Faith Through the Storm

A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.” – Luke 8:23

Normally, the rocking rhythm of a boat on the water would put Peter right to sleep. A fisherman before he gave it all up to follow Jesus, he was use to rough nights on the water.

But there was something different about this storm. There was an eerie feeling in his gut that Peter just couldn’t shake. He glanced around to see the other disciples talking among themselves.

Through the driving rain, Peter began to wonder where Jesus was. When he’d looked everywhere, Peter went below deck and was astounded at what he saw. There was his Jesus, sleeping as peacefully as a baby! Didn’t He see what was happening?!

He wastes no time, grabbing onto Jesus’ shoulder. He shakes him forcefully. “We’re about to drown here!” His urgency is unmistakable.

Jesus immediately rises and calms the storm. “Where is your faith?” he asks in the sudden silence.

When we encounter storms in life—like a serious diagnosis, the death of a friend, or the abandonment of a loved one—it can feel like we’re going to drown. The pain is threatening to take us under and we doubt we’ll survive that rip tide.
It’s in these moments that we’re tempted to doubt and say, “Where are You, Jesus?”

But just as Jesus proved He was in control of the wind and waves that night, He’s in control of your storm, too. The pain won’t last forever and the skies will clear again. God is holding onto you. He hasn’t forsaken you and left you stranded.

God, help me when I’m tempted to freak out. Sometimes, I focus on the storm rather than on Your power. Help me to rest in Your embrace today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

God’s Faithfulness Forgives

For if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. –1 John 1: 9

God is righteous and God is faithful. When we doubt that our sins are forgiven after we have confessed them we question God’s righteousness and His faithfulness, as well as His authenticity.

We are considered to be faithful when we keep our promises, when we do our duty. It is the same with God. Every time we confess our sins, He quickly forgives and cleanses us from them because He said He would. He is full of mercy and goodness.

God is faithful and just to forgive us, when we confess our sins, because that is His promise. The keeping, the forgiving, the cleansing day by day is all a part of God’s covenant with us. All a part of what was purchased for us on Calvary and has been promised to every child of God. So God is simply keeping His promise to us.

God faithfully forgives, because God cannot lie and this is His promise to us who believe and trust in Him. ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.’ (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Once we have repented, we are fully forgiven and free to let go of our past sins, including all the guilt associated with them. He forgives because He is faithful. As Romans 8:1 reminds us ‘And there is therefore now no condemnation unto them who are in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When you accept Jesus, God wipes your slate clean…as if they never existed. He lets them go and so should you. Don’t dwell on your sins once they are forgiven.

Listen For God to Knock

Last time we talked about one way to be close to God is by activating your faith. Today we’re going to learn how to Listen for God to Knock.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20 KJV

When Jesus spoke these words, He was speaking to the church in Laodicea. He starts out saying…

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

He’s pleading with the people who choose not to pursue Him whole-heartedly. People who “play” at church–sometimes praying, sometimes believing. He’s asking them to repent in how they’re living and give up the “self-righteous” choices they are making.

Sometimes we think because we “belong” to a church and attend bible study we are living the Christian life. However, we aren’t sincerely seeking God, serving Him, and worshiping Him. We are actually “lukewarm Christians.”

The door is your heart and the knock is God’s gentle voice calling to you, asking you to leave your evil, self-righteousness and self-made doctrines that don’t serve Him. When you open the door and repent of the evil in your lives, you are able to “sup” with Him and receive more of His Spirit pouring over you.

Romans 10:17 tells us, So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

So, how do we hear His voice? We can do it in a various way: attend bible study, go to church, listen to audios of sermons or Christian podcasts, read the Bible, pray, and intently study the word.

When we listen for God’s “knock,” that is the moment He is led into our hearts. When we allow Him in, He brings with Him, love, power, understanding, grace, and mercy, all of which break down the worldly self and bring in the new spiritual self!

How can you bring about this change?

Matthew 6:33 says But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

After you find Him, remember to let Him in. This is as simple as saying: Lord please come into my heart.

Lastly, get in a quiet place and listen intently for His voice. Do this every day and you will feel closer to God.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2

Another post you might want to read is this one.

Trust Him!

Matt 31b-32

Matthew 14:28-31

And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”

So He said, “Come.” 

And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”

And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
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Activate Your Faith

Hebrews 11:6

 

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

It pleases God when we want to seek Him first in all we do. It shows our trust in Him and His guidance. Having faith means you’re believing in something you can’t see. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that … faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

How is your faith? Is it activated? In order to activate faith we must develop faith. Having a constant relationship with Him in prayer will give us a fresh understanding of who God is and what it means to be in relationship with Him.

When we put our faith in God and diligently seek Him, nothing is impossible. As a matter of fact, faith helps us to desire His will over ours. The word “diligent” means: constant in effort to accomplish something; attentive and persistent in doing anything. When we diligently seek God, we must do it as a “constant” and “attentive” activity.

Do you believe God exists even though you don’t see Him? Are you in constant relationship with Him? Do you pray consistently and diligently? Are you studying the Word of God? By doing these things, you can be assured of an activated faith and develop an intimate relationship with God.

 

Rejoice!

Isaiah 61:10 I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Praising the Lord with song brightens my day and brings me closer to His presence. As the verse says, “my soul rejoices in my God” and I need to express that joy. I don’t always remember the words to the hymn I’m singing, but it doesn’t matter to God. He knows my heart.

He wants you too to find delight in Him, to rejoice in your soul for Him. I pray that you discover my “secret” to living joyfully.

 

God Loves Us So Much

john_6-40

Our Father in Heaven loves us more than we deserve. It breaks His heart when we stray from His path. He wants only for us to focus on Him and trust in His ways.

He loves us so much, that He sent His only Son, Jesus, down to earth. Thus, allowing Jesus to experience the human feelings of anguish and pain. To teach us about eternal life and show us the way to get it.
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God Forgives and Forgets

1 John 1:9     For if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1: 9

God is righteous and faithful. To doubt that our sins are forgiven when we have already confessed them is questioning His word. God is simply keeping His promise to us. God cannot lie and this is His promise to us who believe and trust in Him.
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He is my Rock

Psalm 18:2

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Psalm 91:14-16

Why do we worry when we know we are God’s children? When we know He will take care of us? We know that as His children we live within a circle of His protection. Nothing can touch us without His permission.

When we are in the midst of a terrible storm, we are assured of His protection. When our lives seem dim and dark we can still see the sunshine of His Love – a rainbow of blessings and a peace from within, a peace that will pass all understanding.

The Bible tells us that we need not fear the terror by night, nor the destruction by day, for the Lord is your refuge and place of protection.(Psalm 91:4)

Are you letting God be your rock, your refuge in the storm? He can—and will—protect you from the storm, if you will allow Him to.

Having a Positive Attitude

Romans 12:8

 

Patience and a positive attitude goes a long way when you have a chronic illness. It is too easy to let self-pity and depression take hold. This make you miserable. Studies show that a sense of happiness and hopefulness can improve your health. It can help you tolerate pain better, help you accomplish your goals easier, and improve the aging process. (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/pressure-proof/201303/5-ways-hope-impacts-health-happiness).
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