There are a variety of storms that each of us face in life. It might be a physical storm such as an earthquake or an emotional storm such as health problems or the loss of someone we love. As believers, we also face spiritual storms and question why we are going through so much suffering. I would like to share four simple instructions to help you stand strong in the midst of any storm you might encounter: R.E.S.T.
R – Remember: What do we need to remember about a storm? There is an interesting scripture in Nahum 1:3, “The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm.” This verse tells us the Lord uses storms and difficulties to accomplish His purposes in our lives and in our world. Even in situations that are painful and we do not understand why certain things have happened we must believe that, “The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and kind in all his deeds” Psalm 145:17. Do you feel you are living through a type of emotional or spiritual storm? Remember to trust the Lord and His ways and know He has a purpose even in the middle of your storm.
E – Expect: What does the Lord expect of us in our storm? In Mark 4:36-40 we find a situation when the disciples were in a boat with Jesus during a severe storm. The men became fearful and asked Jesus if He was concerned they were going to die. When Jesus spoke to the storm and it became calm He then asked the disciples, “Why are you so timid? How is it that you have no faith?” How interesting that Jesus did not comfort them in their fear but instead challenged them to have more faith. Could this be the example our Lord wants us to follow when we face problems that cause us fear? Your storm will either increase your faith or cause you to tremble in alarm. The Lord gave us this boat lesson in His Word and is asking us not to be frightened and faint-hearted, but to expect that He will bring us through the storm.
S – Shelter: What shelter do we have in the storm? “Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings” Psalm 61:4. This is a promise you have for any stormy situation you are in, the assurance that Christ will be your shelter and your protection. During a recent heavy rainstorm my son looked out our back window and pointed out two birds sitting under our tree that must have been caught in the storm before they could get to shelter. As I watched the birds I was amazed at what I saw. There was a baby bird with its back against the tree out of the heavy wind and rain. The parent bird was a little further out in the storm sitting calmly and enduring the pouring rain. The parent hardly moved, but stood guard and was nearby to be a comfort to the little one who was just learning to fly. As the storm began to subside and they moved out together to a bush with more protection, I could see this as an example of how our Lord is with us in our storms and how He will be our shelter.
T – Tranquility: How can we have tranquility in the midst of a storm? “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” Colossians 3:15. Tranquility means to be calm, in a peaceful state of mind and absent of worry. It’s easy to turn to the things of the world or to others for comfort but, the better step to first take is go to the Word of God and fill your mind and spirit with His living Word. Be diligent to spend time in prayer and allow the Lord to comfort your hurting heart and speak His peace to you. This is the most powerful way to find tranquility in any storm you encounter.
The next time you are in a difficult situation remind yourself of the storm instructions R.E.S.T: Remember the Lord is in your storm. He expects you to have faith. He will be your shelter. Fill your mind with God’s Word so you have tranquility in any storm you encounter.