A Storm of Uncertainty

Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.”  Matthew‬ ‭8‬:‭24‬ NIV

We have all been living through a storm of uncertainty for the last year. In one way or another, Covid-19 has disrupted our lives like a storm disrupts a clear blue sky.

Since living in Southern Florida for the last few of years, I have a healthy respect for storms that come on quickly and are ferocious. Every afternoon in the summer, the fluffy white clouds that fill the blue expanse of the sky in the morning turn into dark thunderclouds by the afternoon.  Some afternoon storms are gentle showers and over quickly. Some of them rip the sky open with the crack of lightning, heart-pounding thunderclaps, and vicious wind.

The verse above describes a storm on the Sea of Galilee that came on so suddenly and was so ferocious that seasoned fisherman (the disciples) feared for their lives.

And what was Jesus doing? He was sleeping. He was resting.

He didn’t get in the boat at the beginning of the voyage and quiet the winds and calm the waves before he fell asleep, Jesus rested right in the middle of it.

The storm did not disturb him.

How did Jesus rest in the midst of an unexpected storm?

Jesus knew three things:

  1.  That God, His Father determined His time on earth, not a storm- even the most ferocious of ones.
  2.  Who and whose He was: the Son of God, on a mission from God, filled with the power of God.
  3. He knew that His mission was not over yet.

The best thing for you to do in a storm is to trust God and rest. 

Rest in God’s sovereignty:  He knows the moment you will cross into eternity.  This storm will not be the end of your story and God does not have half a plan.

Rest in knowing who and whose you are: a cherished child of God, redeemed by the cross of Christ to live life loved and drenched in God’s grace.

Rest in the knowledge that as long as you are here, God’s mission for you is not done yet.

I know it is stormy where you are but I want you to know that God is there with you and He will get you through whatever happens.

Lean on God

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” 
Proverbs 3:5 NIV

It is hard to not lean on your own understanding.

Your understanding is made of what you know, what you have learned, what you have been taught and tucked into your back pocket as experience. In the other pocket, you have stuffed the disappointments, the failures, the mistakes that you don’t want to make again. Either way, you are leaning on what you know. You make decisions based on past experiences and knee-jerk reactions from what you fear happening again.

How do you learn to trust God and lean on His understanding, His truth, His knowledge, and His power?

Lean on Him.

Lean on His love, His faithfulness, His wisdom and His mercy today.

Do the next right thing and leave the rest to Him.

He will guide you and show you how to walk forward according to His truth.

Instead of your go-to, knee-jerk reaction, go to your knees and ask God what the next right thing is.

Refuge and Fortress

“I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge

and my fortress, my God,

in whom I trust.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Jesus came so that you could live so close to the Father that the shadow of His love would cover you.

He went to the cross so that the presence of Almighty could be a refuge from the storm raging around you and a fortress of peace to run to when you are weary of fighting.

Jesus defeated death and cleared the way so you could be free to live fully in the power of God. He is the door into the refuge of God’s presence and the key to open it is trust.

Are you trusting Jesus today or are you trying to do it all yourself?

Dwell

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The word dwell invokes the picture of where you live.

Where you wake up in the morning, brush your teeth and get ready for your day.

It is the place where all your “stuff” is, no matter how much stuff you have.

It is the place at the end of the day that you surrender to sleep and recharge.

You are made to dwell in the shelter of God’s presence.

To wake to His love, live in His love, rest in His love.

Jesus made it possible so you could live this today and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty’s love everyday after.

Action Speaks Louder Than Words

Faith is not a feeling.

Faith is a choice.

It is a choice to believe something that leads to doing something. 

To trust God with the impossible.

To put actions to your words.

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything?” 

James 2:14 NLT

If God is asking you to do it, He has already given what you need for it.

He has already equipped you for it.

“Faith is taking the first step before you know what the second step is.”

– Joyce Meyers

God is bigger than your fear and has a purpose for your faith.

