The other morning a dear friend told me about an encounter she had wearing a FearNot Ministries t-shirt. While she was at a local store, someone saw her wearing the shirt and revealed that she was struggling. Because of the struggles she was facing, she just that morning turned to the Bible. She read a verse that told her not to fear—that God was with her. When my friend walked into that store, the FearNot immediately caught her eyes and she remembered what God’s Word promised her that morning.
God’s Word has so many promises, more promises than I can list in a short devotion. When we live our life knowing and trusting in these promises—knowing and trusting God and His Word—life is very different. You cannot recognize God at work, you cannot know God, unless you know His Word. It is so very important to open up your Bible and read. Don’t stop reading. Every day read. Then when you are going through struggles, when you are facing a difficult time in your life, when you are not sure which way to go—you will have His Word written on your heart.
The other day three beautiful girls came over with these hearts they made during church service. The heart displayed a verse that spoke of writing God’s Word on your heart. I asked the girls, “How can you write God’s Word on your heart?” The answer is easy – read God’s Word. Read God’s Word. Delight in His Word. Cherish His Word. Eat His Word. Chew upon it. Take it in. Treasure it. Store it up. Embrace it.
“You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.”
-Psalm 63:1-8 [NIV]
This morning I headed out to take the dog for a walk. Now I knew that the weather was not looking so good; there was a chance for rain. My luck is always something else. I drive halfway there and it starts to rain. I look around and say, “No! What do you mean? It can’t rain. I’m almost there.” Gas prices are pretty high so I decided to keep going in hopes that the rain would stop, that it was just a passing storm. Nothing big. No worries.
I got there and the rain continued. I decided that I needed fresh air and the dog needed a walk, so I was just going to get out and take a walk anyway, and walk through the storm. Now I had an umbrella. I was very lucky to have that umbrella so I didn’t get too wet.
What I was thinking about was how we often are going through these storms in life. We like to complain. We like to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves and we sometimes don’t say thank you to God, because we are in these storms of life and it’s like “uh, can it get any worse.” We don’t thank God because we are not liking how things are at the current moment, but yet it could get worse. Now there are people who have something bad happening in their lives and I’ll hear them say, “It can’t get any worse then this.” I say, “Watch your mouth, because it could get worse than that.” I think that we at times don’t realize how well we have things and when things dampen our situation we forget that we are blessed with an umbrella.
For me, I was okay with walking in the rain because I had my umbrella and I was not walking alone. We are not walking alone when we are in our storm in life. We have God there with us. I think whenever we go and do our little “oh pity poor me, when are things going to get better,” when we do that, when we complain, and when we moan and grumble about things that might not be that important and we fail to give God praise, what ends up happening is we are not thanking God for the blessings we do have. We pretty much sound like spoiled little brats.
Psalm 63:4 tells us something I think is very important. It says, “I will praise You as long as I live, lifting up my hands to You in prayer.” I will praise You as long as I live. It doesn’t say I will praise You when things are going good but when things are going bad You need to step back. It doesn’t say that. It says, “I will praise You as long as I live. I will praise You as long as I live.” Through the good, through the bad. When it’s raining, when it’s nice out. No matter what. When you have fifty dollars in your wallet, or a million dollars in your wallet, or you don’t even have a wallet. I will praise You.
When things aren’t going well at work. When you are having problems with your spouse. When you are having arguments with your family. When you wanted to go here for dinner and they wanted to go there and you got outvoted. No matter what– I will praise You. I think that is something that if we know that and if we do that and we follow that– if we give praise to God every day. If you wake up and say, “thank You God for this day.” For this time. For this opportunity. For my life. For this roof over my head. For whatever it is that you have to be grateful for. If you thank Him for that and you acknowledge that it is all His then you will actually have a much happier life because you will see the blessings He has given to you. Sometimes we have to be reminded of that.
What I think this walking through the storm is all about is making sure that we don’t limit God — that we give our things to Him when we have a storm. And that we still praise Him during the storm, because there is going to be many storms. We were promised there were going to be many storms. Life has ups and downs but in the end, no matter what, God is the same God and He will be with you right by your side. Always. Forever.