Jesus, The One and Only

Posts tagged ‘trials’

“Weathering the Storm” – Part 3

Rembrandt's The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, s...

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In Part 2 of “Weathering the Storm” the last one brings me the greatest comfort… “Listen for God to Speak”! When He brings revelation, everything changes.

It can be difficult to hear Him speak especially during difficult times in our lives because our thoughts, our focus can become engulfed in the circumstances of any storm.  When I hear the Lord speak to my heart, there’s an internal monitor that senses His peace!  Some people may be better at this than others and nothing fazes them, but in my life I can’t count how many times I have had to deal with some kind of storm/trial and have to refocus.  Be intentional at asking and listening to what God is saying to me no matter what’s going on around me.

We have to learn to replace worry, fear, anxiety, stress etc… you yes you have to know what God’s word says to make sure what you hear aligns with his Word … you yes you have to learn to hear and discern what God is telling you… you yes you have to decide that you trust what God is saying to you … you yes you have to believe in Him! 

Paul is one of the greatest examples of those who walked by faith.  He learned through the hardships he endured to hear and listen to what God was telling him and that’s exactly what happened in Acts 27:23-26:

“Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’

Will an angel appear to you, probably not, but when God speaks to your heart are you able to recognize it and believe?  That’s what Paul did and tells the men in vs. 25-26 “So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.” 

During a previous trial Paul heard from the Lord that he was going to Rome!  Notice too that it didn’t happen right away and another difficult situation has come about.  Sometimes it takes time and sometimes we will go through difficult situations to get to the destination!

I love this Rembrandt picture!  If you look carefully you’ll notice that one side of the painting the seas are raging and people are scurrying to tie down, hold on to the ropes, etc.  When you look at the right side :) Jesus is in the midst of all those listening attentively and the seas tend to be calmer.  Someone else pointed this out to me as I never studied the picture before, but when they did it resonated with me and I knew that Jesus even in the midst of the storm had the answer for me.  HIS PEACE! 

When you are in one of the most difficult times, ultimately it’s you and God.  God can use those who love you, even a stranger, a picture, great books, wonderful songs, etc. and when you know that you know God used whatever means to speak to you specifically… you encounter what I call that heart-mind connection and NOTHING compares!  What is HE speaking to you today?

“By Your Side”

Vicky

“Seasons of Suffering”

Read 2 Corinthians 11:22-33

I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren (vs. 26 NAS)

From previous journals, we know that some of the Jews tried to kill Saul and he fled by boat to Tarsus and into Syria and Cilicia according to Gal. 1:21. “Five years passed between his departure to Tarsus and his next appearance in scripture.  Many scholars refer to this as the missing years.” (1)

I personally believe this is key to our understanding of “the times”.  At times we tend to think in terms of hours, days and months, but we need to remember many years can sometimes pass from one journey to next.  And it doesn’t mean that God is not with us.  Think about it, at the fall of Adam and Eve, God said in Genesis 3:15 “…he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”  It was 2000 years later that this scripture was fulfilled.  We need to learn to become aware of the times God is moving so we don’t miss where He is taking us next! 

“In Acts 9:16, the Lord told Ananias that He would show Saul how much he must suffer for His name.’ ‘He was a local hero among the Jewish community in his hometown.  Most people probably knew that Saul had left for Tarsus years before for the express purpose of dealing with the followers of the Way.  Now he returned as one of them.  I doubt anyone threw him a welcome home party.” (2)  For Saul, he was a Jew, he was a student of the Law, he was a Pharisee and yet his own rejected him.  Sound familiar?

What about you?  Have you been through some difficult seasons in your life and you feel like God may be missing and/or the floodgates of trials/tribulation have come at you from all sides?  Sometimes those trials cause us to grow in character which aligns us with who we are in Christ or better yet who “Christ is in us”.  Maybe it causes us to press into God; to trust Him more!  Maybe that’s why Luke 10:27 says “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.” Right now I am impressed with this study and the challenges we encounter that we need to apply this truth ESPECIALLY during the difficult times.  At those moments, sometimes it is my entire heart, soul, strength and mind that are challenged and I need His love to sustain me!  How about you?

Vicky

 “The LORD is the One who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” (Deut. 31:8)

(1-2) Paul, 90 Days in His Journey of Faith/Beth Moore/B&H Publishing

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