wants us to believe is that the problem is much bigger than it appears. If you put your hand just an inch or two in front of your eyes it will appear bigger than it really is. You can blot out the sun with your thumb. We all know that the sun is billions and billions times bigger than your thumb, but a wrong perspective can convince us of something that isn't true. Consider this the next time you are facing a raging storm - step back and try to see it from God's perspective. Once you do this you suddenly see how tiny it really is compared to the immense greatness of God. Don't trust your eyesight. We only see a fraction of the bigger picture so look through God's eyes.

The third lie is that you can fix this and you don't need help. Have you ever been in the midst of a crisis, fretting and worrying and then suddenly realize that you haven't asked God for help? That is exactly what the devil wants you to do. He wants you to focus all your attention on the problem and how to fix it so that you forget about the solution. I love the old worship song that says, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace." The key is to keep your attention off of the storm and fixed on Jesus and resist the temptation to handle it alone. As long as we can see him there is hope.

When you face your next trial, what will you consider? Keep your eyes on the One who will carry you through. He is already at work right now directing your steps so that when the next storm hits, you have everything you will need to not only survive the storm, but come out victorious.

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Reine Gnade said...

Greetings David!
Your wonderful article reminded me of Lamentations 3: 22-23. I love the fact that God is merciful and unfailingly compassionate. May our praise resound every morning for the great faithfulness that He shows to us.

David Good said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and for your comments Reine. I am glad it was encouraging. I hope you will come back often.


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