Traversing the Storms of Life
And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with waves; but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us; we perish.
And he saith unto them,
Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. Matthew 8:23-26
In the last couple of months our household has suffered through some severe storms. My wife was terribly ill and had to be hospitalized. Her mom, who lives with us and is 94 was also hospitalized shortly after my wife returned home, still very weak, then my dog, a 3 year-old German shepherd quit eating and after taking him to the vet we discovered he was in renal failure. I felt as though I was riding a giant ocean wave and was waiting for it to break, not knowing if I was going to be able to ride it in smoothly or if it was going to hammer me into the ocean floor. I prayed some nights continuously, late into the wee hours of the morning making certain that the word of the Lord penetrated the very depths of my being!
Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10
The Christ tells us over and over in the scriptures to, fear not, only believe, have faith and this:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. John 14:12-14
I did not write for quite some time because I had to wait to see how things would turn out but thankfully all seem to be recovering after weeks of prayer and medical attention. I thought I had lost my dog one night, he was so incredibly ill, he was having tremors and very close to death. I prayed with my wife, who was still very weak herself, for she too had narrowly escaped death, for my canine friend who appeared like he would not make it.
It is a wonder that he did start recovering, the vet even seemed astonished when we returned the following day and his blood test numbers were starting to improve.
Sometimes people wait until the storm is upon them to turn to God and it is good that they do seek Him. But if we know how spiritual law works, are walking in faith, abiding in love and doing the word, then we will be better prepared to traverse the storms of life.
Thank God, literally, that He did not leave us defenseless in contending with the storms of life. This is why Jesus was asking the disciples, Why are ye so fearful, in the opening scripture verse. Then He spoke to the storm, and there was a great calm. We too, are instructed to speak with faith, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray,
Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, (verily, meaning I absolutely know these things to be true, have witnessed, demonstrated, from the Greek/Hebrew) That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore, I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark 11:23
God’s Word is, the fountain of living waters, which gives sustenance to all who receive; the Word creates, changes circumstances and is filled with Power!
O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters. Jeremiah 17:13
Early on in the book of Jeremiah, the prophet tells where Israel fell astray. He points out their faithlessness as being the primary cause.
For my people have committed two evils, they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. Jeremiah 2:13
The Lord knows the heart, the center of our being, our mind, and gives everyone accordingly the scriptures tell us.
I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. Jeremiah 17:10
Jesus is literally the Word incarnate it tells us in the book of John and therefore it should be no surprise that He is filled with living water which he gives to us through his word.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men. John 1:1-4
So, clearly we see that the Word has always been. In Genesis, God spoke and it was done, creative power in action. Then we see from the very beginning the acts of faith by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses who led the people of Israel out of Egypt.
Further on in the book of John the scriptures give us powerful insights into who Jesus was and why He came.
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God ,even to them that believe on his name; (Us).
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:10-14
Jesus is literally the Word, filled with power and living water! He speaks of this living water with the Samaritan woman when they converse by the well. Note, speaking to a woman in that day, a Samaritan woman especially, was something that the Jews did not do in those days.
Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever (including Us) drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. John 4:9-14
Therefore, we too must consume this living water, the Word of God which is God, then we too will have within, a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Glory to God, how powerful His Word is! So, how is this done? It is done by faith, believing his Word, receiving Christ, who is the Word and looking to the scriptures so that we may have knowledge and understanding.
But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. Deuteronomy 30:14
We are instructed to do the Word, believing the scriptures and Jesus. For lack of knowledge is what destroyed the people of Israel when they fell away from God, which was written in the book of the prophet, Hosea.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee. Hosea 4:6
We are the people of God if we believe the scriptures and receive Christ the anointed. Then this anointing is upon the believer, an anointing of the Holy Spirit which teaches us all things because we are made in the image of God!
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 1 John 2:27
Jesus tells us that He is the vine and we are the branches and also tells us that He is One with the Father. If indeed we are the branches attached with God’s life force, the Holy Spirit, in Us, then we too have the power of God flowing through us; for a branch is not separated from the vine but is part of the vine. Certainly, this is a realization that we must grasp. This is why we are not to fear when the storm hits or calamity befalls our house. God is with Us, we are in God and He in Us! Glory to God, how powerful and awesome is our Creator!
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Abide in me, and I in you, As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye except ye abide in me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches; He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15: 3-7
This is how we glorify the Father, by doing his will and keeping the commandments.
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. John 15:10-11
God is love, it says in 1 John 4:16 and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him, so we must realize this, abide in love, have faith and also realize that he hears us when we ask.
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
And if we know that that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
If we are abiding in love this will fill our heart and mind with goodness. Then when we think and speak, good things will come forth blessing others around us as well as ourselves. I have written on the “Heart and the Mouth”, previously, and I will make sure it is easy to find on my blog. We want to speak good things at all times not just when the storms hit, but keeping fear out of our heart and speaking the Word will help us get through the storms of life.
Part of the knowledge of God is understanding that what comes out of your heart affects circumstances in life and the words we speak do as well.
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings,
Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Proverbs 4:20-24
In closing, I do realize that sometimes tragic events occur and loved ones pass suddenly, or even when we are praying fervently. What I say to that is, we do not know when the appointed time is for a person to pass so we must remain in faith, speaking the word with an expectancy that we shall be delivered. I thank God that we were delivered from this storm!
Until next time, may the Lord protect you through all of the storms of life and may you all be blessed abundantly! May the love, light and Spirit of God fill us all to overflowing, so we may be a blessing to one another as we pass through this amazing adventure called, life!