He needs you to be who He has called you to be and do what He has asked you to do.

It isn’t about you, it is about who your obedience will impact.

It is time to put your faith into action.

What is the thing that faith is prompting and fear is resisting?

What is God challenging you to do today?

Action Steps

Wednesday

I want to remind you to that all you need to do today is take a step.

Just one.

Trust God and do what He is asking you to do.

You can trust Him.

Make the call,
Say the words,
Reach out,
Run ahead,
Or slow down.

Do it before you see results,
without assurance of success,
and not knowing where it will take you.

It is a step of faith.

“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

James‬ ‭2‬:‭17‬ NIV

If you are reading this, you are not dead. Neither is your faith.
Put it into action.

What next step do you need to take today?

Give Should-Haves a Decent Burial.

Friday

“So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There is nothing in it, nothing at all. The best thing to is to give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons.

Romans 8:12-15 MSG

What “should haves” are holding you back from being fully present in the beautiful life Jesus has for you?

When God sends you a vision of your future, it is to get you moving in the right direction. When He lays a burden on your heart it is to pull you towards His purpose for you.

He will not lift the call but He will refine it.  He will not lift the burden to be His change agent in the world but He will redefine it constantly.

And God will never ask you to “do-it-yourself’, His visions always come with a “you-can-only-accomplish-this-with-God” clause.

We can all easily slip into a habit of tending the graves of  “what if’s” and “should have done’s” but that only hinders us from living in the power of the resurrection life of Jesus.

Life in Christ is meant to be a moment by moment adventure with God.

Give your “should have’s” a decent burial and get on with it.

What regret have you been grave tending?

The Freedom of Forgiveness

Wednesday

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  

Colossians 3:13 NIV

Forgiveness breaks the power of the past.

Forgiveness is not a feeling, it is a choice.

It is a choice to let God have it, hold it, and be responsible for it- whatever it is. 

Forgiveness is taking the power away from someone else and giving it back to God. 

You don’t have to trust someone to forgive them.

They don’t have to know you forgive them.

They don’t have to be sorry in order for you to forgive them.

Forgiveness is not about restoring trust in them, it is about trusting God with them

What you do have to do is make the choice to give them to God.

And then every day after, make the choice to give them to God.

Keep doing that until the feelings lines up with the decision.

Forgiveness is about freedom – yours.

Who do you need to forgive today?

Don’t Let Fear Stop You

Tuesday

“By an act of faith, he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents.”  Hebrews 11: 8 MSG

Fear will hold you captive in your comfort zone.

The only way to break fear’s hold is by an act of faith.

To go after all that God has called you to, you are going to have to move beyond the fear that holds you there.

Fear can be overwhelming when it is a general mass of unknown anxiety so you need to name it.  

What are you afraid will happen when you step out in faith?

Define it or one part of it.

Narrow it down.

Find the core.

But know this: facing the fear doesn’t take away the emotion of fear but it allows you to see what it is and lie behind it.

When you name the fear you disarm it of its power but it takes a while for your emotions to fall in line with your faith.

You may not know where your journey will end up but you can be sure that God will be there with you every step of the way.

God is calling you forward, don’t let fear stop you today.

Faith is choosing to trust God with the path, the detours, the disasters and yes, the destiny of where you will end up.

Courage is feeling the fear and stepping out in faith anyway. 

What is God calling you to do? 

What is stopping you from stepping out in faith?

What is the name of your fear?

 

Glorious Resources

“I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.”

Ephesians 3:16 NLT

God has unlimited (and glorious) resources so you can be sure that whatever you are facing, God can and will provide what you need today.

Strength to love, to walk, to work, to hold on to hope and let go of fear.

Not by your strength but by God’s.

To be strengthened not from your limited resources, but from God’s unlimited ones.

Not to “look strong” on the outside to others but to “be strong” on the inside through Jesus.
Receive Him.
Rest in Him.
Walk in His strength today.
You are going to make it.