God With Us: In the Storm
God never promised us this life would be easy, but He does promise this: He is bigger than any storm we face in this world. And He’s always working for our good, even in the places where we can’t see, even in the circumstances that we don’t fully understand. He is with us, right in the midst of all we walk through. Our storms might look different in this life, but they all have the opportunity to change us – forever. And God is the only One who has the power to take what seems tragic and devastating to turn it around for good. It may not happen as quickly as we’d like, it may feel like a struggle; we might find ourselves longing for another way, but blessings will come from it. For it’s the way God works. The “good” will shine through.
Something To Talk About:
Caught in a storm: If so, consider the bottom line: Never let the presence of a storm cause you to doubt the presence of God.
- Storms that blow into our life: The people who stayed in their house during Hurricane Michael universally mentioned the howling, high velocity wind whipping and beating the house mercilessly. Trees were pulled out of the ground. It was a nerve wracking several hours. The ferocious storm raging outdoors matched the fierceness of the ones that people are dealing with for weeks. Often storms hit us with no breathing room in between. Our health insurance premiums keep going up. The car which is our primary source of transportation breaks down. Our place of work was wrecked in the hurricane and may not open for months. And to top it off, I have another kidney stone. Worry is battering my weary soul more than any hurricane winds. I don’t feel the presence of God at a time when I need Him most. What if I can’t pay for our health insurance? Where can I find a dependable used car? Much like sweating out the hours of Hurricane Michael, we sweat out the personal storms in our life. We feel that same desperation as the hurricane when we called for Jesus’ help with a questioning heart: Why? Why does it have to be so hard Jesus? The storms have been unrelenting.
- God is with us: Hebrews 6:18-19 tells us “…we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain.” If we compare ourselves to a ship and the hardships of life to storms, then hope is the anchor that keeps us from being shipwrecked. But an anchor needs two things to be effective: the cable that tethers it to the ship, and the solid ground. The cable connecting us to hope is faith. Faith is the assurance that God is with us. Faith believes He still speaks to storms and with a word, can calm them. (Luke 8:24) The solid ground is the presence of God. Storms can never hide us from God. We may not see Him, but God is right there with us. We never go through anything by ourselves. No matter what situation you are going through right now, God is with you. He is the anchor that you can fully trust. In Acts 27:24, Paul quotes God’s angel (who visited him in the night): ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.” When the storms of life hit us, it is tempting to pull away from Him. We will have storms, but the strength and peace of having God with us is the secret to riding out the storms in life.
- Finding peace in the storm: Real peace is not the absence of a storm, but having the peace that comes from faith in God. In Acts 27:25, Paul says, “So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said.” God’s promises are an anchor in the storm. Some of us are going through a devastating crisis right now. Our problems are overwhelming, and we think we are going under for the last time. “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) My prayer is that His presence will give you the peace and confidence you need in every storm.
- What does “peace” look like in your life? Do you think that real peace is the absence of storms?
- What is the purpose of the “life storms” we experience? How have you reacted to the “life storms” you’ve experienced?
- What does “never let the presence of a storm cause you to doubt the presence of God” mean to you?
- What area of your life do you find yourself consistently fearful of what might come or what won’t come?
- Jesus doesn’t promise a life without storms, but He does promise to be with us in the middle of the storms. Why is it so tough to rely on God when we face tough times?
- What is the peace of God and why do we need it in order to be and do what God wants us to do?
- The disciples underestimated the power of Jesus when He calmed the sea. Do we underestimate the power of God in our storms? Why or why not?
- How has God proven himself faithful to you during a difficult time? What does having faith look like in your life?
- What are some practical things we can do to help us face future “life storms” more confidently?
- How can you help encourage or support someone who is experiencing a troubled time and needs peace?
Take one thing home with you:
Peace is not an absence of problems or storms, but it is God’s preserving presence in the midst of the storm. Many people have tried, but failed to fully describe God’s peace. You can sense it, you can own it, but it’s almost impossible to articulate it. But God is peace and He gives it to us just when we need it most. Just when you need a specific verse from scripture, He brings it to mind. Just when you need a friend; He brings one into your life. God will flood your heart with His indescribable peace. Peace is not the absence of storms, but God’s presence in the midst of the storm!